O’Sullivan wins reverse grid race after Browning penalty

Luke Browning led from lights-to-flag to win the second F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost at Silverstone, but a post-race penalty for exceeding track limits promoted Zak O’Sullivan to top spot.

Fortec racer Browning led the race from lights-to-flag, managing a half-second gap back to a charging Casper Stevenson (Argenti) during a lively opening few laps.

The stalemate between the pair ended with five minutes on the clock when Stevenson attempted a pass for the lead around the outside of Browning at Becketts.

Browning – hanging on to top spot on used tyres – successfully saw off the threat, which in turn drew his chief title rival O’Sullivan (Carlin) and a charging James Hedley (JHR) onto their tail.

The trio went three-wide down the Wellington Straight and through Brooklands, with O’Sullivan able to sneak up the inside of Stevenson at Luffield to seize second.

He then chased after Browning, but ultimately ran out of laps, crossing the line a mere 0.147 seconds adrift. Browning’s victory means the gap between the pair in the standings stretches back out to 58 points with nine races left to run.

Hedley was able to claim the final podium spot at Becketts as Stevenson slipped back late on, with Arden’s Alex Connor – the final contender in a five-car train for the lead – taking full advantage, the race one winner sending a superb move around the outside of Brooklands to elevate himself to fourth.

Roman Bilinski (Arden) was sixth at the flag ahead of Rookie Cup winner Christian Mansell (Carlin), the Aussie doubling up in the class stakes at the ‘Home of British Motorsport’.

He was made to work for it, though, with Bilinski’s Arden team mate Frederick Lubin (Arden) hot on his heels as both bounced back from a frustrating opening race to occupy the top two spots on the rostrum.

Lubin nearly took the upper hand over Mansell early on, but Abbi Pulling’s charge from the very back of the grid to eighth split their battle as the race wore on, the JHR racer eventually taking eighth ahead of her fellow Brit.

Reema Juffali (Argenti) took the final points-paying position after a move on Matias Zagazeta (Carlin) at Becketts, but the Peruvian added another trophy to his haul with the final spot on the Rookie podium.

The final F4 British Championship race of the weekend at Silverstone gets underway at 16:37, live once again on ITV2.

EDIT – 15:17, 27/09/20:

Post-race, both cars #11 (Browning) and #27 (Connor) received 5-second time penalties for exceeding track limits, dropping them to 5th/6th respectively in the final result.

Race Result – Round 17

Pos. Name Team Time
1 Zak O’SULLIVAN Carlin 21 laps
2 James HEDLEY JHR Developments +0.293s
3 Casper STEVENSON Argenti Motorsport +0.848s
4 Roman BILINSKI Arden Motorsport +2.955s
5 Luke BROWNING Fortec Motorsport +4.853s*
6 Alex CONNOR Arden Motorsport +5.621s*
7 Christian MANSELL Carlin +5.979s
8 Abbi PULLING JHR Developments +6.079s
9 Frederick LUBIN Arden Motorsport +8.465s
10 Reema JUFFALI Argenti Motorsport +8.685s
11 Matias ZAGAZETA Carlin +9.353s

*denotes 5-second time penalty