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

TEAM NEWS: Consistent Rockingham weekend keeps Leist in top six

Matheus Leist / Double R

Report supplied by team PR

TEAM NEWS 7 SEPTEMBER, 2015 – Brazilian racer Matheus Leist maintained his top six championship placing during the latest three rounds of the MSA Formula season at Rockingham in Northamptonshire over the weekend, with the Double R Racing driver only just missing out on a sixth podium of the season.

Securing a best result of fourth in race two, round 23, Leist began the event with fifth in round 22 and then wrapped-up the eighth race meeting of the campaign with a sixth place finish in the live televised third race, round 24.

Team-mate Tarun Reddy didn’t have anything like as straightforward an outing as Leist, the Indian racer encountering problems relating to the turbo on his Ford EcoBoost engine in the second race and then dramatically exiting the final contest on the last lap, after a superb drive through the order, when the rear of his car caught fire. His sole points score came in race one on Saturday with 10th.

“Rockingham was a better weekend overall for the team than Knockhill, but we’re gutted for Tarun with all of the problems he had in races two and three,” said Double R team principal Anthony ‘Boyo’ Hieatt, “He showed his true pace in race three, there was only a tenth in it between the times he and Matheus were doing, and his drive through from the back was very impressive.

“Matheus had a very consistent weekend, which he needed for the championship, and the pace was definitely there for a podium. We need to score some bigger points at Silverstone and Brands Hatch, that’s the target for the last two events.”

In a wet but drying qualifying session on Saturday morning, Leist lapped within just 0.5 seconds of pole position to secure the fifth fastest time while Reddy had a less fruitful session when problems led to an uncharacteristic 18th on the grid for round 22.

Hitting back well, Reddy sliced his way through the order into the top 12 before the Safety Car was deployed on the second tour and, although edged back to 13th at one point, he eventually finished in 11th – before a penalty for Daniel Baybutt elevated the Indian into the top 10. Leist, meanwhile, ran very strongly in fifth position throughout and finished just 0.8 seconds shy of the podium.

Starting round 23 on Sunday morning from fifth, Leist made a good getaway and climbed into fourth place at Deene. Pulling well clear of Daniel Ticktum, Leist remained close behind Sandy Mitchell in the scrap for third but had to settle for fourth at the flag on lap 14.

Reddy, lining-up on the fifth row, lost several places on the run into Deene and it soon became clear there was a power problem with his Ford-engined Mygale. After a couple of pit visits, the Double R mechanics managed to resolve the issue but Reddy ended the race unclassified four laps down.

In round 24, Leist moved up from eighth to seventh at Deene on lap one and after an early Safety Car period he then climbed into the top six at mid-distance. Running nose-to-tail with the group ahead, at the finish the Brazilian missed out on fifth place by a mere 0.2 seconds.

Having endured a very trying second contest, Reddy more than deserved an opportunity to shine in race three and he grasped the chance with both hands. Delivering a fantastic performance to scythe his way through from 19th on the grid into ninth position, making up six places on lap one alone, the Indian’s hopes – quite literally – went up in smoke with the dramatic engine fire on the final lap.

DRIVER NEWS: Leist to make FIA F3 debut with Double R at Red Bull Ring

Report supplied by team PR

DRIVER NEWS 30 JULY, 2015 – MSA Formula racer Matheus Leist is to make his debut in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship with Double R Racing at the Red Bull Ring in Austria this weekend, as replacement for injured category regular Nicolas Pohler.

Forced to miss the eighth event of the 2015 season as a result of breaking his arm in a training accident, German youngster Pohler is aiming to be back to full fitness in time for the championship’s visit to Portimao in Portugal in early September.

Brazilian Leist, who competes with Double R in the UK-based MSA Formula series where he is a race winner and title contender, will have his maiden run in the Dallara-Mercedes F3 car on Friday during free practice at the Red Bull Ring ahead of the weekend’s qualifying sessions.

Heading out to Austria with Anthony ‘Boyo’ Hieatt’s team for a real baptism of fire in the globe’s biggest and most competitive Formula 3 category, the 17-year-old faces a huge challenge but will have the benefit of working alongside Double R’s other F3 pilot Matt Solomon.

“Everyone at Double R is obviously wishing Nici a speedy recovery from his injury. He broke his arm after falling off a bike in training in Italy, but he’s fully focused on being back for the next round in Portimao,” said Hieatt. “Matheus isn’t expecting much from the Red Bull Ring, he knows it’s going to be a huge learning curve and a major challenge against some very quick and experienced drivers.

“Racing in FIA F3 can’t be underestimated, it’s one of the hardest and most competitive categories in the world at any level but it’s an exciting opportunity for Matheus at this point of his career. We’re all really looking forward to seeing how he gets on.”

