CLICK: Full race 1 results from Austria
As days went it could hardly have got any better for the Carlin team on Saturday at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria. Having already cheered their GP2 driver Felipe Nasr to victory earlier in the day, the team subsequently saw Alex Lynn deliver a perfect drive from pole to chequered flag to claim his second win in GP3 in just three races.
Lynn put in a perfect start off the line to lead into the first corner, while fellow front row man Alex Fontana had a comparative nightmare getting away that left his ART three-wide with Dean Stoneman and Patrick Kujala in a brace of Marussia Manor Racing. Three into turn one won't go and there was a collision that put Fontana out of the race and Stoneman spun around in the run-off where he was collected by the Arden of Robert Visoiu.
That promoted Lynn's team mate Emil Bernstorff into second place which is where he spent the rest of the race following a brief safety car period for the turn 1 clean-up. Behind the Carlin duo, Richie Stanaway (Status GP) initially got ahead of Jimmy Eriksson (Koiranen GP) only to be re-passed through turn 3 at the restart. Once that was resolved, the podium trio were set in place for the remainder of the 18-lap race.
That isn't to say that there weren't some racing incidents on the way to the chequered flag, however: Adderly Fong was forced out on lap 5 after a lunge down the inside by Status GP's Alfonso Celis Jr left the Jenzer Motorsport entry with a wrecked rear-right suspension and shattered rear wing; and Hilmer Motorsport's new boy Riccardo Agostini had been making an impressive debut before the young Italian was forced into retirement midway through the proceedings.
When the chequered flag dropped, Carlin were able to celebrate Lynn and Bernstorff's one-two formation finish ahead of Eriksson, Stanaway, Marvin Kirchhöfer (ART), Matheo Tuscher (Jenzer Motorsport) and Nick Yelloly (Status GP); the Carlin squad had also set themselves up nicely for Sunday morning's race 2 thanks to the third member of the line-up Luis Sa Silva crossing the line in eighth place, giving him pole position under reverse grid rules and making it a possibility of a team sweep in Austria in GP3.
After the race, Alex Fontana and Alfonso Celis Jr were both handed five-place grid drops for causing the accidents in which they were involved. As their race 2 starting positions didn't allow the penalties to be served in full in either case, both men will be required to start from the pit lane instead.
Full race 1 results from Austria