Fortec Motorsport sprung a 1-2-3 surprise at Monza this afternoon, British rookie Alex Lynn leading home his team-mates Pipo Derani and Hannes van Asseldonk in free practice for the weekend’s rounds of the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series.
Fortec’s trio were impressive in this afternoon’s dry track conditions, Essex-based Lynn posting a best lap of the Italian Grand Prix track of 1m 46.607s, a tenth quicker than Derani, who had led the way for much of the session.
Lynn, who was only seventh fastest in the wet morning practice, said: “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. This afternoon was really good: we went through our programme and finished up fastest.” Lynn was quickest in free practice last week at Oulton Park, but failed to repeat his pace in qualifying: “These times don’t count, as we saw last week, so I am saying nothing more.”
Brazil’s Derani was happy but a little disappointed not to have ended the session quickest: “I think I could have gone a little bit quicker because I made a small mistake, locked a little bit the wheels on my fastest lap, and I ran a little wide and lost a bit of speed. But overall it’s OK.”
Jazeman Jaafar was fourth fastest and the best of the Carlin men, the Malaysian just ahead of Carlos Sainz. The Spanish driver was blisteringly quick in the wet this morning, setting the best time a quarter-second clear of second-placed Derani.
“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.”
Spike Goddard crashed his National Class Dallara at Ascari in the wet, bringing the first session to a halt five minutes early, but the T-Sport team did a sterling job to rebuild his car and put him back on track in the afternoon session, in which the Australian outpaced his class rival and countryman Duvashen Padayachee (Double R) by a clear second.
Official qualifying is scheduled for Saturday morning, with Round 4 of the championship in the afternoon ahead of two further races on Sunday.