Leist, who does have some Formula 3 experience from the 2014 Brazilian F3 Light Series, where he secured two Class B victories and several other podiums, has been a revelation in his first season of racing outside South America this year in MSA Formula.

Claiming two podiums on the opening weekend of the season at Brands Hatch, the teenage ace went on to take his maiden MSA Formula victory during the second event of the campaign at Donington Park. He is currently third in the championship standings with a total of five podiums.

Leist far from least in Donington MSA Formula thriller

  • Matheus Leist puts his qualifying problems behind him to claim a maiden MSA Formula victory
  • Ricky Collard second ahead of Sennan Fielding, with Dan Ticktum once again the Rookie class winner

DONINGTON PARK 19 APRIL, 2015 – MSA Formula celebrated its fourth different race victor in five races this morning as Brazil’s Matheus Leist joined the winner’s circle for the first time. Leist’s Double R-prepared Ford EcoBoost racer led all the way from turn one to the chequered flag but the 16-year-old prodigy was kept on his toes throughout by his pursuers Sennan Fielding and Ricky Collard.

It was a great reversal of fortune for Leist, who yesterday suffered a suspension problem in qualifying which left him 18th on the grid for Donington’s first race. Hard work and perseverance saw Matheus finish the opener in seventh spot, earning him P2 on the grid for this morning’s reverse-grid sprint.

A demon getaway at the lights saw Leist slice ahead of pole man Jack Barlow (MBM) and turn into Redgate corner ahead of the pack, with Fielding’s JHR Developments car shooting through to second from P4 at the expense of Collard (TRS Arden) and Barlow. By the first lap’s end Leist was six-tenths clear and he increased his advantage over Sennan to two seconds by the sixth tour.

Collard took his time to recover from what was by his standards a relatively slow getaway and he pounced for second place down Starkeys Straight on lap seven to demote Fielding, still suffering the downshift problems which have beset him all weekend, to third. This action gave Leist the opportunity to build his lead to five seconds and, though Collard nibbled away to reduce it to 2.8s by the end, Leist’s victory and his £1000 Ford cash prize was never in great danger. Fielding’s third was his maiden podium finish in MSA Formula.

Winner Matheus Leist: “It was good. I did a good start and I lead all the race, and I want to thank the whole team for helping me. Yesterday I was P18 in qualifying because I had some problems but today we did an excellent job.”

Second, Ricky Collard: “I didn’t make the usual Collard start; I don’t know what happened. But my race pace was good and I think we’re in good shape generally. I just need to improve my qualifying.”

Third, Sennan Fielding: “We’ve still a few issues. When I’m on the limit it’s not down-shifting properly, which is frustrating. Once you have a problem like that it knocks your confidence a bit. Everyone is trying their hardest to fix it. It’s a shame because we have the pace to win.”

Rookie runner-up, Dan Baybutt: “As the race wore on I was struggling a bit to sift down gears. That’s why my pace went off. But I had a good start and my tyres are in good shape for the final race.”

Barlow kept well in touch with the top three throughout to secure his second top-four finish of the year, finishing well ahead of championship leader and Saturday Donington victor Dan Ticktum (Fortec), who started eighth and picked off the cars of Lando Norris (Carlin) and Dan Baybutt (JTR) early on before claiming fifth from Gustavo Myasava (Double R) mid-race. It was Ticktum’s fifth consecutive Rookie class win.

Norris slipped to eighth on the opening lap and drove well in the latter stages to claw his way back to sixth past Myasava and Baybutt. James Pull took seventh for JTR ahead of Myasava, Carlin’s Colton Herta and Baybutt, who was another suffering with downshift issues. Baybutt took the second spot on the Rookie podium, with Racing Steps Foundation driver Josh Smith third in class (and 13th overall).

Louise Richardson bettered her Brands Hatch best with 11th for Richardson Racing, ahead of Jack Butel (SWB), whose 12th was a personal best, Smith and JTR’s rookie Ameya Vaidyanathan. Rafael Martins (SWB) was delayed towards the end with a flapping front wing but survived to complete the top 15.

Sandy Mitchell’s race was run after six laps after he and his TRS Arden team-mate Enaam Ahmed clashed while disputing 11th place. Mitchell spun off while Ahmed suffered wing damage which necessitated a pit stop; he finished 19th, four laps down. Darius Karbaley (Falcon) joined Mitchell in retirement on the final lap when he spun out of 12th spot.

