Carlin driver Ricky Collard ended the Rockingham weekend in style by winning his first BRDC British F3 race, extending his championship lead to 22 points. The win rounds off an excellent week for the 19 year old, who was recently announced as a BMW Motorsport junior driver.
A demon start from Collard saw him quickly take the lead with polesitter Lando Norris being forced down to third. The safety car was deployed as an incident further back saw Eugene Denyssen retire after contact with the consistently unlucky Krishnaraj Mahadik.
At the restart, Collard built up a small gap, with second place Matheus Leist not able to immediately respond. The top three broke away with Norris hounding the Double R Racing driver over the course of the race.
Despite the pressure, Leist remained resilient and crossed the line to claim his fourth podium of the year. Despite initially breaking away, Collard’s advantage didn’t last long and Leist continued his form shutting the gap over the course of the race.
A dire weekend for Toby Sowery had seen him struggle, scoring few points. A good lap time in the previous race, mixed with a strong start saw him work his way up to fourth by the end of the first lap.
It wouldn’t last long though, with an under performing car and the on form Douglas Motorsport cars behind, he found himself at the mercy of Thomas Randle, who despite Sowery’s best efforts found his way past with seven minutes to go.
After a cautious start, mostly caused by his disastrous race 2, Enaam Ahmed proved to be the next driver to demote Sowery after a move around the outside of Deene in which the MSA Formula rookie champion out braked his opponent.
Ahmed had been under pressure from Aleksanteri Huovinen for the final few minutes, but the move on Sowery allowed him to close on the Finn in the title fight. Behind Huovinen, Tarun Reddy completed the top eight, after a fairly quiet race stuck behind the chasing pack.
Collard’s win was his first of the season, but allows him to extend his advantage at the front to 22 points. Having been in the top 8 for every race he’s finished this season. Collard’s consistency may, once again, be his forte that will allow him to keep up and stay ahead of the opposition.