Lynn does the double at Brands
Fortec Motorsport’s Alex Lynn demonstrated his championship credentials with a second win today in the Formula Renault 2.0 Championship at Brands Hatch to propel him into an early points lead, whilst Atech Reid GP’s Tio Ellinas (Atech Reid GP) took a well deserved second.
With talk of rain filling the paddock before the race, the weather couldn’t have been better for race two. Under the watchful eye of 2010 Formula Renault champion, Tom Blomqvist and 2010 British Formula 3 Champion, Jean-Eric Vergne, a new star, Alex Lynn, was making himself known.
Lynn’s victory was typically clinical, but his lead was cut towards the end of the race as emerging rival, Ellinas chased hard and consistently sought to get past the Romford-born driver. However, Lynn always looked comfortable, setting consecutive fastest laps and keeping calm despite Ellinas’ unrelenting pressure.
“It’s been a fantastic weekend I can’t complain at all,” said Lynn. “I’m glad to have got the victory as Tio put me under a lot of pressure. I’m really pleased with how it’s gone.”
Cypriot Ellinas impressed in both races today. “My first weekend has been really good,” he said. “I’d like to thank the whole team for giving me a great car. Alex built quite a lead at the start and I worked hard to close it. But, the car got better as the race went on and I closed the gap, but I just couldn’t get past. This is all new for me so I’m happy with a third and second.”
Jack Hawksworth (Mark Burdett Motorsport) made the most of a strong grid position and whilst unable to maintain the pace of Lynn and Ellinas, avoided incidents around him to take a strong third, comfortably ahead of Formula Renault Winter Series race winner, Ollie Millroy (Manor Competition).
“Half of me is disappointed because you always want to finish P1, but it’s a good result,” said Bradford-based Hawksworth. “The competition is strong this year and I hope we’ll be there when it matters. This is only the first weekend and you can’t win the championship here, but you can certainly damage your chances by doing something silly.”
Racing Steps Foundation backed driver, Oliver Rowland made a strong start and it looked like he’d found more pace from his car following round one. His challenge to Millroy would not last long though, as on lap seventeen he spun off the right of the track at McLaren, beaching on the grass near the pit entrance, handing race one runner-up Will Stevens (Manor Competition) a respectable fifth place.
Further back, Manor Competition’s Josh Hill continued to struggle with set-up finishing only eighth, and team mate Alice Powell spun out unassisted at Graham Hill bend.
In the Graduate Cup, Mitchell Gilbert stole the show with a confident drive to the class win and sixth overall, finishing just over 3.5 seconds behind Formula Renault Euro Cup driver, Stevens.
“The team did a great job to get the car out after the first race,” said Gilbert. “I wasn’t quite as quick as I hoped to be though. It was good to fight near the front. I hope to get a good result in the graduate cup this season, but, I also want to be just as quick as the front-runners,” said after the race.
The championship now heads to East Midland’s Donington Park on April 16-17 April, where Lynn’s rivals should be wary.
“Donington should be another good weekend for me as I like the circuit and I’ll keep trying for more strong results and podiums,” said the points leader.
Race Two Results
1: Alex Lynn Fortec Motorsport 17:38.637
2: Tio Ellinas Atech Reid GP +0.293
3: Jack Hawksworth Mark Burdett Motorsport +8.732
4: Ollie Millroy Manor Competition +9.092
5: Will Stevens Fortec Competition +9.554
6: Mitchell Gilbert Fortec Motorsport +13.112
7: Josh Hill Manor Competition +13.443
8: Oscar King Atech Reid GP +14.172
9: Jordan King Manor Competition +14.554
10: Felix Serralles Fortec Competition +18.407
Lights-to-flag win for Lynn
Fortec Motorsport’s Alex Lynn cruised to an impressive victory in round one of the Formula Renault 2.0 UK Championship today at Brands Hatch. Oliver Rowland won the Graduate Cup and finished an impressive fifth overall.
Pole-man Alex Lynn made the most of his grid position and launched into a strong early lead whilst alongside him, Will Stevens, a guest entrant this weekend from Formula Renault 2.0 Euro Cup, didn’t have such luck away from the line in his Fortec Competition car.
Lynn was 1.3 seconds to the good at the end of the first lap, and drove faultlessly to secure the opening race win of the season and delivered a measured performance to stay out of reach of the pursuing pack.
“I was confident I could get a good start from pole position,” said Lynn, “and when I came round Paddock Hill bend I could see there was a gap behind, so I was able to push and knew I didn’t need to worry about defending. I tried hard to get the fastest lap, but was able to back off towards the end and conserve the car. I’ll now try to double-up in the second race later.”
Try as he might, Stevens was unable to close the gap ahead, concerned as he was by the threat posed by Tio Ellinas (Atech Reid GP) from behind.
“I didn’t make the best of starts, and I knew that was my best chance to get the lead,” said Stevens. “I tried to keep up with Alex, but also had to focus on keeping Tio behind.”
Ellinas had made a good start from the line, but found himself defending hard against Manor Competition’s Ollie Millroy up Hailwood Hill before settling into a race-long attempt to get past Stevens, with the added pressure of Millroy behind.
“I’m happy with a podium finish in my first race,” said Ellinas. “I got a good start but it was difficult to pass will and also defend from Millroy at the same time.”
Millroy would later produce the fastest lap of the race, and create a new lap record, with a blistering time of 43.803 seconds.
A grid of fourteen cars saw lots of close racing throughout, but despite it being the first race of the season, notorious Paddock Hill bend surprisingly claimed no victims.
However, Antel Motorsport’s Dan Wells was lucky not to collect anyone after a spin at Graham Hill bend saw cars diving all over to escape his path. Wells ended up beached on the grass and soon re-joined.
Graduate cup winner, Ollie Rowland had a solid race to fifth and finished just 3.5 second behind leader, Lynn.
“The pace was good, but its difficult to overtake, I held fourth place at the start of the race, but then got backed up at druids and dropped to fifth. Will doesn’t score; so fourth in the points is a good start to the year,” said Rowland.
1: Alex Lynn Fortec Motorsport 17:45.898
2: Will Stevens Fortec Competition +1.979
3: Tio Ellinas Atech Reid GP +2.176
4: Ollie Millroy Manor Competition +3.037
5: Oliver Rowland Fortec Motorsport +3.595
6: Jack Hawksworth Mark Burdett Motorsport +8.028
7: Alice Powell Manor Competition +8.438
8: Jordan King Manor Competition +12.025
9: Josh Hill Manor Competition +12.938
10: Felix Serralles Fortec Competition +16.223