Lynn gets reserve role with DS Virgin FE team
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