Alex Lynn made a perfect start to his 2011 Formula Renault 2.0 UK Championship with two wins out of two at the season opener at Brands Hatch. The Winter Series winner twice led from lights to flag to secure a flying start to his championship charge.
He led the way in two races that won’t go down in the history books as classic encounters, with the drivers once again finding it difficult to overtake around the short Indy circuit, a problem that has plagued the series at the track over recent years.
The Fortec Motorsport man began the opener from pole, with a good start seeing him lead into Paddock Hill for the first time, followed by Will Stevens and Tio Ellinas.
There was an early change for fourth place, with Manor Competition’s Ollie Millroy sliding past Oliver Rowland at Druids, while a driver to lose out on the opening lap was Fortec’s Mitchell Gilbert, who had to pull over and retire with mechanical woes.
Behind a battle emerged between Manor trio Alice Powell, Jordan King and Josh Hill for 7th place, with the latter also coming under pressure from Puerto Rican racer Felix Serralles, running with Fortec.
As Lynn pulled away at the front, Stevens began to get caught by Ellinas, but the Cypriot was unable to find a way past, while in the Manor battle, Powell was able to break away and begin catching Jack Hawksworth in sixth.
At the front, Lynn had sped away and took the win, with Stevens, fourth in last year's championship, second and Ellinas third on his series debut. Millroy ended up fourth, Rowland fifth, taking the Graduate Cup win in the process, with Hawksworth, Powell, Jordan King, Hill and Serralles rounding out the top ten. Atech Reid GP’s Oscar King and Fortec’s Pedro Pablo Calbimonte were next up, with Antel Motorsport’s Dan Wells completing the finishers after a spin on lap two.
Race two saw Lynn lead away from pole, with Ellinas holding off Hawksworth at Paddock Hill for second, while Millroy slotted into fourth, coming under some early pressure from Rowland. Lynn quickly began to pull away at the front, with Ellinas also breaking away from Hawksworth behind.
Behind, eleventh placed Powell ran into problems on lap eight with a spin at Graham Hill bend, with Serralles narrowly avoiding her car. Running closely in front of her were the Kings, with Atech's Oscar narrowly ahead of Manor's Josh. Racing Steps Foundation backed Rowland was having a strong run in fifth and looked to challenge Millroy ahead, until a spin at Surtees on lap seventeen saw him retire.
As the race headed towards its end, Ellinas began to catch Lynn and put him under pressure at the front, but the reigning Graduate Cup champion held on to take the win, with Hawksworth joining them on the podium on his debut weekend. Millroy finished fourth, with Stevens up to fifth, while benefitting from Rowland's demise to take the Graduate Cup win in sixth was Australian Gilbert. Hill, Oscar King, Jordan King and Serralles completed the top ten, followed by Wells, the recovering Powell and Calbimonte.
Reflecting on his dream weekend, Lynn said: “It's been a fantastic weekend I can't complain at all. I'm glad to have got the second victory as Tio put me under a lot of pressure. I'm really pleased with how it's gone.”
Double podium finisher Ellinas commented. “My first weekend has been really good. I'd like to thank the whole team for giving me a great car. This is all new for me so I'm happy with a third and second.”
Provisional Championship Standings After Round Two:
- Lynn 66pts
- Ellinas 53pts
- Stevens 48pts
- Millroy 46pts
- Hawksworth 43pts
- Hill 28pts