As the BRDC British F3 Championship heads into the final round, TCF caught up with the two championship leaders. British driver Ricky Collard and his Brazilian competition, Matheus Leist, talked about the last race and their expectations.
The two drivers were first and second in the opening and final races with Collard coming out on top both times. The result ensured that Collard slowly grew his lead in the championship as the drivers head into Donington. He seemed confident he could build from his Snetterton success.
“I think so, I’ve got a lot of confidence going into Donington. We were really quick at Oulton Park but Silverstone just didn’t go quite our way, neither did Spa. But now, we’re showing our true pace.”
Results have been up and down for Collard this season. Far from the consistency that saw him narrowly miss out on the MSA Formula title, it has been his good qualifying that has seen him pull ahead. His confidence meant he seemed dismissive of the fact he could miss out on the title despite his up and down performance in the Carlin.
“No, don’t be silly.” he joked. “There’s only one goal and that’s to be champion. After all, I wouldn’t line up on the grid if that wasn’t the case.”
Going into 2017, Collard remains undecided, though he knew where his options lay, suggesting a long-term path to DTM may be on the cards. Despite this, he didn’t rule out a career path similar to his dad, Rob Collard.
“Obviously being part of BMW Motorsport their junior program is fantastic, absolutely fantastic. I’ve just got to keep impressing the boss and we never know what might be around the corner.”
“I could follow my Dad, I’d like to test the Touring Car. Though, I’d also like to test the German Touring Cars, DTM, that’d be really cool.”
Sticking with your team seems to be the name of the game for the championship contenders, with Leist now in his second year for Double R Racing. He seemed dismayed about the weekends results, but remained upbeat for Donington.
“Yes, it’s a bit disappointing, bit it’s not that bad a weekend, it was quite good. We had some great races, the pace was ok, I just didn’t have the pace to beat him.”
“Collard may have won two races, but I’m still only 15 points behind him so I’m still able to win. I’m going to go for it, for sure.”
The pair aren’t the only drivers in title contention though, with Thomas Randle and Toby Sowery still mathematically in it. Sadly for the Australian, a poor weekend has seen him drop closer to fourth rather than improve his situation.
As for Sowery, he’s struggled since his poor round in Rockingham and has always been an outside shout for the title. Though with the pressure off the 20 year old, he’ll hope to make the most of his shot at a rare third single-seater title in three years.