Alex Lynn has opened his win account for 2016 with a dominant victory in this morning’s GP@ Series sprint race in Barcelona: the Briton made use of a quick getaway and some early overtakes for a lead he was never to relinquish, controlling the pace for victory ahead of Pierre Gasly and Jordan King.
Kiwi Mitch Evans finished 14th, one place lower than yesterday’s GPR Series Feature race.
The win was set up at the start when poleman Rafaelle Marciello made a good start to hold from fellow front row starter King into turn one, delaying the Englishman just enough to allow Lynn to sneak through at turn two: the Williams tester only needed two more laps to dispatch the Italian for the lead before building up a buffer over his rivals.
Marciello looked unhappy in his car, dropping places to King and Gasly next time by, while the Red Bull tester was looking very pleased indeed with his set up as he sliced up from sixth on the grid to dispatch King for P2 on lap 6 and set off after his former teammate for the inevitable battle for the win.
Further back Sergey Sirotkin and Luca Ghiotto were keen to put yesterday’s travails behind them as they sliced through the field at will, but with Lynn and Gasly pulling away from their rivals it was clear that it was now a two horse race for victory. Unfortunately for the fans lining the circuit that fight was to be denied when Antonio Giovinazzi and Sean Gelael came together: the Italian went over his rival’s rear wheel and tagged an innocent Arthur Pic on the way to the barriers, bringing out a safety car which would last for all but the final turn of the race.
Lynn managed the drag race for his first win of the year ahead of Gasly, who could console himself with two podiums for the weekend, with King claiming his first of the season in third ahead of Artem Markelov, who did a great job of slicing through the field for P4, and teammate Marciello, while Oliver Rowland mugged Nicholas Latifi for 6th just before the safety car, with Nobuharu Matsushita doing the same to Sergio Canamasas for P8.
Gasly leaves the Circuit de Catalunya with an early lead in the drivers’ standings on 33 points, ahead of Norman Nato on 27, Lynn on 23 with Latifi and Markelov both on 20 points, while DAMS and Racing Engineering share the lead in the teams’ title on 43 points ahead of debutants PREMA Racing on 35 and RUSSIAN TIME on 30 points as they all look towards the next round in Monaco just two weeks hence.
Sprint Race results
Round 1, Barcelona – Sprint Race
1 Alex Lynn DAMS
2 Pierre Gasly PREMA Racing
3 Jordan King Racing Engineering
4 Artem Markelov RUSSIAN TIME
5 Raffaele Marciello RUSSIAN TIME
6 Oliver Rowland MP Motorsport
7 Nicholas Latifi DAMS
8 Nobuharu Matsushita ART Grand Prix
9 Sergio Canamasas Carlin
10 Gustav Malja Rapax
11 Sergey Sirotkin ART Grand Prix
12 Luca Ghiotto Trident
13 Sean Gelael Pertamina Campos Racing
14 Mitch Evans Pertamina Campos Racing
15 Marvin Kirchhöfer Carlin
16 Norman Nato Racing Engineering
17 Daniël de Jong MP Motorsport
18 Nabil Jeffri Arden International
19 Jimmy Eriksson Arden International
Fastest Lap : Pierre Gasly (PREMA Racing) : 1 :33.263 on lap 6
Arthur Pic Rapax
Antonio Giovinazzi PREMA Racing
Philo Paz Armand Trident