Leist laps it up in Silverstone qualifying

  • First MSA Formula pole for Matheus Leist and Double R
  • Lando Norris shares the honours to take pole for tomorrow’s finale

SILVERSTONE 26 SEPTEMBER, 2015 – Double R’s Brazilian star Matheus Leist earned his maiden MSA Formula pole position this morning at Silverstone, the 17-year-old beating championship leader Lando Norris to top spot by three-hundredths of a second.

Leist, sixth fastest in yesterday’s test, threw down the gauntlet early on in the 20-minute qualifying session; he was the first man to beat the one-minute mark around the tight 1.6-mile Silverstone National circuit and steadily worked on his pace to lower the mark to 56.665s with seven minutes of the session to run. Norris improved his speed to find a tenth and take P2, but could not match Leist’s time.

Matheus will start from the pole in this afternoon’s 25th round of the Ford EcoBoost-powered championship, and is pinning his hopes on staying in front all the way to the chequered flag in a bid to secure his second victory of the season. “It’s really good,” said Leist, who celebrated his 17th birthday earlier this month. “I was in sixth position yesterday in testing and we made some changes to the car… It was a proper lap – I did everything perfectly and it all worked out. I like this circuit very much, it reminds me of Brazilian tracks, short and fast. Now I have to work hard to try to get my second race victory.”

Norris was three-tenths away from his test-topping Friday lap time, but had the consolation of setting the leading second-best qualifying time, a fraction ahead of Leist’s, to claim the pole for tomorrow afternoon’s live-televised third MSA Formula race. Said Lando: “Yesterday the car felt perfect, today not quite. It was hotter out there today and I think that affected things slightly. We’ll make some tweaks to the car and I think my race pace should be good.”

Norris leads Ricky Collard in the championship stakes by 17 points thanks to six race wins. TRS Arden driver Collard was fifth quickest in qualifying behind Leist, Norris, Carlin’s Colton Herta and Toby Sowery; it was Toby’s best qualifying result of the year and also the best showing by the MBM Motorsport team.

Dan Ticktum was the leading Rookie qualifier for Fortec, sixth fastest, ahead of JTR’s Dan Baybutt, Double R’s Tarun Reddy, eighth equalling his best qualifying result, and Fortec’s Josh Smith, the 16-year-old Racing Steps Foundation-backed driver scoring his maiden top-10 qualifying result. TRS Arden’s Sandy Mitchell completed the top 10.

Today’s race is due off the grid at 1510.

Provisional qualifying times Silverstone 26 September 2015
Grid order for Round 25
1 Matheus LEIST / BRA / Double R 56.665s
2 Lando NORRIS / GBR / Carlin 56.695s
3 Colton HERTA / USA / Carlin 56.795s
4 Toby SOWERY / GBR / MBM 56.928s
5 Ricky COLLARD / GBR / TRS Arden 56.967s
6 Daniel TICKTUM / GBR / Fortec 57.055s
7 Daniel BAYBUTT / GBR / JTR 57.099s
8 Tarun REDDY / IND / Double R 57.145s
9 Josh SMITH / GBR / Fortec 57.210s
10 Sandy MITCHELL / GBR / TRS Arden 57.214s etc

Round 26 grid order (based on second-fastest times) Norris – Leist – Herta – Sowery – Collard – Baybutt – Ticktum – Reddy – Mitchell – Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR etc

Full times