GP2 Series

Lynn: ‘Heartbreaking’ to give up Petit Le Mans chance with WTR

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Alex Lynn says it was “heartbreaking” to give up the opportunity to race for Wayne Taylor Racing in the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R at Petit Le Mans next month due to clashing commitments in Formula E.

Lynn made a winning start to life in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship at Sebring alongside Ricky and Jordan Taylor back in March, and was due to join them again for the season finale at Road Atlanta on October 7.

Wayne Taylor Racing confirmed last month that IndyCar racer Ryan Hunter-Reay would be replacing Lynn in its line-up for Petit Le Mans, with the Briton being confirmed full-time in Formula E with DS Virgin Racing for this season earlier this week.

“Unfortunately the race now clashes with the recently announced official Formula E test at Valencia, and that has to take priority for me,” Lynn said.

“It was heartbreaking to call up my team-mates Ricky and Jordan Taylor to explain I unfortunately can’t make it. Whilst I personally feel I’ve let them down, in reality it’s just unfortunate timing and nobody’s fault.

“It would have been so nice to help them secure the IMSA SportsCar Championship title which they have every chance of wrapping up at that race. The good news is they’ve managed to sign up a former Indy 500 winner in the form of Ryan Hunter-Reay to replace me: that shows what a top team they are!”

Calendar clashes have been a problem for many in Formula E this year, but Lynn is hopeful of retaining a foothold in the FIA World Endurance Championship moving forward, where he currently races with G-Drive in the LMP2 class.

“Clashes are something I shouldn’t encounter between Formula E and the FIA World Endurance Championship,” Lynn said.

“That’s been my biggest programme of 2017 so far, with G-Drive Racing, and the good thing is that WEC and Formula E try their utmost not to have any calendar clashes.

“So it’s my plan to continue in both championships.”

McLaren unveils 2018 F1 car, the MCL33

Photo: Getty Images
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McLaren F1 Team became the latest to launch their 2018 challenger on Friday, taking the covers off their new MCL33 chassis early on Friday morning.

McLaren endured a difficult 2017 season of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship, with their partnership with Honda eventually dissolving after a troublesome power unit saw them plagued by unreliability and low power.

A switch to Renault power units is expected to see them get an uptick in form, and the MCL33 chassis itself is actually an evolution on last year’s MCL32. Still, the team highlighted areas to improve upon, and aims for a return to prominence in 2018.

“The McLaren team was created by a brave pioneer, and has had bravery at its core ever since. Whether it’s been with brave drivers, brave leaders or brave fortune, this team has always fought back. And we definitely view 2018 as the year when McLaren will move closer to the front, fighting teams and drivers as we improve our fortunes,” said Zak Brown, executive director of McLaren Technology Group.

Brown also highlighted the car’s new papaya orange livery, a throwback to some of the most popular color schemes that have adorned McLaren entrants in a variety of disciplines. Brown indicated that this came about from requests of fans who wanted to see such a livery return to the McLaren marque.

“Our return to a papaya orange livery for this year wasn’t simply an emotional decision; it demonstrates that we are listening to our fans, building deeper engagement with them and the Formula 1 community as a whole. We want McLaren to earn respect on and off the track, and this felt like a good starting point. We want to show everyone what makes this team special, whether that’s our fans or our partners – there’s room for more on our journey.”

The team’s racing director Eric Boullier expressed optimism about the team’s potential for 2018, but also acknowledged the season will be sure to see its fair share of challenges.

“I think the whole team feels proud of this car,” he asserted. “The design, engineering and aerodynamic departments have done an incredible job delivering a new car with a new power unit in an extremely short timeframe. We never took the easy route or looked to shortcut a process or a solution; and the result is a car that is neat and well-resolved.

“That said, we are under no illusions that it will be difficult to splinter the hegemony at the front; and that the midfield will be full of well-funded, experienced outfits with plenty to prove. We are humble about the challenge ahead, but feel we’ve prepared well, have a solid package that we can build upon and exploit as the season progresses, and have two excellent drivers who will make the difference in races.”

The MCL33 took to the track on Friday for filming at a test track in Spain, and will be run in anger for the first time when testing begins next week at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

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