Report supplied by team PR
TEAM NEWS 22 September, 2015 – Lando Norris took victory in another eventful MSA Formula Championship race today, at the Knockhill circuit in Scotland. All three Carlin drivers endured their own drama in a typically action packed outing for the first MSA Formula race of the weekend. Pole man Lando Norris put in a stunning recovery after a spin on lap one to take the fastest lap of the race and the race win. Norris’s victory came despite Colton Herta taking the flag first, although the young American was racing with a five second penalty after exceeding track limits. Petru Florescu recovered to 14th after a spin early on.
Just as the first race of the weekend was due to get underway this afternoon, the Scottish weather once again threw a curved ball, leaving the field of drivers with slick tyres on a damp track. As the lights went out Norris made the perfect getaway despite the slippery conditions and led the field into the first corner, with Herta also making a good start to hold onto fourth. Being the first driver into every corner Norris had a difficult task and a few turns later was caught out by a lack of grip spinning out of the lead and tumbling down the order.
With Norris recovering and finding his way out of the gravel trap, Herta had moved up to third place while Florescu was eighth and Norris in ninth. While Herta kept pace with race leaders Daniel Ticktum and Ricky Collard, Norris was on a mission to make amends for his earlier spin. The 15 year-old passed cars lap after lap and just a few laps later was already back up fifth behind Herta, who by now had been passed by Ahmed for third place.
The order changed dramatically when leaders Ticktum and Collard tangled, elevating Herta to second and Norris to third. The podium wasn’t enough for Norris though, who set fastest lap after fastest lap to close the gap to Herta as the race entered the final stages. Herta in turn was also pushing hard to stay ahead and in the process was closing on race leader Ahmed. The tension heightened on the penultimate lap as the trio were three wide across the track, with Herta taking the lead and Norris second. Despite leading on track though, Herta had been handed a five second penalty for track limits, but with no radio communications the American raced on unaware.
Herta was the first driver to take the flag, but with his five second penalty was classified fifth as Norris took the victory. Norris also retakes the lead in the championship after Ticktum and Collard’s misfortune, as he took the triple of pole, win and fastest lap. Florescu recovered to 14th.
Norris said, “I’m so happy to take the win after making a mistake on the first lap. It was exciting race after that to be honest. I pushed really hard to make up the positions after lap one and managed to get back up to third behind Colton. It was pretty close between the three of us at the end and obviously I wasn’t aware that I’d won as I crossed the line as I didn’t realise Colton had a penalty. It’s tough for him but I’m really pleased to have taken the win and fastest lap which has put me back in the championship lead. We need to focus on having a strong day again tomorrow.”
An understandably down hearted Herta said, “It’s a bit disappointing, it was probably one of the most fun races I’ve had and making the pass for the lead was great, although obviously in the end with the penalty it didn’t end up that way. But still I start from fourth tomorrow in the reverse grid race so I’m looking to finishing the job I started today.”