Browning crowned champion in dramatic rain-shortened finale

Luke Browning claimed the 2020 F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost title despite victory for chief title rival Zak O’Sullivan in a dramatic, rain-shortened season finale at Brands Hatch.

O’Sullivan made the better start of the two front-row starters, sending an incredible move around the outside of Paddock Hill Bend to assume the race lead on the opening lap, with Hedley pulling a similar move on Browning at Druids to take second spot.

All three leaders then slid wide in dramatic fashion at Clearways; both Browning and Hedley dropped to the very rear of the field, the former spinning, whilst O’Sullivan skated back out of the gravel on the exit at continued, albeit in fourth place.

He duly began to fight his way back through the field, with moves on Fortec’s Roberto Faria JHR’s Abbi Pulling at Druids and Paddock in quick succession to move back into second.

He then passed Carlin team-mate Christian Mansell on the main straight at the end of lap eight to re-take the race lead, and duly set about extending his advantage over the Australian.

Browning, meanwhile, had begun a fightback of his own, recovering past Argenti’s Reema Juffali and Carlin’s Matias Zagazeta to tenth, and the final points-paying position. Two more places would have been enough to take the title from O’Sullivan’s grasp, but fate intervened.

Heavy rain hit the 1.19-mile Indy circuit and, on the grounds of safety with the entire field on slick tyres, the race was immediately red-flagged. Due to the constraints of the timetable and available daylight, the result was then declared with half points awarded.

Crucially, that swung the pendulum decisively back in Browning’s favour, with O’Sullivan’s ninth victory of the season – secured by 0.859 seconds – netting him just 12 points, with Browning taking 0.5.

That meant Browning duly took the British F4 crown by a slender 4-point margin in the most dramatic of circumstances, although a 1-2 finish for Carlin did secure them the Teams Cup to add to their Rookie Cup crown yesterday.

Pulling – who was awarded the prestigious JTR Award before the race – ended the campaign on the podium with third place, a result that secured her a top-six finish in the championship outright.

Faria ended a difficult weekend on a high note with fourth on the road, just ahead of Arden duo Frederick Lubin and Roman Bilinski.

Argenti’s Casper Stevenson was seventh, half a second clear of race two winner Alex Connor (Arden), with the recovering Hedley and Browning rounding out the top ten.

Zagazeta took 11th, with Juffali 12th in the final race of the year.

Race Result – Round 26

Pos. Driver Team Time
1 Zak O’SULLIVAN Carlin 10 laps
2 Christian MANSELL Carlin +0.859s
3 Abbi PULLING JHR +8.882s
4 Roberto FARIA Fortec +9.104s
5 Frederick LUBIN Arden +9.512s
6 Roman BILINSKI Arden +10.344s
7 Casper STEVENSON Argenti +11.038s
8 Alex CONNOR Arden +11.544s
9 James HEDLEY JHR 12.701s
10 Luke BROWNING Fortec +17.192s
11 Matias ZAGAZETA Carlin +21.092s
12 Reema JUFFALI Argenti +35.188s