Norris on top again in Brands Hatch finale

  • Second win of the weekend for 15-year-old Lando Norris and the Carlin team
  • James Pull leads early on but is beaten to victory after safety car restart

BRANDS HATCH 5 April, 2015 – Lando Norris wrapped up a brilliant first weekend of MSA Formula racing this evening with a well-judged victory in Round three of the championship. Carlin man Norris had started from the pole but lost out at the lights to JTR’s rookie James Pull, who learned from his mistakes of the earlier races and made an impeccable getaway from P2 to lead into Paddock Hill Bend.

Norris slipped to third behind Pull and Double R driver Matheus Leist on the opening lap, but regained second place at the start of the second lap, just as the race was neutralised by the safety car, which was called in while the beached car of Gustavo Myasava was removed from the Druids gravel trap.

Pull made the best of the situation to hold off Norris at the restart but was less lucky after the second intervention from the safety car, called on track on lap nine when Jack Butel’s car became stranded after a collision with that of Josh Smith. Norris, an old hand at managing his pace under safety car conditions, lined up the leader perfectly at the restart to gain the advantage out of Paddock Hill Bend and up the hill towards Druids.

Norris emerged in front on lap 12 and was not slow to build a useful lead which he extended to 3s by the chequered flag on lap 23. Pull kept Leist at Bay for the duration to claim second place and the Rookie class win, with Brazil’s Matheus claiming his second podium finish of the weekend.

Winner, Lando Norris: “I dropped the clutch a bit too aggressively at the start, I think, and got a bit of smoke from the rear tyres. After that I tried to settle into it a bit; I knew I had better tyres than James so I thought that I would be able to get him at some point. When I did, I managed to get a bit of a gap and break away from him.”

Second, James Pull: “I learned from the earlier races and made a good start. But Lando got the jump on me at the safety car restart, got a run on me through Paddock and there wasn’t much that I could do about it.”

Third, Matheus Leist: “It was good… Could have been better, but we are still improving and the car is not yet perfect. But it’s so good to start the championship with two podiums…”

Jack Barlow made up for earlier disappointments to claim fourth place for MBM, which position he held from start to finish, with Dan Ticktum coming through from P7 on the grid to fifth by the end of the race. Round two victor Ricky Collard claimed sixth, ahead of his TRS Arden team-mate Enaam Ahmed. The top 10 was completed by Dan Baybutt, Rafa Martins and Sennan Fielding.

Norris, who was excluded post-race from the results for allegedly passing Leist under a yellow flag, was reinstated following a stewards’ hearing of an appeal by the Carlin team.

Provisional results Round 3, Brands Hatch 5 April 2015
23 laps / 27.78 miles

1 Lando NORRIS / GBR / Carlin 20m 13.325s / 82.43mph
2 James PULL / GBR / JTR +3.009s
3 Matheus LEIST / BRA / Double R +3.472s
4 Jack BARLOW / GBR / MBM +4.001s
5 Daniel TICKTUM / GBR / Fortec +4.720s
6 Ricky COLLARD / GBR / TRS Arden +5.221s
7 Enaam AHMED / GBR / TRS Arden +5.661s
8 Daniel BAYBUTT / GBR / JTR +5.969s
9 Rafael MARTINS / BRA / SWB +7.492s
10 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR +10.565s etc

Fastest lap Norris 46.483s / 93.55mph

Rookie class 1 Ticktum, 2 Ahmed, 3 Baybutt, 4 Martins, 5 Petru FLORESCU / ROU / Carlin

Full results

Provisional championship standings
1 Norris 53 points; 2 Ticktum 48; 3 Collard 43; 4 Pull 37; 5 Leist 34; 6 Barlow 18; 7 Baybutt 16; 8 Herta 14; 9 Fielding 13, 10 Smith 12 etc