Lynn gets re­serve role with DS Vir­gin FE team

Motor Sport News - - Racing News -

Bri­tish GP2 race win­ner Alex Lynn has se­cured a re­serve and devel­op­ment driver role with the DS Vir­gin Rac­ing For­mula E team.

Af­ter test­ing for the Jaguar team last Au­gust and hold­ing talks with Re­nault e.dams, Lynn has signed a “multi-year” deal to act as re­serve driver for DS Vir­gin for the re­main­der of the 2016/17 cam­paign.

He will help to de­velop the team’s 2017/18 ma­chine, and hopes to land a full-time drive for next sea­son.

“It’s re­ally cool,” he said. “I want to race in the cham­pi­onship as quickly as I can. It’s re­ally go­ing places.”

DS Vir­gin’s reg­u­lar driv­ers Jose Maria Lopez and Sam Bird are both set for 2017 World En­durance Cham­pi­onship cam­paigns with Toy­ota and Fer­rari, which could al­low Lynn to race in For­mula E later this sea­son.

He could be called into ac­tion in Mex­ico City or New York, which cur­rently clash with the WEC pre-sea­son test and Nur­bur­gring round re­spec­tively.

He said he would “be do­ing a fair amount in the car re­gard­less of clashes”.

The Bri­ton has fin­ished sixth in GP2 for the past two sea­sons with the DAMS team, win­ning five races dur­ing those two cam­paigns af­ter grad­u­at­ing from GP3 as cham­pion.

He made his WEC de­but late in 2016, driv­ing for the Manor LMP2 team, and is look­ing to sup­ple­ment his FE role with a WEC pro­gramme as well.

“I’m hop­ing I will be on the grid at Sil­ver­stone in a fac­tory car in the WEC opener,” added the 23-year-old. “There are a lot of balls in the air and hope­fully one of them lands.”

Con­ver­sa­tion when wan­der­ing around the Au­tosport In­ter­na­tional Show is al­ways var­ied. There’s the usual ‘how was your Christ­mas?’ and ‘what are you up to this year then?’ but one topic was prac­ti­cally in­escapable – Mo­tor­sport Vi­sion’s deal to run Donington Park.

The saga of Donington Park has been a back­story that has rum­bled on for pretty much my en­tire pro­fes­sional journalism ca­reer. In 2009 when then-cir­cuit op­er­a­tor Donington Ven­tures Leisure Lim­ited un­veiled its bid to snatch the Bri­tish Grand Prix away from Sil­ver­stone I was just un­der two years into my re­porter role at Mo­tor­sport News.

Fast for­ward a few months and the cir­cuit was ren­dered un­us­able when the dig­gers moved in and the cash ran out.

I’ve al­ways loved Donington. It’s one of those rare cir­cuits that gives you a homely feel­ing when­ever you visit. Per­haps it’s the park-like na­ture of it, with big gra­di­ent changes and lush ar­eas of green.

I at­tended a me­dia event out­side of the cir­cuit in 2010, shortly af­ter the devel­op­ment plan came to a grind­ing halt. At the time my edi­tor had tasked me with get­ting track­side to see and pho­to­graph the ex­tent of the dam­age first-hand.

The gated ac­cess to Cop­pice was wide open, so I wan­dered in, ducked un­der the catch fenc­ing and stared for­lorn at what can only be de­scribed as a corpse of a cir­cuit. Three-foot wide chasms had been carved deep into the track un­der where the old Dun­lop Bridge fa­mously once stood, and those friendly swathes of green were re­placed with a sea of cold, un­wel­com­ing mud.

It was hor­ren­dous, and I hated writ­ing the ar­ti­cle that fol­lowed, which deemed the track to be “un­drive­able and, per­haps, even un­sal­vage­able.”

The lat­est twist in Donington’s story is per­haps the most wel­come. The Wheatcroft fam­ily did a fab­u­lous job to save Donington Park over the last six years, restor­ing the cir­cuit to great con­di­tion and bring­ing back many of those green swathes.

The en­tire of Bri­tish mo­tor­sport should be grate­ful for their ef­forts, but what Jonathan Palmer and MSV can do now is take the track to the next level, and per­haps one it’s not been to be­fore.

MSV tracks are the best run in the coun­try. Any venue with that fa­mil­iar red, black and sil­ver brand­ing out front con­forms to a mark of qual­ity that many tracks just can­not match. Fa­cil­i­ties are top notch and the tracks want for noth­ing.

While Donington is a lovely cir­cuit, the pad­docks are tired and the fa­cil­i­ties could use in­vest­ment. Palmer knows that and will un­doubt­edly act.

The clas­sic Donington track with that red, black and sil­ver brand­ing out front could be one of the great com­bi­na­tions for Bri­tish mo­tor­sport.

“Lat­est twist in Donington story is wel­come”

Lynn se­cured role in For­mula E

Donington is re­stored, but could be even bet­ter

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