Fortec Motorsport surprised the British Formula Three International Series paddock on Friday at Monza as Alex Lynn led a 1-2-3 for Richard Dutton's team in the final practice session.
Lynn lapped the Italian Grand Prix venue in 1:46.607 during the dry afternoon session after times in the earlier session had been limited by rain and a slippery track. In that early practice Lynn was only seventh fastest as the rival Carlin squad dominated the top of the timesheets, Carlos Sainz Jr. recording the best time of 2:04.274.
Pipo Derani was second for Fortec, 0.279 adrift of Sainz but still heading the remainder of the Carlin squad – Jack Harvey, Pietro Fantin, Harry Tincknell and Jazeman Jaafar.
“The track was really, really slippery this morning,” said Sainz Jnr. “With so many straights here and not so many corners you don't have time to warm up the tyres, so you have to be really patient with the car and then suddenly the grip starts to come.”
Derani – who won the chaotic reverse grid race at Oulton Park – was second again in the second session, with Hannes van Asseldonk completing the Fortec top three with Jaafar the best Carlin man in fourth 0.460 seconds slower than Lynn's pace setting lap.
The top nine in the dry second session – down to Nick McBride's Nissan engine car were all covered by less than a second in preparation for a weekend where the ability to slipstream down Monza's long straights will prove crucial to the outcome of both qualifying and the races.
“This morning in the wet we were just preparing for qualifying tomorrow, bedding in pads, scrubbing tyres and that sort of thing, so it didn't really count for us,” said Lynn. “This afternoon was really good: we went through our programme and finished up fastest.”
With the experience of leading the practice times at Oulton Park before a disappointing race day he added; “these times don't count, as we saw last week, so I am saying nothing more.”
T-Sport driver Spike Goddard beat National Class rival Duvashen Padayachee in both sessions despite crashing at Ascari in the first session, bringing out a red flag with five minutes remaining.