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Lynn promoted as Lopez departs DS Virgin Racing

DS Virgin Racing have announced the promotion of Alex Lynn to a full-time race seat in season four, where he joins five-time race winner Sam Bird.

Season three saw Bird, who has driven for the team since the series’ first race, joined by three time World Touring Car champion Jose Maria Lopez as he looked to make an impact on his return to single seaters.

It was a strong debut season for the Argentinian with two podiums to his name, but he recently announced his departure from the Anglo-French team amidst allegations of unfair treatment.

Following a season as DS Virgin’s official reserve driver, Lynn made his race debut at last season’s New York ePrix as his services were required due to the absence of Lopez, who was away on World Endurance Championship duty with Toyota Gazoo Racing.

The Englishman made an immediate impact as he claimed pole position at his very first attempt, a feat only previously achieved by Jean-Eric Vergne, and ran solidly in the podium positions before a mechanical fault halted any chance of standing on the rostrum.

Coupled with his work ethic and positive attitude, this was enough to convince DS Virgin Team Principal Alex Tai and the team that his promotion to a full-time race seat was the right step to take.

“I’m delighted to announce our driver line-up for season four,” said Tai. “Alex has always impressed me and has a proven track record in international motorsport so I know he will perform out of the blocks as we’ve already seen.

“It’s also important for us at DS Virgin Racing to be nurturing young drivers like Alex and the next generation of Formula E racers. Together with Sam, who has consistently proven himself to be one of the most talented drivers on the grid, and the pace of our car, I believe we have a very competitive package that can fight at the top.

“I would also like to personally thank Jose for his contribution to the team last season and we wish him well for the future.”

Lynn was understandably delighted with his promotion and took the time to thank the team for its faith in him as he aims to justify the hard work that has already been put in.

“I am over the moon at being promoted to a full-time drive with the DS Virgin Racing Formula E Team,” said Lynn. “Having worked very closely with them since January this year, it has been a genuine pleasure to learn from such a fantastic group of high quality engineers and to integrate myself into their set-up.

“Indeed, I have been made to feel very welcome throughout their organisation and I would specifically like to thank Alex Tai for not only giving me the chance to make my series debut in New York, but for subsequently promoting me to this full-time race seat.

“I am currently enjoying helping the team to further develop the car and intend to fully repay everyone’s faith in me on track next season.”

Bird will start his fourth season with the team and welcomed his new team-mate as he looks forward to fighting at the sharp end once again.

“It’s great to be remaining with the DS Virgin Racing family which I’ve been a part of since we completed the first ever test lap at Donington Park in 2014,” said the Englishman.

“Last season saw us take some big steps forward in terms of pace and energy management – as our double victory in New York showed – and I know the team has been working hard on maintaining this competitive edge.

“I’m looking forward to further success in season four and to be partnering with Alex who will no doubt prove to be a real asset to the team.”

DS Virgin become only the third team to confirm their driver line up for season four, with Renault e.dams retaining Sebastien Buemi and Nico Prost, while Dragon Racing recently announced the signing of Neel Jani alongside Jerome d’Ambrosio.

Featured image courtesy of FIA Formula E Media
Support images courtesy of Rajan Jangda

About Topher Smith
Topher is an experienced and passionate Motorsport journalist with Formula E, Formula 1, GP2, GP3 and Karting all on his resume. When he isn't at the trackside you can find him furthering his own capabilities and knowledge through his endless search for original ideas and material. Also plays league pool on the side.