Ricky Collard does the double to stretch his British F3 points advantage
Carlin’s Ricky Collard strengthened his hold at the top of the BRDC British F3 Championship, taking two wins, two poles and two fastest laps in a dominant showing.
Collard was consistently the quickest driver throughout the weekend, with his most impressive display coming in the finale.
Balancing a clutch problem, Collard was able to make a reasonable start going into Old Hall corner and made himself wide enough to hold off the fastapproaching Thomas Randle.
Once through the opening corners, the Carlin driver eased his way into a commanding lead and took victory.
“I knew I had to make it through the first few corners,” he said. “The clutch made for a difficult start.”
His ability to overcome issues was also shown in his other victory, the opening sprint on Saturday.
With conditions constantly fluctuating on the first day of the event, Collard’s tyres weren’t at the optimum pressures.
“We were caught out by the weather for sure,” he said. “I think the tyre pressure was too low and it showed as it took five laps for the tyres to come in to be able to push.”
Those five laps would prove to be the majority of the opening race. Collard retained his lead, again defending from Randle early on.
Just one lap later, the race was abandoned after a sizeable crash between Sisa Ngebulana and Ameya Vaidyanathan. The two came together on the approach to Cascades, launching the latter into a somersault and destroying the car.
Vaidyanathan was unharmed and, with no time to accommodate a restart later in the day, Collard was declared the winner.
The only race Collard didn’t win was the second reversed-grid race. He lined up eighth on the grid and, with Oulton Park a difficult track to overtake on, the priority became setting a time for pole.
There was to be little movement throughout the field, with all aiming for lap times.
A back-and-forth battle over the top time between Carlin men Collard and Colton Herta dominated the end of the race, with Collard coming out on top.
The early part of the second sprint provided a good battle between Toby Sowery and Enaam Ahmed.
Ahmed led through the opening laps, but Sowery had the better run into Lakeside on the second lap. Ahmed attempted to defend his position and the pair made contact, damaging Sowery’s brakes.
With his braking reference points gone, the Lanan Racing man was unable to displace Ahmed. Post-race, Ahmed was handed a six-second penalty that demoted him to second behind Sowery.
“I think the decision was justified,” said Sowery. “I think we would have got the place if there wasn’t contact and they just reversed the positions so I think it is right.
“I am not over the moon but it is more points in the bag.”
Ahmed added: “The race went pretty well for me but I made a mistake defending my position which led to the penalty.”
While Sowery took his first win since round two at Brands Hatch, the weekend was Collard’s. He was only eighth in the second race, but it would secure the pole position that became the bedrock of his win in the finale.
“It’s been absolutely surreal,” said Collard. “The F3 dream is becoming a reality more and more by the second. I’m confident and relaxed and I’m in a great position in the championship.”
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Collard netted two wins