Fortec Motorsport’s Alex Lynn cruised to an impressive victory in round one of the Formula Renault 2.0 UK Championship today at Brands Hatch. Oliver Rowland won the Graduate Cup and finished an impressive fifth overall.
Pole-man Alex Lynn made the most of his grid position and launched into a strong early lead whilst alongside him, Will Stevens, a guest entrant this weekend from Formula Renault 2.0 Euro Cup, didn’t have such luck away from the line in his Fortec Competition car.
Lynn was 1.3 seconds to the good at the end of the first lap, and drove faultlessly to secure the opening race win of the season and delivered a measured performance to stay out of reach of the pursuing pack.
“I was confident I could get a good start from pole position,” said Lynn, “and when I came round Paddock Hill bend I could see there was a gap behind, so I was able to push and knew I didn’t need to worry about defending. I tried hard to get the fastest lap, but was able to back off towards the end and conserve the car. I’ll now try to double-up in the second race later.”
Try as he might, Stevens was unable to close the gap ahead, concerned as he was by the threat posed by Tio Ellinas (Atech Reid GP) from behind.
“I didn’t make the best of starts, and I knew that was my best chance to get the lead,” said Stevens. “I tried to keep up with Alex, but also had to focus on keeping Tio behind.”
Ellinas had made a good start from the line, but found himself defending hard against Manor Competition’s Ollie Millroy up Hailwood Hill before settling into a race-long attempt to get past Stevens, with the added pressure of Millroy behind.
“I’m happy with a podium finish in my first race,” said Ellinas. “I got a good start but it was difficult to pass will and also defend from Millroy at the same time.”
Millroy would later produce the fastest lap of the race, and create a new lap record, with a blistering time of 43.803 seconds.
A grid of fourteen cars saw lots of close racing throughout, but despite it being the first race of the season, notorious Paddock Hill bend surprisingly claimed no victims.
However, Antel Motorsport’s Dan Wells was lucky not to collect anyone after a spin at Graham Hill bend saw cars diving all over to escape his path. Wells ended up beached on the grass and soon re-joined.
Graduate cup winner, Ollie Rowland had a solid race to fifth and finished just 3.5 second behind leader, Lynn.
“The pace was good, but its difficult to overtake, I held fourth place at the start of the race, but then got backed up at druids and dropped to fifth. Will doesn’t score; so fourth in the points is a good start to the year,” said Rowland.
1: Alex Lynn Fortec Motorsport 17:45.898
2: Will Stevens Fortec Competition +1.979
3: Tio Ellinas Atech Reid GP +2.176
4: Ollie Millroy Manor Competition +3.037
5: Oliver Rowland Fortec Motorsport +3.595
6: Jack Hawksworth Mark Burdett Motorsport +8.028
7: Alice Powell Manor Competition +8.438
8: Jordan King Manor Competition +12.025
9: Josh Hill Manor Competition +12.938
10: Felix Serralles Fortec Competition +16.223