09 Apr Podium finishes in maiden round of MSA Formula
Fortec drivers Dan Ticktum and Josh Smith made the podium for the first ever weekend of MSA Formula, taking place at Brands Hatch.
Saturday saw Dan Ticktum take a podium finish in second while Josh Smith progressed from fifteenth to eleventh during the race.
Ticktum got off to a good start and quickly moved up through the grid from sixth to third position. Smith pushed to gain thirteenth position. After a brief safety car period, Ticktum followed Norris and Leist in third position while Smith got a good get away and moved into twelfth. By mid-race, Ticktum was closing the gap to Leist. With 2 minutes left on the clock, Dan drove up Leist’s inside into Druids to take second. Ticktum continued to widen the gap and had the race been longer, Ticktum may have been able to take race lead from Lando Norris. As the leading rookie, Ticktum collected a £500 cheque for his result.
In the second race, both Ticktum and Smith both made quick getaways. Within the first lap Ticktum had progressed from seventh to forth while Smith gained five positions resulting in sixth. After a spin from Fielding in the first lap, the safety car was briefly out while Fielding’s car was recovered. After a restart in lap 5, Ticktum picked up the pace and was able to take third, and continued to widen the gap getting closer to Collard. A safety car was soon back out on the track, pushing the field together.
Once the green flag was out, Ticktum went for the attack and chased Collard. The battle continued until the chequered flag, with an infinitesimal gap of 0.4 seconds between Ticktum and race winner, Collard. As a rookie, Smith made the podium in third.
It was a challenging final race of the weekend. Both Ticktum and Smith started the race further down the grid, seventh for Ticktum and sixteenth for Smith, and the safety car was out twice during the 20 minute race. Smith got off to a promising start, gaining two positions within the first lap. A car in the wall meant the first of the safety cars was released after lap one. After the safety car went in at the end of lap 3, the fight was on. Ticktum was able to gain a place, pushing him up into sixth. Smith after making contact with Butel’s car, fell to the back of the grid in seventeenth. Halfway through the final race the safety car reappeared after Butel made contact meaning that no progress could be made. With 8 minutes left on the clock/towards the closing stages of the race, Ticktum progressed to fifth while Smith made up to places, putting him in fifteenth position.
“In the first race I had a good start, but the safety car meant that we couldn’t get enough heat into the tyres. I caught up with Leist and went wide at Paddock to get a good exit up into Druids. I went up into the inside of Druids and made sure the next few laps were consistent so I could widen the gap. The second race also went well. I had seventh position for the reversed grid which didn’t make things easy. I was quick off the line so I could go up the inside of a few drivers, and the first restart helped me to overtake Pull into Druids. If I had had a couple of more laps, I think I could have challenged Pollard but I just had to make sure I finished the race in second to improve my championship position.”
“I think the first race was a progressive one. I managed to gain four places which I am pleased with but I could have gained more if I hadn’t have made a few novice mistakes at the start. I know where I went wrong and know what to do in the next races. The second race also went well for me; a lot better than the last race. I got a quick start and jumped two places off the line. I managed to hang on around the outside of turn 1. I managed to make another two places up on the opening lap so good progress on the first lap.”