King denied as Ellinas and Lynn win Snetterton thrillers, Lynn excluded from Croft race two winPosted: August 11, 2011
Alex Lynn continued his run towards the Formula Renault UK title with another victory at Snetterton last weekend, but was part of a tangle late in race one that cruelly denied Jordan King a maiden win.
The big news however was that Lynn had been stripped of his race two win at Croft in June for an oil infringement.
The Fortec driver has been the form man of the season, and picked up his ninth win of the season in the second race at Snetterton to maintain his championship lead, but found out on the same day that he was to be stripped of his eighth win that came at Croft on June 19 as his car was deemed to have been illegal due to contaminated engine oil. Fortec team boss Richard Dutton has said that they will appeal the exclusion.
This is the second time Lynn and the Fortec team have lost a strong result to an exclusion this season, although their Donington appeal proved to be successful. The Croft revised result means that Mitchell Gilbert inherits his first win of the season for Fortec Motorsport.
Qualifying at the Snetterton 300 circuit last weekend meanwhile saw a new pole sitter as Jordan King nicked the top spot from Lynn to take pole by 0.004s for the opening race of the weekend, although the pole would have gone to Will Stevens, making a guest appearance for Fortec, but he was handed a 10-second penalty when his car was found to be underweight.
King almost converted his pole into a maiden race victory until a dramatic late clash with Lynn led to the unfortunate King’s retirement, gifting the race win to Tio Ellinas, before Lynn hit back in race two.
Having taken part in the previous Formula 2 championship round at Brands Hatch, the Manor Competition driver looked to have found an extra gear, and made the perfect start in the opening race from the pole position to lead the championship leader around the first lap.
Lynn kept within striking distance as the lead pair began to gap the rest of the field, with unable to match their pace and really get within striking distance back in third place.
King had set a solid pace throughout the race, but the balance starting to shift towards his Fortec rival as Lynn began to put the Warwickshire driver under pressure in the mid-stages of the race, and despite King being good enough under braking in the tighter infield sections to avoid a lunge, Lynn found himself closing in the slipstream of the black and red Manor Competition car down the Bentley Staright.
On the penultimate lap, Lynn began to really attack and got a run on King down the Bentley Straight, but tried an optimistic lunge up the inside into the Esses. With King committed to turning into the corner and Lynn to his late-braking move, the pair ran out of room and touched wheels at Brundles, both spinning across the track and leaving King stranded on the spot.
Ellinas came through to steal the race win as a result ahead of his Atech Reid GP team-mate Jack Hawksworth in second. The quickly recovering Lynn finished in third place but King’s race had been ruined as he retired with damage. The race officials took a dim view of Lynn’s passing attempt and handed him a £250 fine, but his podium result remained.
Lynn had hit back in the second qualifying session of the Saturday afternoon to sit on the pole position ahead of team-mate Stevens, and made amends in the second race on Sunday afternoon by claiming another one of his lights-to-flag race victories he has been famed for this season in a Fortec one-two result.
A great start from the front pair saw them lead into Riches for the first time,shortly after which the race was to be calmed down by a safety car period to clean up the damaged car of Hawksworth, who had ran wide and hit the tyre bale at the exit of Williams that had caused trouble all weekend while he tried to gain places from the back end of the field.
At the restart, the two Fortec boys once again pulled clear, but the battles further down the top 10 were thrilling. Josh Hill made a move on Oliver Rowland on lap six, before the pair both passed Oscar king for sixth and seventh place later on the same lap when Hill got a cutback exiting the Esses and squeezed through on the inside at the Bomb Hle, Rowland following at Corum a corner later.
Rowland then returned the favour by passing Hill under brakin g at the sweeping Riches corner on lap eight, and by lap 11 they had caught the battle for fourth, lead by Alice Powell. Cammish got a run down the outside on the start/finish straight on Powell, allowing Rowland to slip up the inside of Cammish at turn one, but Fortec driver Rowland then ran wide at the turn two Montreal Hairpin and allowed both Cammish and Hill to pass him back.
Up front the battle for second began to ignite as Elinas tried to outbrake Stevens for second at Montreal but ran too deep, allowing the Fortec driver to sneak back through and follow his team-mate Lynn home, Lynn claiming his ninth win of the season to extend his championship lead. Ellnias was third with a flapping engine cover, while Powell finished a brilliant fourth and the graduate win ahead of Hill, who passed Cammish for fifth place.
Even with his Croft setback, Lynn holds a 20-point lead from Ellinas in the standings, although without the exclusion he would have had a 65-point lead heading to Silverstone.
Championship standings (with revised Croft results in place) after rounds 11/12:
1. Alex Lynn (Fortec Motorsport), 341
2. Tio Ellinas (Atech Reid GP), 321
3. Oliver Rowland (Fortec Motorsport), 233 (G)
4. Jack Hawksworth (Atech Reid GP), 215
5. Josh Hill (Manor Competition), 184
6. Mitchell Gilbert (Fortec Motorsport), 156 (G)