Ford-powered Norris sets a dominant pace in Silverstone tests

  • Championship leader Lando leaves the rest in his wake with a searing Silverstone test pace
  • Less than a second covers top 16 for what promises to be a super-close weekend of race action

SILVERSTONE 25 SEPTEMBER, 2015 – Championship leader Lando Norris laid down the gauntlet to his Ford EcoBoost-powered rivals in pre-event testing at Silverstone this afternoon, lapping the 1.6-mile Silverstone National circuit more than two-tenths faster than anyone else could achieve.

After setting fourth-best time in this morning’s MSA Formula Championship test session, 15-year-old Lando found more than three-tenths in the afternoon to top the timesheets for Carlin with a best lap of 56.373s. As in the championship points table, his closest rival in testing was TRS Arden driver Ricky Collard, who was 0.226s slower. To put Lando’s runaway pace into perspective, another 0.226s covered the drivers between second and seventh places today.

Norris takes a 17-point lead over Collard into the penultimate meeting of the MSA Formula season. “We know that we have really good pace in our car so we know that we can be competitive this weekend,” said Norris. “The aim is to be on the front row after qualifying and have three very consistent races this weekend bringing home some good points for our championship campaign.”

Less than half a second covered the top nine in testing today, with Norris’s Carlin team-mate Colton Herta third quickest and Fortec’s Dan Ticktum fourth. Ticktum was quickest of all in the morning session by four-hundredths but could not find the pace for an improvement in his time in the afternoon.

Toby Sowery was an excellent fifth quickest for the MBM team, ahead of Double R’s Matheus Leist, JHR Developments driver Sennan Fielding and Arden man Sandy Mitchell. JTR’s Dan Baybutt outpaced Fortec’s James Pull for ninth spot. Less than a second covered the top 16 today.

Tomorrow’s Silverstone proceedings kick off at 1030 with qualifying, with Round 25 of the championship due off at 1500 ahead of two further races on Sunday, the second of which will be screened live on ITV4 from 1510.

Leading testing times Silverstone 25 September 2015 (am/pm)
1 Lando NORRIS / GBR / Carlin 56.717 / 56.373
2 Ricky COLLARD / GBR / TRS Arden 56.669 / 56.599
3 Colton HERTA / USA / Carlin 56.655 / 56.607
4 Daniel TICKTUM / GBR / Fortec 56.612 / 56.632
5 Toby SOWERY / GBR / MBM 56.942 / 56.746
6 Matheus LEIST / BRA / Double R 56.810 / 56.759
7 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR 56.904 / 56.819
8 Sandy MITCHELL / GBR / TRS Arden 57.080 / 56.846
9 Daniel BAYBUTT / GBR / JTR 57.094 / 56.872
10 James PULL / GBR / Fortec 56.888 / 56.916 etc

Full times

Silverstone the venue for next MSA Formula action

21 SEPTEMBER, 2015 – With just six races remaining over which to decide who will claim the inaugural title of FIA Formula 4 Champion of Great Britain, the battle for supremacy in the Ford EcoBoost-powered MSA Formula Championship is getting ever more intense, not least between the two drivers who have been swapping the series lead all season — Lando Norris and Ricky Collard.

It is Norris, 15, who will carry the leader’s baton into next weekend’s (26/27 September) Silverstone rounds thanks to six race wins in his Carlin-prepared car, the most recent of them coming earlier this month at Rockingham. Collard, who drives for Banbury squad TRS Arden, added a fifth win to his CV at Rockingham, taking victory in the reverse-grid race, but BRDC Rising Star Ricky lost out in the main races by starting from the back of the grid after a qualifying crash. He’s now 17 points behind Lando and with some catching up to do.

Behind the two leaders it’s all getting tight in the battle for championship third, with JHR Developments driver Sennan Fielding, Daventry-based Fortec’s Dan Ticktum and Carlin’s Colton Herta separated by just seven points. Herta, son of IndyCar star Bryan, has really hit his stride since the summer months, winning twice at Snetterton and again at Rockingham and visiting the podium a total of six times in the last nine races.

While the main title looks set to go down to the wire at Brands Hatch in October, the Rookie class title will very probably be decided next weekend, such is the domination shown by Ticktum, the class victor 13 times already this season. The Rookie runner-up spot looks set to be between Collard’s TRS Arden team-mates Enaam Ahmed and Sandy Mitchell.

The other drivers in the overall championship top 10 looking to improve their placings are Double R’s young Brazilian Matheus Leist, Fortec’s James Pull and Carlin’s third man, young Romanian Petru Florescu. Falcon Motorsport will meanwhile be welcoming the return of Darius Karbaley to the team at Silverstone.

Silverstone timetable
Friday 25 September
 1030 & 1500 Testing
Saturday 26 September 1030 Qualifying, 1510 Round 25
Sunday 27 September 0940 Round 26, 1515 Round 27
On TV ITV4, live Sunday from 1510