Lynn leads Bernstorff to secure Carlin 1-2
Alex Lynn converted his second consecutive pole of his career into a strong lights to flag victory in Austria, with team mate Emil Bernstorff closely following him home to record his maiden GP3 podium and secure Carlin 1-2. Koiranen GP’s Jimmy Eriksson took the final spot on the rostrum in third.
A first corner incident involving Alex Fontana (ART Grand Prix), who started from the first row, and the Marussia Manor Racing pair of Dean Stoneman and Patrick Kujala brought out the safety car. The Finn was able to continue as the trio made light contact but it was a premature end to the race for Fontana and Stoneman. Arden International’s Robert Visoiu also retired on the opening lap.
Bernstorff made a blazing start to move into P2 behind his teammate Lynn and once action resumed Richie Stanaway (Status Grand Prix) was in a hurry to move up the order, passing Eriksson, but the Swede fought back as the two tussled with the Koiranen GP driver making his move to reclaim P3. Lynn pulled out almost a one second margin over Bernstorff with a further gap of almost four seconds back to their nearest rivals.
Alfonso Celis. Jr (Status Grand Prix) made contact with the rear of Adderly Fong’s Jenzer Motorsport car and the duo both retired.
The Carlin pair traded fastest laps for a number of laps but it was Series leader Lynn who got the edge and achieved the quickest lap of the race to pocket a further two points for his efforts. Lynn increased his advantage to over three seconds as the race went on.
Hilmer Motorsport rookie Riccardo Agostini who had a produced a promising qualifying and was running in the top ten retired at the midway point of the race. Marvin Kirchhöfer had his claws into Stanaway but the Kiwi resisted his moves to hold onto fourth, a few seconds behind Eriksson. Nick Yelloly also had his mirrors full with Luis Sa Silva with the Brit getting the better of his former teammate.
After 18 laps the chequered flag was waved and it was Lynn and Bernstorff first across the line much to the joy of their British squad. Eriksson, Stanaway, Kirchhöfer, Mathéo Tuscher (Jenzer Motorsport) and Yelloly completed the top seven. Sa Silva scored his first GP3 point and will start from reverse pole in Race 2. Kujala finished ninth, ahead of Patric Niederhauser who defended with all his might from his Arden International teammate Jann Mardenborough in the closing laps.
Lynn increases his advantage in the Drivers’ Standings, the Brit is now on 62 points with Eriksson in second on 37. Stanaway (35), Kirchhöfer (26) and Tuscher (24) complete the top five.