Alex Lynn joins list of motorsport greats

First published in Sport

ALEX Lynn has joined an illustrious list of motorsport names that includes Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher in winning the Macau Grand Prix.

The 21-year-old underlined his potential to become a future star of Formula 1 by backing up his position as top rookie driver in this year’s European Formula 3 Championship and claiming the biggest title of his career so far.

Lynn took a sensational win in the most prestigious race on the world junior motor racing calendar in Macau.

Having finished third in his first Macau appearance last year, the rising British star led the main race from start to finish, fending off 2012 winner Antonio Felix da Costa in a high-pressure chase to take an emotional victory by just over a second.

“I can’t put into words how I feel,” he said.

“Since I finished third last year I’ve dreamed of winning this race.

“I can’t believe I’ve actually done it.”

There is a long and notable list of drivers who have competed at the Asian event and progressed on to the pinnacle of motorsport in Formula 1, with previous winners aside from Senna and Michael Schumacher including David Coulthard, Takuma Sato, Ralf Schumacher and Maurício Gugelmin.

Lynn, who is from Dunmow near Braintree, laid the foundations for his victory with a win in the qualification race, which set the grid for the Grand Prix itself, after a battling drive in his Mercedes-powered Theodore Racing by Prema Dallara.

He made a strong start to the main event and was able to keep himself just out of slipstreaming range of the fighting pack behind on the run to the crucial first Lisboa bend.

There was an early safety car, but the Essex ace again got a perfect restart and pulled out enough of a gap over the mountain section to the chasing da Costa to leave himself safe from attack from the 2012 Macau GP winner.

The gap opened up to two and a half seconds with a few laps remaining, but yellow flags meant Lynn slowed and da Costa slashed the gap by a second.

His lead was now potentially at risk, but Lynn concentrated on maintaining the advantage and brought his car home for the biggest win of his career.

“My engineer was telling me the gap every lap,” said Lynn, who is a member of the British Racing Drivers Club’s SuperStars programme.

“Then I saw the yellow flag, I backed off and Antonio didn’t, but my engineer told me I had to take some risk.

“I was pushing like crazy and counting down the laps.”

Lynn now heads into the off-season on a high and will begin his winter activities with a prize test in a Formula Renault 3.5 Series car, which is his reward for finishing third in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship.

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