Silverstone British F3: Alex Lynn takes double pole for Fortec
|By Marcus Simmons
||Saturday, September 8th 2012, 11:25 GMT
Alex Lynn stole the show from the title contenders in qualifying for the penultimate round of the British Formula 3 International Series.
The Fortec driver claimed a double pole position - the first time he has started from the front of an F3 grid.
F3 rookie Lynn was down in fifth at the mid-point of the session, but leapt to the top on his second set of tyres and blitzed three laps quicker than anyone else.
It was a big boost for the Fortec Motorsport Dallara-Mercedes team, as the squad's championship battler - Felix Serralles – is a disappointed seventh on the grid for both races.
Lynn said the team had made big improvements to the car since Friday's test sessions.
"I know it's a cliche, but they worked so hard," said the lanky Essex lad. "They stayed until 10 o'clock last night to work on the cars, and it was 20 times better today.
"Getting pole surprised me – it didn't feel that good and I wasn't getting lap times on my dash, so I didn't know how quickly I was going."
Jazeman Jaafar made a small improvement on his second set of tyres from his early time, which had given him pole at the midway point, to secure himself the other front-row slot for both races. The Malaysian, a close third in the points, narrowly edged out points-leading Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen team-mates Jack Harvey and Carlos Sainz Jr, who will share the second row for both races.
Another Carlin runner, Harry Tincknell, was fifth-fastest overall but was pipped on second-best lap times by Fortec's Hannes van Asseldonk, who will therefore start Saturday's round in front of the Devon racer.
While Serralles was mystified by his form, title rivals Jaafar and Harvey both felt they had extracted most of what was available from their Carlin machines. "Alex did a stonking job," Harvey said. "It's not a surprise, because that performance has been coming from him for a while."
Rupert Svendsen-Cook marked his return to British F3 with ninth for Double R Racing, although team-mate Geoff Uhrhane lost his best lap, good enough for 11th, due to a track-limits offence.
National Class points leader Spike Goddard topped the division for older cars in his T-Sport Dallara.
Race one grid:
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap
1. Alex Lynn Fortec Dallara-Merc 1m53.802s
2. Jazeman Jaafar Carlin Dallara-VW 1m53.993s + 0.191s
3. Jack Harvey Carlin Dallara-VW 1m54.024s + 0.222s
4. Carlos Sainz Jr Carlin Dallara-VW 1m54.040s + 0.238s
5. Hannes van Asseldonk Fortec Dallara-Merc 1m54.194s + 0.392s
6. Harry Tincknell Carlin Dallara-VW 1m54.330s + 0.528s
7. Felix Serralles Fortec Dallara-Merc 1m54.602s + 0.800s
8. Pietro Fantin Carlin Dallara-VW 1m54.690s + 0.888s
9. Rupert Svendsen-Cook Double R Dallara-Merc 1m54.747s + 0.945s
10. Pipo Derani Fortec Dallara-Merc 1m54.854s + 1.052s
11. Nick McBride T-Sport Dallara-Nissan 1m54.956s + 1.154s
12. Geoff Uhrhane Double R Dallara-Merc 1m55.096s + 1.294s
13. Spike Goddard T-Sport Dallara-Mugen* 1m56.604s + 2.802s
14. Pedro Calbimonte T-Sport Dallara-Mugen* 1m56.894s + 3.092s
15. Duvashen Padayachee Double R Dallara-Mugen* 1m57.039s + 3.237s
Race three grid:
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap
1. Alex Lynn Fortec Dallara-Merc 1m53.680s
2. Jazeman Jaafar Carlin Dallara-VW 1m53.987s + 0.307s
3. Jack Harvey Carlin Dallara-VW 1m54.008s + 0.328s
4. Carlos Sainz Jr Carlin Dallara-VW 1m54.025s + 0.345s
5. Harry Tincknell Carlin Dallara-VW 1m54.121s + 0.441s
6. Hannes van Asseldonk Fortec Dallara-Merc 1m54.162s + 0.482s
7. Felix Serralles Fortec Dallara-Merc 1m54.516s + 0.836s
8. Pietro Fantin Carlin Dallara-VW 1m54.573s + 0.893s
9. Rupert Svendsen-Cook Double R Dallara-Merc 1m54.685s + 1.005s
10. Pipo Derani Fortec Dallara-Merc 1m54.731s + 1.051s
11. Nick McBride T-Sport Dallara-Nissan 1m54.937s + 1.257s
12. Geoff Uhrhane Double R Dallara-Merc 1m55.023s + 1.343s
13. Spike Goddard T-Sport Dallara-Mugen* 1m56.420s + 2.740s
14. Pedro Calbimonte T-Sport Dallara-Mugen* 1m56.794s + 3.114s
15. Duvashen Padayachee Double R Dallara-Mugen* 1m56.962s + 3.282s
*= National Class