Lynn extends his GP3 Series lead
Series leader and Red Bull Junior Team driver Alex Lynn faced one of his biggest challenges of the season today at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit, resisting the determined efforts of Status Grand Prix’s Richie Stanaway until the chequered flag in an epic battle. The Brit was victorious, extending his advantage in the Series, with his nearest title rival Stanaway second. ART Grand Prix’s Alex Fontana was third.
Race 2 was run under sunshine but in damp, foggy and chilly conditions. Lynn made a good start from his reverse pole, with Stanaway and Fontana retaining their positions behind. Nick Yelloly was doing his best to find a way past Jann Mardenborough for P4, whilst Jenzer Motorsport’s Pal Varhaug lost two places at the start to P6.
After lap one, Lynn had built a 1.8s margin back to Stanaway in second, as the two traded fastest laps early on with the deficit changing each lap. Pressure mounted on Fontana in third after he ran wide at Les Combes, giving Mardenborough the change to hunt the Swiss driver down. Spa Race 1 winner Dean Stoneman lost a place at the start after Emil Bernstorff had passed him in a brave move through Eau Rouge and several laps later, the Marussia Manor Racing driver returned the favour to take eighth. On lap five, Patric Niederhauser crashed out of the race at turn five after starting from the pitlane.
The two at the front began pulling a large lead of over 11 seconds to Fontana in third, however drama was to come when race leader Lynn made a small error, losing control of his Carlin machine in a slide, which allowed Stanaway to sniff a chance of the lead and the Kiwi grabbed it. Lynn soon retaliated and passed the Status Grand Prix driver a few corners later, with Stanaway forced deep losing some time to his Series rival.
Varhaug out-braked himself under huge pressure from Dino Zamparelli, which allowed the ART Grand Prix driver through, as well as Bernstorff with Stoneman ready to attack. Stanaway reeled Lynn in for another attempt of snatching the lead, but it wasn’t to be and the Brit increased the margin to the Status Grand Prix driver to three seconds in the closing laps.
Luis Sa Silva crashed at the top of Eau Rouge on the final corner which was covered by yellow flags as Lynn came home to take the chequered flag and pocket his first race two victory in the Series. Stanaway and Fontana completed the rostrum, the Swiss driver bagging two extra points for fastest lap which was achieved on his final tour.
Mardenborough, Yelloly, Bernstorff, Zamparelli and Varhaug took the final points, with Stoneman being denied the final point in a fantastic tussle with the Norwegian up until the finishing line. Lynn (153 points) holds a commanding advantage to Stanaway in the Series (121) with Yelloly, Bernstorff and Eriksson on 95, 91 and 85 points respectively. Carlin top the Teams’ Standings on 248, with Status Grand Prix next up on 216 and ART Grand Prix in third on 181.
It’s not too long to wait for GP3 to return to action, Round 7 of the GP3 Series season takes place at the historic Monza in Italy on 05-07 September.