Herta wins at Rockingham

Colton Herta

Colton Herta took his third win of the season in the final MSA Formula Championship race of the weekend at Rockingham yesterday. The American racer led Lando Norris over the line in the closest finish so far of the 2015 season. Herta and Norris’ one-two finish was complimented by a fifth place for Petru Florescu, who had been well in the fight for third throughout the race. Norris leaves Rockingham with a lead of 17 points in the championship.

In a reverse of Saturday's race one, it was Herta's turn to start from pole on Sunday afternoon, with Norris starting from second, while Florescu started sixth. As the lights went out, Herta made a strong start, leading Norris into the hairpin, but a few corners later Daniel Ticktum was able to pass Norris for second and behind Norris was a fast starting Florescu in fourth.

The safety car was needed to recover the car of Sennan Fielding on lap two, with Herta still leading from Ticktum, Norris and Florescu. As the racing got underway once again, Herta made a good restart to maintain the lead, with a gap of just over a second from Ticktum. As Herta managed to pull away, Ticktum came under increasing pressure from Norris, with the Carlin man managing to find a way through into second.

Florescu was next to put pressure on Ticktum, staying right behind the Fortec driver’s rear wing with several looks down the inside at the hairpin. At the front meanwhile, Herta saw his gap at the front reduced by Norris who had reduced the lead from over four seconds to just over two on lap 11.

Herta grabs lead at start
Herta grabs lead at start

Meanwhile Florescu was still battling Ticktum for the final podium spot, but as the field bunched up behind him, the young Romanian lost a couple of places while attacking and was fifth. Norris meanwhile had closed the gap to 0.8 seconds on the last lap, but Herta was defending well. The duo crossed the line first and second with Herta taking victory by 0.250 seconds, the closest finishing winning margin so far this season.

A delighted Herta said, “It feels really good to take my third win of the season this weekend, as well as a second place. The car felt really good this weekend and it means even more to win knowing that you’re fighting against a really quick team mate in the same car. The aim continues to be to keep up this momentum and have a strong finish to the season."

Speaking about his race Norris said, “First of all thanks to the team for giving us such a great car this weekend. Me and my team mates have been strong this weekend. It was a tough race though to be honest, I made a good start but then Dan [Ticktum] got past me, but I knew I was quicker and managed to get the place back later. Maybe if I had got back into second sooner I would have had a better chance of passing Colton, I think I needed a couple more laps. But it’s still a good weekend and nice to leave here with the championship lead."

The MSA Formula Championship will continue at Silverstone from 26 – 27 September.

Norris leads the championship after 24 rounds with Herta 72 points back in fifth.

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