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Silverstone British F3: Alex Lynn takes double pole for Fortec

Alex Lynn takes Silverstone poleAlex 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
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