Alex Lynn dominated the final Certina Formula Renault UK Championship round of the weekend at Rockingham to add yet another win to his 2011 season tally.
Lynn, who celebrated his 18th birthday on Saturday by qualifying on pole position, kept himself just out of range of Fortec Motorsport team-mate Oliver Rowland throughout the 16 laps on the combined road course/oval track in Northamptonshire.
It made up for a disappointing start to the weekend, when he made a mistake under braking for the first hairpin on his first flying lap in qualifying. He ended up beached on the grass, out of the session, and consigned to the back of the grid.
In second qualifying Alex outpaced his closest rival by 0.247 seconds. “That made up for earlier!” he said. “It was a really good session – and I made sure I braked really early for the hairpin on my first lap! The car was very good and I’m happy with that, especially as I had to deal with different conditions with the changing wind.”
Lynn went on a charge in the first race. With six laps remaining he had carved his way up the order to fifth, and was moving onto the back of the train fighting for second when he spun at the Pif-Paf left-hander. He continued to finish 10th.
“I was really enjoying that – the most fun I’ve had in a race all year,” he said. “We were really fast, and Jordan King spun there in front of me the lap before. If you didn’t clip the apex right there was a bit of dirt off line. Next time round I didn’t clip it as well as I should have done and got off line. I was pushing so hard as I thought a podium finish was definitely on.”
There were no mistakes in race two, in which Lynn held the gap to Rowland to around a second, the two team-mates trading fastest laps in the early going before Alex got the verdict – and two bonus points.
“I got a really good start to be fair,” said Lynn, who from this year is a member of two highly-prestigious young-driver talent initiatives: the MSA Team UK scheme and the British Racing Drivers Club’s SuperStars programme.
“I got a gap at the first corner, which I needed, and the whole race was a case of maintaining that gap to Olly. I’m very happy with that, and finishing off the weekend with a win, and I’m delighted for Olly that he broke his Formula Renault UK duck by winning the first race.”
Lynn now heads to the penultimate round, on the much-loved Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit in Kent on October 1st and 2nd, with the chance of putting the title beyond the reach of closest rival Tio Ellinas with one race weekend to spare. But Alex is concentrating on the races rather than the points. “It needs Tio to have a bad weekend for me to win the championship. All I can focus on is beating him in both races – and if I do that I’ll be over the moon.”
Fortec team manager Russell Dixon said: “Alex was pushing all the way to the finish – we know that because he got very close to the wall on the banking a couple of times near the end! But it was a great display and shows where he’s most comfortable: out there at the front, leading races. The first race shouldn’t affect him his championship too much, as he can count that as one of his two dropped scores, so overall we’re very happy with his weekend.”
As part of the ultra-popular British Touring Car Championship package, the Formula Renault UK Championship enjoyed live coverage of its second race at Rockingham on ITV4 and ITV4 HD, and was streamed live at itv.com/touringcars.Click here for the Official Renault Sport web site - designed and built by Racecar