Report supplied by team PR
TEAM NEWS 28 SEPTEMBER, 2015 – Matheus Leist bagged his and the Double R Racing team’s second victory of the MSA Formula season during round 27 at Silverstone National Circuit on Sunday, thanks to a very well judged drive in the third and final race of the weekend.
Confirming his pace from the outset at the home of the British Grand Prix by securing his maiden pole position in qualifying on Saturday, Leist wasn’t able to capitalise on his grid topping slot in race one, round 25, but everything came good for the youngster in the final contest.
Accruing the biggest points tally of any driver over the course of the weekend, taking away a total of 54 points, Leist remains sixth in the championship but much closer to the top five. His team-mate Tarun Reddy, meanwhile, endured more misfortune with gearbox issues in race one compounded by retirement from race three with damage – he ended the weekend 13th in the standings.
“Matheus has had great pace all weekend, we had some issues with engines and what have you but we’re back where we should be with this win – we needed this,” said Double R team boss Anthony ‘Boyo’ Hieatt. “We’re all really looking forward to Brands Hatch now where we hope to get Tarun back up there too, he’s got the pace but he must be the unluckiest driver in the pit lane I think.”
Lining up on pole position for race one on Saturday afternoon, Leist unfortunately slipped to second off the start but did look set to re-challenge for the lead until running too deep into Becketts and emerging from the turn in fourth. Determined to hit back, Leist pressured for third in a bid to return to the podium positions but ultimately had to settle for fourth spot.
Indian racer Reddy, who managed to qualify eighth fastest for the opening contest despite being one of several drivers to have lap times deleted for track limits infringements, climbed into seventh on the first lap and ran glued to the rear wing of Daniel Ticktum’s car during the early going. On lap six, though, his car started to develop gear selection problems which resulted in retirement soon after.
Round 26 on Sunday morning began with Leist in sixth position and Reddy, after his unfortunate retirement from race one, in 19th place at the rear of the grid. Although slipping to seventh on the run to Copse, Leist hit back quickly and after taking sixth around the outside at Luffield on lap two, the Brazilian then got really stuck in and moved into fifth at Maggotts on lap three.
Although edged back to sixth over the line into the fourth tour, Leist got a good run out of Copse on lap five to move back into fifth and then claimed fourth two laps later into Becketts with a strong pass. Although edged back to fifth again on lap eight, Leist remained in touch with the lead group and ended the contest fourth on corrected times after a time penalty for Toby Sowery.
Reddy made swift progress from the start and by lap six he had climbed into 14th place. Slipping back a spot after running wide on lap nine, he was then edged back to 16th before recovering back into the top 15 and becoming embroiled in an entertaining see-saw battle with James Pull. Despite an unfortunate time penalty for a track limits infringement, Reddy ended the race in 15th place.
Starting the final race of the weekend, round 27, from second on the grid Leist slipped to third place where he stayed to the end of the lap when the Safety Car was deployed following some drama further back. Reddy, having started in eighth position, made a good getaway but he was one of several spinners at Brooklands and although making it to the pits the Indian retired with damage.
More drama, meanwhile, came courtesy of lead pair Lando Norris and Toby Sowery who tangled at Brooklands at the end of lap two. Leist, therefore, assumed the lead of the race and when the action resumed on lap eight, with just 10 minutes left on the clock, he led away well and opened up a lead of 0.8 seconds on the first racing lap.
Increasing his advantage to around one second into lap 11, having set a series of fastest laps, the Brazilian did come under increasing pressure from Colton Herta during the closing stages but Leist edged away by a few tenths over the last two laps to claim a richly deserved victory for Double R.