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Strong Weekend for Collard as Falcon Aims for Formula Ford Titles
Posted by: newsla on Aug 25, 2014 - 05:32 PM
Support Series News
Strong Weekend for Collard as Falcon Aims for Formula Ford Titles

The 2014 Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain headed to Knockhill Racing Circuit in Fife last weekend. The challenging track produced mixed results for the trio of Falcon Motorsport drivers; a brace of podiums for Ricky Collard and Harrison Scott, but the disappointment of two retirements for Chris Mealin.


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The test sessions for rounds 19, 20 and 21 took place on Friday. Championship leader Harrison, from Althorne in Essex, ran closest to pace setter Ashley Sutton around the 1.27-mile track, Scotland's national motorsport centre situated six miles north of Dunfermline. 18 year old Ricky, in his now Duo liveried EcoBoost Mygale, was second fastest in the Scholarship Class and seventh fastest overall after damaging his suspension on Knockhill’s unforgiving kerbs in session one, as did 20 year old Chris from Braddan on the Isle of Man, who ended the day with a combined time in ninth place.

Qualifying came on Saturday morning and the Falcon trio of Harrison, Ricky and Chris qualified in third, fifth and ninth respectively for round 19 later in the day.

A heavy pre-race shower dampened the circuit sufficiently to bring out the wet Dunlop tyre option. JTR’s Jayde Kruger, who started second on the grid, was soon under pressure from Harrison. A shrewd manoeuvre, which began at the hairpin at the end of lap six, allowed Harrison to close in on Kruger’s gearbox along pit straight and he swept past through Scotsman Corner to demote his title rival to third.

“I attacked him going into the hairpin and he had to go defensive,” said Harrison. “I got a good slipstream on him and then he went defensive again into turn one and ran wide; I switched back again got him around the outside. I was pushing after that but Ashley started to drive away as the track dried and my tyres started to go away.” Harrison’s second place extended his championship lead to 19 points.

At the end of the lap 15, Ricky got the better of Kruger on the exit from the chicane and out dragged him on the run up the pit straight to secure his third overall podium finish of the season. “I waited behind him for three of four laps,” said Ricky. “When I knew that my tyres were at their coolest and Jayde started to brake, I focused on out braking him into the hairpin. I never expected to pull it off from that far back, but I was then able to edge away. To get a solid third place and a Scholarship Class second is what we are trying to do. The first half the season has been tough, so consistency is what we are aiming for the rest of the year.”

Ricky ended the day in P2 in the Scholarship Class standings with team mate Chris, whose inexperience at the demanding track led to him to stall on the wet hill start and finish ninth at the chequered flag.

The reverse grid second race on Sunday morning saw Ricky line up on the second row in P3, with Harrison next to him in fourth and Chris in P9.

With the gremlins remaining in Harrison’s car with regard to pace, he had to be satisfied with a third placed podium at the end of round 20. Unfortunately, for his Championship title bid, he finished behind Kruger and Marshall, who finished six seconds ahead of him. Ricky lost third place to his Essex-based team-mate on lap two, but then embarked on a superb race with Juan Rosso. Ricky claimed fourth and, with class rival Sutton crashing out on lap 24, took the Scholarship class win, his fourth of the year, to push him much closer to the top of the leader board than he had been to date.

Chris endured a difficult race. He went off track and had to retired to the pits with damage and also an engine issue. Despite no points being scored, he remained third in the Scholarship Class standings after round 20.

The ITV4 live-televised weekend finale on Sunday afternoon saw Harrison pick up a third placed trophy once again, but his Championship advantage over Kruger had been cut to just six points with nine races to go.

The majority of the track action for round 21 was between Hampshire based Ricky and Sutton once again. One over enthusiastic lunge by Sutton, however, was answered by a cool Ricky on lap 15 which led to Sutton losing ground and being repassed by Rosso. Unfortunately, Ricky was unable to fend him off during a further attack and he had to be content with sixth place overall at the chequered flag, but another second placed podium in the rookie Scholarship Class.

It was a weekend that Chris will wish to move on from swiftly, however. After the team did a superb job to change his engine between races, he struggled with the handling during the final round, ran wide and was forced to retire to the pits once again.

Nick Streatfield, team owner, Falcon Motorsport:
“It was another very strong weekend for Ricky and we started well with Harrison, but in the Sunday races pace alluded us once more and so we’ll have to go back to drawing board with his car. Chris has had a very, very tough weekend. It was another new track for him and he endured an engine failure, with some character building moments as well, so we shall get him back out testing as soon as possible. We are more confident for Rockingham. It is a track we traditionally do well at and so we shall be pushing hard to try to extend our Championship lead once again.”

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