• Fortec driver slots ahead at the start and resists pressure race-long to claim the win
  • Ricky Collard second ahead of Lando Norris to maintain championship lead

CROFT 28 JUNE, 2015 – Daniel Ticktum drove what he described as his “hardest and best” race yet to win this afternoon’s Croft MSA Formula Championship finale. The Ford EcoBoost-powered Fortec driver took control at the start and held on in front to the end despite pressure all the way to the line, first from Carlin man Lando Norris and latterly from championship leader Ricky Collard’s TRS Arden machine.

Sixteen-year-old Ticktum started second on the grid behind Norris and despite Lando making a good start, Dan’s was better and he pulled clear as they entered Clervaux for the first time. Ticktum pulled a car’s length advantage on the opening lap but was unable to edge further ahead of his pursuer who, when he wasn’t busy defending his second place from Collard’s attentions, was making frequent attempts to prise a gap from Ticktum through which to seize the lead.

Dan was able to fend off every move: “It was very, very difficult – probably my hardest race yet and the best I’ve ever driven in my career, including karting. The pressure was there the entire time and I couldn’t afford to make a single mistake, and I didn’t. I had to defend the whole time and without trying to sound cocky I surprised myself that I drove as well as I did. It’s a great way to end the weekend.”

Collard took second from Norris at the start of the 13th lap thanks to a better exit from the hairpin, pulling level with the Carlin man down the main straight before slotting ahead into Clervaux. “I was waiting for Lando to make a move on Dan, but it never came so I knew I had to pass Lando if I was to have any hope of winning the race. Dan slowed things down a bit through the chicane and I was able to get a good cut-back and slingshot past Lando.” Ricky goes into the six-week summer break with his championship lead intact.

Norris was disappointed with third: “Our pace in general was quite good, just not down the straight and I couldn’t really do anything about Ricky coming past. Dan got a better start than me; mine was all right but his was better.”

Carlin’s Petru Florescu slotted ahead of his team-mate Colton Herta at the start to move into fourth, and defended the position well from the young American until the sixth lap, when Herta ran wide and off at Sunny to allow JHR Developments driver Sennan Fielding through to fifth spot. Two laps later Fielding moved in front of Florescu to secure fourth, with Petru holding fifth (and Rookie second) to the end to match his best result of the season.

Following her Saturday podium finish, Richardson Racing driver Louise Richardson was in strong form again and claimed sixth at the line, holding off the Double R car of Matheus Leist for the duration. Sandy Mitchell secured eighth, and the final position on the Rookie podium, for TRS Arden after Herta ran wide once more, this time out of Clervaux, on the penultimate lap. Tarun Reddy (Double R) and Daniel Baybutt (JTR) completed the top 10, with Rafael Martins 11th for SWB Motorsport and Enaam Ahmed (TRS Arden) close behind.

Saturday winner Josh Smith found his luck reversed, the 16-year-old being forced to pull into the pits after one lap with a fuel pressure issue. Darius Karbaley (Falcon) joined him in retirement.

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Provisional results Croft 28 June 2015

Round 15: 15 laps / 31.87 miles

1 Daniel TICKTUM / GBR / Fortec 20m 53.770s / 91.52mph

2 Ricky COLLARD / GBR / TRS Arden +0.606s

3 Lando NORRIS / GBR / Carlin +1.075s

4 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR +2.290s

5 Petru FLORESCU / ROU / Carlin +5.340s

6 Louise RICHARDSON / GBR / Richardson +5.849s

7 Matheus LEIST / BRA / Double R +7.755s

8 Sandy MITCHELL / GBR / TRS Arden +8.291s

9 Tarun REDDY / IND / Double R +8.999s

10 Daniel BAYBUTT / GBR / JTR +11.622s etc

Fastest lap Norris 1m 22.725s / 92.47mph

Rookie class 1 Ticktum, 2 Florescu, 3 Mitchell, 4 Baybutt, 5 Rafael MARTINS / BRA / SWB, 6 Enaam AHMED / GBR / TRS Arden, 7 Ameya VAIDYANATHAN / IND / JTR

Provisional championship standings

1 Collard 209 points; 2 Ticktum 205; 3 Norris 191; 4 Leist 158; 5 Fielding 129; 6= Mitchell & Colton Herta 99; 8 James Pull 86; 9 Jack Barlow 66; 10 Martins 62 etc

Rookie class 1 Ticktum 312; 2 Baybutt 197; 3 Mitchell 196; 4 Martins 162; 5 Florescu 159 etc