Lights-to-flag win draws O’Sullivan level with Browning

Carlin’s Zak O’Sullivan completed a near-perfect weekend in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost at Snetterton with a lights-to-flag triumph to draw himself level on points with Luke Browning at the championship summit.

The two title rivals made a level start from the front row, with O’Sullivan retaining the advantage on the run through Riches for the first time and then extending his early lead to 0.9 seconds.

The gap remained at just under a second for the majority of the race distance, but a mistake by Browning into Riches with six minutes to go gave O’Sullivan breathing space and he duly powered to an eighth victory of the 2020 campaign by 3.642 seconds.

That draws him level on 369 points apiece with Fortec racer Browning as the pair head into the final three races of the season at Brands Hatch (Indy) on 14-15 November.

James Hedley emerged in third after a lively battle with Arden’s Alex Connor and the final driver left in title contention, Argenti Motorsport’s Casper Stevenson.

An attempted move on Connor for the final spot on the podium around the outside at Riches by Stevenson ended in minor contact, giving Hedley the chance to send his JHR challenger up the inside at the Wilson Hairpin.

He then dispatched Connor at Nelsons to score a seventh podium of the year and take a 4-point lead over Connor in their personal battle for fourth and fifth in the standings.

Hedley’s team mate Abbi Pulling rounded out the top six, but had to be patient in order to find a way past Arden Motorsport’s Frederick Lubin.

Lubin defended well until the closing laps, but Pulling was finally able to get alongside the Red Arrow through the Bomb Hole and established a one-second buffer to maintain the position to the flag.

Seventh for Lubin also meant a crucial Rookie Cup victory, the Brit denying Carlin’s Christian Mansell an early celebration with a sixth class win of 2020 to take that battle down to the wire.

Mansell was ninth – and second in class – behind Reema Juffali, the Argenti racer continuing her recent run of form with another equal career-best result in eighth.

Roman Bilinski slipped back a couple of positions late on and had to settle for tenth, with Matias Zagazeta – 11th on the road and third among the Rookies – completing the field after Rafael Villagomez (Fortec)’s early retirement.

More to follow…

Race Result – Round 23

Pos. Name Team Time
1 Zak O’SULLIVAN Carlin 11 laps
2 Luke BROWNING Fortec Motorsport +3.642s
3 James HEDLEY JHR Developments +11.164s
4 Casper STEVENSON Argenti Motorsport +13.425s
5 Alex CONNOR Arden Motorsport +14.094s*
6 Abbi PULLING JHR Developments +20.730s
7 Frederick LUBIN Arden Motorsport +21.805s
8 Reema JUFFALI Argenti Motorsport +25.052s
9 Christian MANSELL Carlin +26.680s
10 Roman BILINSKI Arden Motorsport +27.021s
11 Matias ZAGAZETA Carlin +27.451s
DNF Rafael VILLAGOMEZ Fortec Motorsport +11 laps

*1 second time penalty.