Alex Lynn has taken a stunning and unexpected pole position in qualifying for the Macau Grand Prix on his debut on the notorious street circuit.
The British driver has been on the pace since taking to the track for the first time on Thursday, when he led the opening qualifying session until being demoted to third after a late red flag.
In Friday’s session, also interrupted by multiple red flags, the Fortec Motorsport racer was 0.279 seconds faster than anyone else, and the only man to beat the Thursday benchmark of form-man Antonio Felix da Costa.
The Portuguese driver will therefore start alongside Lynn on the front row of Saturday’s ten-lap qualifying race, as defending Macau champion Daniel Juncadella fell 0.001s short of matching Felix da Costa’s time. Felix Rosenqvist and Carlos Sainz Jr failed to better their times from Thursday and will line up fourth and fifth. Felipe Nasr improved his time and was third quickest in the second session, but with Lynn and Juncadella also improving he was unable to move up from sixth place.
Lynn’s Fortec teammate Harry Tincknell did well to set the fourth fastest time in the session to land seventh on the grid, going quicker today than Rosenqvist, Felix da Costa and Sainz. Pascal Wehrlein‘s eighth fastest time gives him eighth on the grid ahead of fellow German Daniel Abt and fellow Macau debutant Raffaele Marciello.
Hannes van Asseldonk made a late improvement to secure 11th on the grid ahead of Pipo Derani, while British F3 champion Jack Harvey lifted himself from 18th to 13th. Alexander Sims failed to improve his time and fell from seventh to 14th, while Felix Serralles crashed out and therefore slipped from ninth to 15th. Tom Blomqvist lost four spots to 16th ahead of Will Buller, top Japanese runner Hideki Yamauchi and Jazeman Jaafar.
Sven Muller will start 20th ahead of Kevin Korjus, Mitchell Gilbert and Yuichi Nakayama, with German F3 drivers Jimmy Eriksson, Lucas Auer and Dennis van de Laar filling places 24 to 26. Luis Sa Silva, Lucas Wolf, Ryo Hirakawa and Andrea Roda will complete the grid.