Motorsport News - F3
Three more good finishes from Alex Lynn
3rd July 2012
Alex Lynn continued his strong mid-season form by taking three more good finishes in the British Formula 3 International Series at the Norisring and moving up to fourth position in the points standings.
The 18-year-old British driver finished his weekend with fourth place in the final race, which took place amid heavy rain as a thunderstorm hit the Nuremberg street circuit.
That built on his fifth place in race two, with an eighth in race one, during which he was forced to pit to replace a front wing. Those two races took place on Saturday in exceptionally hot conditions, the second with an ambient temperature of more than 35 degrees Celsius.
Lynn had lapped sixth fastest in qualifying in his Mercedes-powered Fortec Motorsport Dallara. This result set the grid for race three. Alex was seventh on the grid for race one, which was based on second-fastest lap times.
He was pleased with his recovery in qualifying, after being one of several drivers who needed an engine change over the weekend, in Lynn’s case after free practice.
“We just didn’t really have the speed at first,” he said. “And the times are so tight around here that just a few little things make the difference.”
In the first race Alex was the victim of a first-corner collision, in which championship contenders Jack Harvey and Jazeman Jaafar clashed and Lynn’s front wing was damaged. After pitting he rejoined a lap down, putting championship leader Jaafar under pressure all the way to the finish.
“That’s the quickest we’ve been,” he said, “and I went quicker than my qualifying time. I feel a lot happier than I did after qualifying. There was a concertina effect at the first corner – I was hit by Jaz and then Lucas Wolf squashed me up against the wall. I was lucky not to take some corners off the car. As there was a safety car, and I was really hoping the Fortec lads could get me back out on the lead lap after my stop, but that was an impossible feat on such a short circuit.”
The result put Alex well down the grid for the second race, but he made a heap of places at the first corner. He then fought through a big midfield group to take a strong fifth, just behind Pietro Fantin. The result also placed him ninth in the overall classification, encompassing a huge 28-car field with all the competitors from the FIA European F3 Championship and F3 Euro Series.
“I made up nine places overall in the race so I’m very pleased with that,” said Lynn, who is a member of the FIA Institute Young Driver Excellence Academy, the MSA’s Team UK and the British Racing Drivers Club’s SuperStars programme.
“I had to be quite aggressive to get past some people, and Turn 1 was great – I went around the outside of everyone as they queued on the inside. I think I got six places there!”
There was not much racing in the final race, as the safety car appeared on track for much of the distance due to the soaking wet conditions and some accidents. While the field was racing, Alex enjoyed a strong fight with American Michael Lewis, as they both held off Lynn’s fellow Briton Harry Tincknell. Again he was ninth overall, although fourth this time in the British F3 positions.
“The conditions weren’t that horrendous but they were pretty bad” said Alex. “I think we were pretty quick and I was just trying to make up as many places as I could. I passed ‘Tincks’ on the second lap, then Michael Lewis, but I had contact with Sandro Zeller who I was trying to lap and broke my car’s nose. I was lucky the safety car came out…
“It hasn’t been the best weekend for pace, but my results gave me a much better weekend than some of the other championship front-runners. I’m really happy to have scored points in every race.”
The next round of the British F3 International Series supports the famous Spa 24 Hours in Belgium on July 26-28, but before then Lynn will compete in the Masters of F3 race – a stand-alone event that is one of the most prestigious races for junior drivers – at the Zandvoort circuit in the Netherlands on July 14-15.
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