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.