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Macau F3: Rookie Alex Lynn secures pole on debut

Alex Lynn Fortec F3 Macau GP 2012

Formula 3 rookie Alex Lynn took a shock pole position for the Macau Grand Prix after recording the fastest time in the second qualifying session.

The Briton, who was fourth in the British F3 International Series this year, leapt to the top of the times by 0.278 seconds in his Fortec Motorsport Dallara-Mercedes with eight minutes remaining. Moments later, Lucas Auer crashed at R Bend to bring out the red flags.

After the restart, the drivers were on their first flying laps when Felipe Nasr slid sideways into the tyre wall, again at R Bend, to cause another session stoppage. With only two minutes left on the clocks, there was no restart.

"I'm really happy with that result," said Lynn. "I just clicked nicely with the circuit from yesterday morning, and today is a great day! I lined up [Ryo] Hirakawa at the start of the lap for a tow and got in front of him into Lisboa. From then it was a clean lap - not crazy or out of control."

Until Lynn's lap, Antonio Felix da Costa was clinging on to the top spot in his Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen with his time from Thursday, although European champion Daniel Juncadella (Prema Powerteam Dallara-Mercedes) had got within 0.001s of the Portuguese driver.

But this was a scrappy session for da Costa due to the stoppages, and he also lost time pitting for his new set of tyres during green-flag running.

"Alex did a good job, but it's Sunday that counts," he said.

Both Juncadella and Felix Rosenqvist, fourth in his Mucke Motorsport Dallara-Mercedes, felt they were hampered by traffic and red flags, although like da Costa they were not too concerned with not being on pole on a circuit where it is relatively easy to pass in F3.

For more insight from the Macau WTCC and F3 weekend read our rolling Macau GP news blog.

Carlos Sainz Jr and Nasr, who improved on his Thursday time before his accident, form an all-Carlin third row, while Harry Tincknell made a major improvement to go seventh on the grid in his Fortec car. He will share the fourth row with Mucke driver Pascal Wehrlein.

GP3 star Daniel Abt just managed to pop in a lap before the final red flag to go ninth in his Carlin car, ahead of Prema duo Raffaele Marciello and Hannes van Asseldonk.

Behind them, Pipo Derani made it three of Fortec's rookies in the top 12, although the team's other driver, Felix Serralles, caused the first of the three red flags when he crashed right in front of team-mate Lynn at Faraway Hill.

Combined qualifying times:

Pos  Driver                  Team/Car                       Time       Gap
 1.  Alex Lynn               Fortec Dallara-Mercedes        2m13.122s
 2.  Antonio Felix da Costa  Carlin Dallara-VW              2m13.400s  + 0.278s
 3.  Daniel Juncadella       Prema Dallara-Mercedes         2m13.401s  + 0.279s
 4.  Felix Rosenqvist        Mucke Dallara-Mercedes         2m13.420s  + 0.298s
 5.  Carlos Sainz Jr         Carlin Dallara-VW              2m13.421s  + 0.299s
 6.  Felipe Nasr             Carlin Dallara-VW              2m13.556s  + 0.434s
 7.  Harry Tincknell         Fortec Dallara-Mercedes        2m13.577s  + 0.455s
 8.  Pascal Wehrlein         Mucke Dallara-Mercedes         2m13.721s  + 0.599s
 9.  Daniel Abt              Carlin Dallara-VW              2m13.758s  + 0.636s
10.  Raffaele Marciello      Prema Dallara-Mercedes         2m13.789s  + 0.667s
11.  Hannes van Asseldonk    Prema Dallara-Mercedes         2m13.885s  + 0.763s
12.  Pipo Derani             Fortec Dallara-Mercedes        2m14.068s  + 0.946s
13.  Jack Harvey             Carlin Dallara-VW              2m14.082s  + 0.960s
14.  Alexander Sims          T-Sport Dallara-Nissan         2m14.085s  + 0.963s
15.  Felix Serralles         Fortec Dallara-Mercedes        2m14.366s  + 1.244s
16.  Tom Blomqvist           Euro International Dallara-VW  2m14.648s  + 1.526s
17.  Will Buller             Carlin Dallara-VW              2m14.744s  + 1.622s
18.  Hideki Yamauchi         B-Max Dallara-Toyota           2m14.790s  + 1.668s
19.  Jazeman Jaafar          TOM'S Dallara-Toyota           2m15.055s  + 1.933s
20.  Sven Muller             Prema Dallara-Mercedes         2m15.391s  + 2.269s
21.  Kevin Korjus            Double R Dallara-Mercedes      2m15.768s  + 2.646s
22.  Mitchell Gilbert        Mucke Dallara-Mercedes         2m15.804s  + 2.682s
23.  Yuichi Nakayama         TOM'S Dallara-Toyota           2m15.870s  + 2.748s
24.  Jimmy Eriksson          Double R Dallara-Mercedes      2m16.015s  + 2.893s
25.  Lucas Auer              Van Amersfoort Dallara-VW      2m16.187s  + 3.065s
26.  Dennis van de Laar      Van Amersfoort Dallara-VW      2m16.559s  + 3.437s
27.  Luis Sa Silva           Angola Dallara-Mercedes        2m16.624s  + 3.502s
28.  Lucas Wolf              URD Dallara-Mercedes           2m16.766s  + 3.644s
29.  Ryo Hirakawa            RSS Dallara-Toyota             2m17.151s  + 4.029s
30.  Andrea Roda             Jo Zeller Dallara-Mercedes     2m18.140s  + 5.018s
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