Alex Lynn is hoping his foray into the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with Wayne Taylor Racing can help broaden his horizons, in what’s shaping up to be an already diverse year for the open-wheel turned sports car racing rising star.
The 23-year-old Englishman will make his U.S. racing debut in next month’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring with the Rolex 24 at Daytona-winning squad, taking the seat of the since-retired Max Angelelli.
“I’m really excited,” Lynn told Sportscar365. “Obviously I was excited before they won the Daytona 24 and now I’m more excited to do it.
“I think it’s a really good opportunity to work with a fantastic team and a big manufacturer like Cadillac and two great drivers like Ricky and Jordan [Taylor].”
Lynn, who is getting his first laps in WTR’s Cadillac DPi.V-R at this week’s IMSA-sanctioned test at Daytona, said the deal came about through Angelelli, having made initial contact during the Circuit of The Americas round last year.
“I went to Austin for the WEC race and IMSA was on the same weekend, so obviously I was trying to speak to as many team bosses as I could, both in the IMSA paddock and in the WEC paddock,” he said.
“There’s a little bit of history with Max Angelelli. He has a close relationship with the the Formula 3 team I used to drive for.
“There were a few connections, enough obviously. Big thanks to Wayne and Max for giving me the trust and giving me the opportunity.”
The GP2 star went on to make his sports car racing debut with Manor in the final three FIA World Endurance Championship races, scoring LMP2 class pole in Shanghai in only his second race.
Lynn also boasts LMP3 experience, having taken part in the Gulf 12 Hours in December.
“I think what I did in WEC, it’s the only real sports car experience I have, so it’s what I have to draw upon” he said.
“But certainly, I think it’s going to be quite relevant. It’s still, at heart, an LMP2 car, albeit with a much bigger engine and more downforce.
“I think coming from single-seater racing, it applies quite nicely to a car as powerful and with as much downforce as the Cadillac DPi.”
Having spent the last week with the Taylor brothers in Orlando, Lynn feels he’s quickly acclimated with the team, although the real test will come this week, and in the race itself.
“For them to hit the ground running and win the Rolex 24 straight away, it shows that [the car is] obviously very fast,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to even more coming back and racing and trying to fight for a good result.”
Beyond the already confirmed Sebring and Petit Le Mans races with WTR, Lynn has a busy year ahead, despite not returning to GP2 for a third season.
The former William F1 Development Driver serves as reserve driver for DS Virgin Racing in Formula E, and is likely to racing at the New York round in July, with both of the team’s drivers, Sam Bird and Jose Maria Lopez, on WEC duty that weekend.
Lynn said he’s also targeting a WEC drive of his own, likely around the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the GTE-Pro class, on top of his Nurburgring 24 debut and subsequent qualifying races with BMW in a factory M6 GT3.
“I’m actually mostly looking forward to racing different stuff,” he said.
“When you come up through the single-seater ranks, what I didn’t like was that you get pigeon-holed into: ‘That’s what you’re doing this year.’
“I’m looking forward to trying new things, be it sports cars or Formula E.
“I’m looking to be be a guy who enjoys his racing and races for good manufacturer teams and be in a position to win big races.”