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Macau F3: Alex Lynn sets early pace in Thursday practice

Alex Lynn

Britain's Alex Lynn topped the opening free practice session for the Macau Grand Prix.

A late run of two quick laps propelled the 2012 pole winner to the head of the times in his Prema Powerteam Dallara-Mercedes, allowing him to edge out last year's race victor Antonio Felix da Costa by six hundredths of a second.

The session began with light rain making the track slippery at the final two corners, Fisherman's Bend and R Bend.

This caught out Carlos Sainz Jr, who lost the rear end of his Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen at Fisherman's just 12 minutes into the 45-minute session and ricocheted into the barriers rear-end first.

Eleven minutes later, team-mate Jordan King understeered into the Armco at the same corner.

"The car felt nice, but I was cautious in those last two corners because I saw Carlos and Jordan stick it in," Lynn said. "It all felt really good.

"It's nice to carry on my form from last year [when Lynn was with Fortec Motorsport], and I think that the fact that we're competitive is a weight off Prema's mind [after the team struggled in Macau last year]."

Da Costa's Carlin machine just pipped fellow F3 returnee Stefano Coletti to second place.

The Monegasque lightly hit the wall at the Melco hairpin in the closing minutes but brought his EuroInternational Dallara-Merc back to the pits.

Felix Rosenqvist was also close at hand in fourth place.

The Swede had been set to go top in his Mucke Motorsport Dallara-Merc after a lap that featured the best split time in the tricky middle sector, but then he crashed at San Francisco Bend.

"I ran wide at Lisboa [the preceding corner] and got shit on my tyres," explained the European F3 Championship runner-up.

Alexander Sims was fifth fastest in T-Sport's ThreeBond/Nissan-powered Dallara, just ahead of Carlin-run Jazeman Jaafar.

Tom Blomqvist was the best of the Fortec contingent in seventh, ahead of steady-starting European F3 champ Raffaele Marciello and Prema team-mate Lucas Auer, with Double R Racing's Kevin Korjus rounding out the top 10.

The others not to complete the session due to incidents were former Macau GP podium finisher Yuhi Sekiguchi, Lucas Wolf and Sun Zheng.

Pos Driver                  Team/Car                        Time        Gap  
 1. Alex Lynn               Prema Dallara-Merc              2m14.495s
 2. Antonio Felix da Costa  Carlin Dallara-VW               2m14.556s   +0.061s
 3. Stefano Coletti         Eurointernational Dallara-Merc  2m14.603s   +0.108s
 4. Felix Rosenqvist        Mucke Dallara-Merc              2m14.662s   +0.167s
 5. Alexander Sims          T-Sport Dallara-Nissan          2m14.849s   +0.354s
 6. Jazeman Jaafar          Carlin Dallara-VW               2m14.864s   +0.369s
 7. Tom Blomqvist           Fortec Dallara-Merc             2m15.169s   +0.674s
 8. Raffaele Marciello      Prema Dallara-Merc              2m15.181s   +0.686s
 9. Lucas Auer              Prema Dallara-Merc              2m15.247s   +0.752s
10. Kevin Korjus            Double R Dallara-Merc           2m15.384s   +0.889s
11. Will Buller             Fortec Dallara-Merc             2m15.449s   +0.954s
12. Pipo Derani             Fortec Dallara-Merc             2m15.796s   +1.301s
13. Harry Tincknell         Carlin Dallara-VW               2m16.410s   +1.915s
14. Antonio Giovinazzi      Double R Dallara-Merc           2m16.540s   +2.045s
15. Lucas Wolf              URD Dallara-Mercedes            2m16.591s   +2.096s
16. Dennis van de Laar      Mucke Dallara-Merc              2m16.627s   +2.132s
17. Yuichi Nakayama         TOM'S Dallara-Toyota            2m16.943s   +2.448s
18. Esteban Ocon            Prema Dallara-Merc              2m17.474s   +2.979s
19. Nicholas Latifi         Carlin Dallara-VW               2m17.867s   +3.372s
20. John Bryant-Meisner     Fortec Dallara-Merc             2m18.081s   +3.586s
21. Carlos Sainz Jr         Carlin Dallara-VW               2m18.453s   +3.958s
22. Ed Jones                Fortec Dallara-Merc             2m18.872s   +4.377s
23. Katsumasa Chiyo         B-Max Dallara-Toyota            2m19.488s   +4.993s
24. Nelson Mason            Zeller Dallara-Merc             2m19.719s   +5.224s
25. Yuhi Sekiguchi          Mucke Dallara-Merc              2m20.095s   +5.600s
26. Sean Gelael             Double R Dallara-Merc           2m20.311s   +5.816s
27. Jordan King             Carlin Dallara-VW               2m21.234s   +6.739s
28. Sun Zheng               Double R Dallara-Merc           2m26.053s  +11.558s

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