Young Gloucestershire racing star Zak O’Sullivan is finally set for his competitive debut in the British F4 championship as a season delayed for four months by coronavirus gets underway at Donington Park this weekend.
The 15-year-old will drive for the renowned Carlin team for his maiden year in single-seaters, following in the footsteps of former Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel and new Ferrari signing Carlos Sainz.
Zak, from Withington, near Cirencester, had a hugely successful first car racing season in 2019, becoming the youngest-ever winner of the Ginetta Junior Championship Rookie Cup, eclipsing the record previously held by McLaren F1 driver Lando Norris.
This year he will take part in a slightly-truncated 27-race season which kicks off in Leicestershire on Saturday, before heading straight to the iconic Brands Hatch GP circuit next weekend (August 8-9).
Assessing his preparations ahead of the season, Zak said: “We’ve done four test days since lockdown was eased, which isn’t that many, but we did two or three times that amount before the season was originally due to start.
“About 95 per cent of the work was done then – these test days have just been about getting back into it and we are quite happy with where we are.
“However, there is still work to do and things to work on. I got used to the car pretty quickly but I think that will be the same for any rookie.
“I also need to consider that I’ll be up against a number of second-year drivers who have a year’s experience racing in this championship, whereas it is all new to me.”
Zak arrives in British F4 with an impressive pedigree but is nevertheless reluctant to set too many lofty targets for himself for 2020.
“This year I am not focused so much on results or laptimes. You can get tied up in silly accidents if you are chasing results,” he said.
“Plus, you never really know where you are compared with your rivals until you get to the first round. People you expect to be quick at the tests aren’t, and vice versa, but you never know what tyres they’re on or what fuel loads they’re running.
“Myself and the team’s focus is to keep improving and hopefully the results will follow.
“Donington Park is a cool circuit to start on. It’s a difficult place to get right and be consistent on, as the exits from the corners are so important.
“It does tend to provide brilliant racing, so I’m really looking forward to it.”
Qualifying takes place on Saturday at 10.30am with the first of the weekend’s three races at 2.45pm. Sunday’s races are at 9.40am and 3.20pm, with the third and final race live on ITV4.
For more information on Zak, follow him on Instagram at www.instagram.com/zak.osullivan.
Article supplied by Driver PR.