Herta on top at Snetterton as Collard bids to maintain Ford-powered series lead

  • US star Colton Herta quickest in all three pre-race test sessions
    Herta’s Carlin team-mate Lando Norris second fastest and championship leader Ricky Collard P3

SNETTERTON 7 AUGUST, 2015 – Championship leader Ricky Collard battled back from adversity at Snetterton today in practice for the weekend’s rounds of the Ford EcoBoost-powered MSA Formula Championship. Nineteen-year-old Collard suffered a brake problem in the day’s first session which hampered his progress, but be bounced back in the afternoon to set a time less than three-tenths shy of Norfolk pacesetter Colton Herta.

Herta, the youngest driver in the field, topped all three of the day’s sessions to buoy his hopes ahead of rounds 16, 17 and 18 of the UK’s leading youth-training single-seater series.

Carlin driver Colton’s best lap around the three-mile Snetterton 300 track was achieved in 1m 50.764s, more than a second under the best time achieved there in the March pre-season test. His team-mate Lando Norris ran him closest, with Collard third quickest.

Said Colton: “I’m happy with that and I think there is more time to come. I like this track but it’s going to be tough to pass in the races so pole is going to be important…”

Collard, who takes a 25-point championship lead into the second half of the season, said: “We had a mechanical failure this morning, with a brake calliper, which caused me a bit of a scary moment going into the hairpin, so the second session was our first proper session and we were struggling a bit. The track was changing, and a bit slower, and we had to play catch-up a little.

“The plan for the weekend is to try to increase the points gap. We are in the driving seat now and as long as we don’t do anything silly it should be OK.”

Official qualifying is set for 11am tomorrow ahead of a 1510 start for the championship’s 16th round. There are two further races on Sunday, the second of which will be screened live on ITV4 at 1520.

Leading testing times Snetterton 7 August 2015 (sessions 1/2/3)
1 Colton HERTA / USA / Carlin 1:50.878 / 1:51.209 / 1:50.764
2 Lando NORRIS / GBR / Carlin 1:51.526 / 1:51.731 / 1:50.852
3 Ricky COLLARD / GBR / TRS Arden 1:53.009 / 1:51.746 / 1:51.047
4 Sandy MITCHELL / GBR / TRS Arden 1:53.020 / 1:51.930 / 1:51.211
5 Daniel TICKTUM / GBR / Fortec 1:51.616 / 1:51.303 / 1:51.668
6 Tarun REDDY / IND / Double R 1:52.551 / 1:52.380 / 1:51.723
7 Jack BARLOW / GBR / MBM 1:53.144 / 1:52.174 / 1:51.730
8 Matheus LEIST / BRA / Double R 1:52.076 / 1:52.477 / 1:52.021
9 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR 1:52.866 / 1:52.346 / 1:52.051
10 Petru FLORESCU / ROU / Carlin 1:52.154 / 1:52.377 / 1:52.064 etc

Full times