A weekend of firsts for the young British rookie: Lynn took his first pole position this morning and made it the perfect Saturday by winning the opening race of his GP3 career and bagging the fastest lap points too – maximum points scored in a dominant victory. Jimmy Eriksson (Koiranen GP) celebrated his debut GP3 podium with Richie Stanaway for Status Grand Prix coming home third.
It was a nervy start to proceedings with Carmen Jorda (Koiranen GP) stalling on the pre-grid and then Marvin Kirchhöfer stalling on the second pre-grid. Jorda started from the pitlane whilst the German rookie was able to take his place on the front row.
The pole-sitter Alex Lynn made a clean start but Kirchhöfer was keen to move into the lead – lining up side by side with the Brit but running in too hot into Turn 1 and having to cut the corner. This cost the ART Grand Prix driver several places in the first turns whilst Eriksson took advantage of the wheel to wheel battles with Stanaway and Kirchhöfer in the opening moments to sneak into second.
Emil Bernstorff (Carlin) ended his day in the gravel on lap one, whilst the Trident pair of Victor Carbone and Roman De Beer made contact which brought a premature end to their race. Lynn opened up a 1.5s advantage over Eriksson and set the timing screens in purple, posting fastest laps. Kirchhöfer began to try and haul Marussia Manor Racing’s Patrick Kujala in for P4 as the pack began to settle.
Eriksson began eating in at Lynn’s lead, a tenth or two a lap but Lynn retaliated by again clocking the fastest time. At the midway point of the race, Nick Yelloly (Status Grand Prix) was all over the rear of Matheo Tuscher’s Jenzer Motorsport car with intentions on the vital P8 – meaning reverse pole for race two. The Brit was glued to the Swiss driver until the chequered flag but was unable to find a way through, therefore the Swiss rookie will line up in P1 tomorrow on the reverse grid.
Alex Fontana (ART Grand Prix) did all he could to steal the final point on offer from Patric Niederhauser (Arden International) but missed out. At the chequered flag though, the day belonged to Alex Lynn – who drove a calm and mature race – untroubled from the very start.
Eriksson, Stanaway, Kujala, Kirchhöfer, Dino Zamparelli, Dean Stoneman, Tuscher, Yelloly and Niederhauser were the points’ scorers today in Round 1 of the Series. Alex Lynn leads the way in the Drivers’ Standings on 31, with Eriksson 18 and Stanaway 15. Carlin is on top in the Teams Standings with 31, with Koiranen GP and Marussia Manor Racing on 18 apeice.
The second GP3 race of the weekend takes place tomorrow morning at 09.25 local time and with a reverse grid in the top eight places, anything can happen!
1. Alex Lynn Carlin
2. Jimmy Eriksson Koiranen GP
3. Richie Stanaway Status Grand Prix
4. Patrick Kujala Marussia Manor Racing
5. Marvin Kirchhöfer ART Grand Prix
6. Dino Zamparelli ART Grand Prix
7. Dean Stoneman Marussia Manor Racing
8. Matheo Tuscher Jenzer Motorsport
9. Nick Yelloly Status Grand Prix
10. Patric Niederhauser Arden International
11. Alex Fontana ART Grand Prix
12. Pal Varhuag Jenzer Motorsport
13. Robert Visoiu Arden International
14. Jann Mardenborough Arden International
15. Ryan Cullen Marussia Manor Racing
16. Luis Sa Silva Carlin
17. Nelson Mason Hilmer Motorsport
18. Alfonso Celis. Jr Status Grand Prix
19. Beitske Visser Hilmer Motorsport
20. Santiago Urrutia Koiranen GP
21. Denis Nagulin Trident
22. Ivan Taranov Hilmer Motorsport
Adderly Fong Jenzer Motorsport
Emil Bernstorff Carlin
Roman De Beer Trident
Victor Carbone Trident
Carmen Jorda Koiranen GP
Fastest Lap: Alex Lynn (Carlin) on lap 7: 1:38.960