Provisional results Round 5, Donington Park 19 April 2015
18 laps / 35.62 miles

1 Matheus LEIST / BRA / Double R 20m 46.252s / 102.79mph
2 Ricky COLLARD / GBR / TRS Arden +2.852s
3 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR +5.161s
4 Jack BARLOW / GBR / MBM +5.570s
5 Daniel TICKTUM / GBR / Fortec +12.729s
6 Lando NORRIS / GBR / Carlin +16.212s
7 James PULL / GBR / JTR +20.893s
8 Gustavo MYASAVA / BRA / Double R +21.121s
9 Colton HERTA / USA / Carlin +21.534s
10 Daniel BAYBUTT / GBR / JTR +22.224s etc

Fastest lap Barlow 1m 08.140s / 104.55mph

Rookie class 1 Ticktum, 2 Baybutt, 3 Josh SMITH / GBR / Fortec, 4 Ameya VAIDYANATHAN / IND / JTR, 5 Rafael MARTINS / BRA / SWB etc

Full results

Provisional championship standings
1 Ticktum 88 points; 2 Norris 73; 3 Collard 69; 4 Leist 65; 5 Pull 62; 6 Fielding 38 etc.
Rookie class 1 Ticktum 133; 2 Baybutt 80; 3 Petru Florescu 53; 4 Enaam Ahmed 48; 5 Smith 47 etc

Double R signs Brazilian talent Matheus Leist for MSA Formula

  • 17-year-old Leist joins Tarun Reddy on the Double R ticket for 2015
  • Matheus gets to grips with his new Ford EcoBoost-powered chassis at Silverstone today

16 March, 2015 – A second young Brazilian driver has joined the Ford EcoBoost-powered MSA Formula grid for the coming season. He is 16-year-old Matheus Tobias Leist, who was announced today as the Double R Racing team’s new signing and was immediately pressed into action at Silverstone, venue for today’s championship test sessions.

Leist, from Novo Hamburgo, joins Indian teenager Tarun Reddy in forming two-thirds of Double R’s planned three-car entry into MSA Formula. He graduated from karting to cars last year, racing in the Brazilian F3 Light series and claiming two Class B victories along with seven further podiums on his way to second in the championship.

Said Matheus: “I am very pleased to race my first season in the UK with Double R and Boyo [Anthony Hieatt]; he was engineer for my manager, Danilo Dirani, in his first year in F3 in 2004. I know it is a very good team and I trust what Danilo says about racing in the UK; I am looking forward to the season and to having fun.”

“We are delighted to have secured Matheus’ signature for MSA Formula,” said Double R team boss Hieatt. “He’s a young driver with a lot of potential and has a good group of people around him too with Dirani Management looking after his career. We are all expecting MSA Formula to be hugely competitive, but Matheus’ F3 experience will stand him in good stead.”

The championship’s other Brazilian driver is 16-year-old Rafael Martins, who will drive for the SWB Motorsport team. Five different nationalities are represented on the MSA Formula grid so far, with drivers from the USA, Romania and India joining the Brazilians and the Brits.

Indian race champion joins MSA Formula

27 January, 2015 – The Double R team has announced the first of driver of its squad for the forthcoming season of MSA Formula competition: he is India’s Tarun Reddy, the reigning MRF 1600 Champion.

Chennai-based Reddy, 17, made his UK racing debut in 2014 in club Formula Renault and was quickly a podium finisher. Double R boss Anthony ‘Boyo’ Hieatt said of his new charge: “We kept a close eye on his progress last year in Formula Renault, where he did an incredible job during his first season in the UK. I have absolutely no doubts Tarun will be a serious contender in MSA Formula this year; he is an exceptionally gifted young driver and everyone at the team is thrilled to be working with him.”

“I’m very pleased to sign with a prestigious team like Double R Racing which has had a tremendous amount of success in Formula 3,” said Tarun. “The goal is to win from the get-go, and with the experience and resources the team holds I am sure this is very possible.”

Woking-based Double R plans to field three drivers in MSA Formula – Certified by FIA, Powered by Ford EcoBoost, the opening rounds of which take place in support of the British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch in early April.

Reddy began his motorsport career in karting, and was part of the Sahara Force India F1 Team Academy, graduating into car racing at 15 in the MRF 1600 Series in India. He won the National MRF 1600 Championship title last year, also embarking on his first UK campaign in Formula Renault, where he made a big impression during his maiden season overseas.

British F3 race winner Rupert Svendsen-Cook manages Reddy’s career through the Veloce Sports stable and is a former Double R driver himself: “I joined Double R at a similar age to Tarun in Formula BMW and with the team’s support I was able to develop hugely as a driver. For me, it was a no-brainer to place a great talent like Tarun with Double R, who will I know leave no stone unturned in the bid to win races and championships in MSA Formula.”