Lando Norris won the first race of the season at Brands Hatch, ensuring he remains the favourite at the end of the first day of competitive racing for the MSA Formula Series.
Dan Baybutt was the man on Pole. But the 20 minute race started with Baybutt falling back. It was Norris who had the best start from 2nd, being damp off line, contributed to the rookies issues. Daniel Ticktum also made a good start and was up to 3rd from 5th on the grid.
There was a crash in the first corner with Jack Barlow and Louise Richardson not making any progress. There were also problems for Gustavo Myasava who also had to retire the car. This resulted in the Safety Car coming out and the 2 leaders of Norris and Matheus Leist losing their advantage over the pack.
After the safety car pulled in the top 4 of Norris, Leist, Ticktum and Sennan Fielding broke away from the rest of the pack. Norris found himself under pressure for the lead as Leist closed to within 0.15 seconds of the Carlin driver.
At the half way stage Fielding was also fighting Ticktum for 3rd but couldn’t overtake the young rookie, he settled back into 4th as the race progressed. These fights allowed Ricky Collard to catch the top 4. Meanwhile 7th placed Enaam Ahmed continued to lose positions and would finish the race in 9th.
With 5 minutes left, the field started to spread out. After overtaking Ahmed, Baybutt had recovered to 7th but could not catch Rafael Martins in front. The Brazilian himself was 3 seconds down on Collard ahead. Ticktum was not content with 3rd position and after Leist had slowed in the final few laps, took 2nd place into Druids.
All this ensured that Norris won by 1.1 seconds from the highest rookie of Ticktum. While, Leist, Fielding and Collard rounded out the top 5.
Brands Hatch Race 1 Result
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