O’Sullivan edges out Browning in rain-soaked opening practice

Carlin’s Zak O’Sullivan narrowly pipped chief title rival Luke Browning (Fortec) to the quickest time in the opening F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost practice session of the weekend at Brands Hatch.

O’Sullivan – currently ahead in the championship battle on countback by virtue of his eight race victories compared to Browning’s six – clocked a 55.078 in the drizzle around the 1.19-mile circuit to top the 35-minute session by 0.029 seconds.

The pair were a further tenth of a second quicker in turn over O’Sullivan’s team-mate, Christian Mansell, the Australian marking his return to the scene of his maiden race win back in August with the third-best time.

Arden’s Alex Connor, JHR’s Abbi Pulling and Argenti’s Casper Stevenson made it all five teams inside the top six to continue the recent trend at the front in Britain’s FIA Formula 4 series, the trio split by around three tenths across fourth, fifth and sixth respectively.

The other two Red Arrows – Roman Bilinski and Frederick Lubin – were eighth and tenth respectively, either side of Carlin’s Matias Zagazeta, with the returning Roberto Faria in 11th in the second Fortec challenger.

Reema Juffali was 12th, but also completed the fewest laps after a slight off at Paddock Hill Bend required marshal assistance, bringing about the only stoppage of the session.

The second and final free practice of the weekend is scheduled to get underway at 14:50 (GMT).

Session Result – Free Practice 1

Pos. Driver Team Time Laps
1 Zak O’SULLIVAN Carlin 55.078s 28
2 Luke BROWNING Fortec +0.029s 28
3 Christian MANSELL Carlin +0.177s 27
4 Alex CONNOR Arden +0.473s 25
5 Abbi PULLING JHR +0.546s 26
6 Casper STEVENSON Argenti +0.744s 26
7 James HEDLEY JHR +0.815s 27
8 Roman BILINSKI Arden +0.951s 26
9 Matias ZAGAZETA Carlin +1.007s 28
10 Frederick LUBIN Arden +1.044s 25
11 Roberto FARIA Fortec +1.220s 26
12 Reema JUFFALI Argenti +2.777s 18