- Colton and his Carlin team-mate Lando Norris dominate qualifying in Norfolk
- Problems blunt the pace of championship leader Ricky Collard
SNETTERTON 8 AUGUST, 2015 – Colton Herta continued his strong run of Snetterton form this morning in qualifying, following up his clean sweep of yesterday’s test sessions with further improvements in pace to claim a double-top at the wheel of his Ford EcoBoost-powered Carlin-prepared chassis.
The 15-year-old Californian will start this afternoon’s 16th round of the MSA Formula Championship from pole position thanks to a 1m 50.398s lap of the three-mile Norfolk circuit, and will go from top spot also in tomorrow’s live-televised Round 18. Herta’s Carlin team-mate Lando Norris will line up behind him for both races. Said first-time pole-sitter Colton: “I guess we just put everything together today. I knew after yesterday that there was more to come from the car and today we found it. I like Snetterton – it has all sorts of corners and seems to suit my driving style.”
Norris, who was 0.363s behind, was pleased for his running mate but frustrated: “It was hard – hard to beat my team-mate… Colton put everything together and was quicker than me in the second half of the lap.”
There was drama and disappointment for championship leader Ricky Collard (TRS Arden), who set third-best time before a gearchange issue brought his retirement from the session at mid-distance. Fortec’s Dan Ticktum knocked him back to fourth overall on the timesheet towards the end of qualifying, but Ricky’s enforced absence from the track cost him dearly in terms of setting a competitive second-fastest time and as a result he will start Round 18 from 22nd and last on the grid.
Fresh from competing in the States in USF2000, Sennan Fielding qualified fifth fastest for the JHR Developments team, ahead of Matheus Leist (Double R) and Petru Florescu (Carlin). TRS Arden’s Enaam Ahmed equalled his best qualifying performance of the season with eighth, with Double R’s Tarun Reddy and Arden’s third man, Sandy Mitchell, completing the top 10.
Technical issues blighted the session for SWB Motorsport’s Rafael Martins, who completed only three laps, JHR’s Jack Butel and JTR’s James Pull, all of whom will go from towards the back this afternoon. The first of the three Snetterton MSA Formula races follows at 1510.
Provisional qualifying times Snetterton 8 August 2015
Grid order for Round 16
1 Colton HERTA / USA / Carlin 1:50.398
2 Lando NORRIS / GBR / Carlin 1:50.761
3 Daniel TICKTUM / GBR / Fortec 1:51.086
4 Ricky COLLARD / GBR / TRS Arden 1:51.368
5 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR 1:51.547
6 Matheus LEIST / BRA / Double R 1:51.673
7 Petru FLORESCU / ROU / Carlin 1:51.700s
8 Enaam AHMED / GBR / TRS Arden 1:51.854
9 Tarun REDDY / IND / Double R 1:51.877
10 Sandy MITCHELL / GBR / TRS Arden 1:51.900 etc
Round 18 grid order (based on second-fastest times): Herta – Norris – Ticktum – Fielding – Leist – Florescu – Mitchell – Josh Smith – Reddy – Ahmed etc