COLLARD DOUBLES AT SNETTERTON
Collard led from pole position in race one, while title hopeful Thomas Randle clashed with team-mate Enaam Ahmed, who spun and rolled in the grass, but thankfully emerged unharmed.
After a safety car period Collard pulled away from rival Matheus Leist, and held on for the victory. “I’ve felt really good every time I’ve got in the car and I can see everyone around me is relaxed which helps,” he commented.
Newcomer Nikita Mazepin, filling in for Lando Norris, started on pole for race two. Tarun Reddy briefly took the lead on the first lap but Mazepin fought back, while Randle fell to fourth behind Harrison Scott.
Leist and Collard battled over seventh place, before both made their way past Aleksanteri Huovinen ahead of them.
The leading five were always close but with passing difficult there were no further changes to the leading order, Mazepin becoming the third winner in the chassis in ’16 after Norris and Colton Herta. Post-race he enthused: “it was a highlight, starting from pole after breaking my wing in race one. I controlled the pace and pulled away.”
The now-inseparable duo of Collard and Leist lined up first and second on the grid for the weekend’s final race, but it was Ben Hingeley who made a great start, going around Leist but being unable to hold on to second place.
Leist put in a number of fastest laps while chasing Collard but could only make small dents in his lead, while Ahmed started to pressure Hingeley for third. But the HHC driver did well to hold on under pressure and take his first podium of the season. “It was a difficult race. They caught me rapidly at the end, the tyres began to go, but I managed to hang on,” a delighted Hingeley said after the race.
Up front Collard kept his cool to take the victory, though survived a big scare. “At the Bomb Hole I nearly went off,” he recalled. “I was like ‘Jesus Ricky, keep it on the black stuff, just bring it home!’
“The opening lap was blinding. I could see in my mirror I was pulling away,” said Collard who takes a 15 point advantage into the final weekend. “I have to thank the guys at High 5 Nutrition for their help this weekend, I think it paid dividends.”
Rounds 22, 23 and 24 will be held at Donington Park on September 10/11.