Dunmow's Lynn wins Macau 30 years after F1 great Ayrton Senna
PUBLISHED: 14:49 17 November 2013 | UPDATED: 14:59 17 November 2013
Thomas Suer / ts-photo.de
Dunmow's Alex Lynn took a sensational win in the most prestigious race on the world junior motor racing calendar - emulating the achievement of the great Ayrton Senna 30 years ago.
The 20-year-old led the Macau Grand Prix 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,” Lynn said. “Since I finished third last year I’ve dreamed of winning this race. I can’t believe I’ve actually done it!”
Lynn laid the foundations with a win in Saturday’s qualification race, which set the grid for the Grand Prix itself, after a battling drive in his Mercedes-powered Theodore Racing by Prema Dallara.
In the Grand Prix, Lynn got a strong start and was able to keep himself just out of slipstreaming range of the fighting pack behind on the run to the crucial Lisboa bend.
There was an early safety car, but Lynn got a perfect restart and pulled out enough of a gap over the mountain section to the chasing Antonio Felix da Costa to leave himself safe from attack from the 2012 Macau GP winner.
The gap was 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. Despite his lead being put under threat, Lynn concentrated on maintaining the advantage and brought his car home for the biggest win of his career.
“I had quite a lot of understeer in the qualification race, and on the data it showed that my team-mate Raffaele Marciello was quicker than me in the last corner,” Lynn added.
“Because it can be a disadvantage starting from pole owing to the slipstream I thought I might have to battle through, so we set the car up to have some good front end for my corner exits. That meant that in the last few laps the rear end was going away.
“As the gap came down I thought, ‘Hang on, hang on, hang on’. I did it in the end! I was pushing like crazy and counting down the laps.”
It was a nervous final few laps, but Lynn emulated six previous Theodore Racing winners of the Macau Grand Prix, including Senna in 1983.
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, his reward for finishing third in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship.