Zak O’Sullivan insists he isn’t thinking about the championship yet despite being the man to beat in the opening six rounds of the 2020 F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost season.
The Carlin racer banked another two victories from pole position at the ultra-challenging Brands Hatch GP circuit last weekend [08-09 August], extending his lead over Luke Browning (Fortec) in the standings to 18 points.
Both those wins were delivered in fine fashion, leading from lights-to-flag after soaking up the pressure from Browning and Arden’s Alex Connor – third on the road and in the points – on both occasions by a few tenths of a second.
On a circuit where overtaking is notoriously tough and following another car can affect performance, O’Sullivan admits pole position – his first in the series – was a big boost.
“Getting the double pole certainly helped me here,” he explains.
“It’s pretty hard to overtake at this circuit so I felt like I had things under control in the lead. It doesn’t make for the most exciting races, but I’m not complaining!
“Brands isn’t one of my favourite tracks but I like driving it in qualifying. In the races, it is quite a high-risk circuit, so it is all about risk management from the start.
“Plus, it was a very hot weekend! It peaked at 37 degrees just before the first race and I spent most of the time out of the car with the air conditioning on in the truck. But once you’re in the race, it’s not that bad.”
The Brit suffered his first DNF of the season in the reverse-grid contest, a drivetrain component failure forcing the #51 into pit lane around half-distance, though team mate Christian Mansell kept the blue corner of the paddock on top in O’Sullivan’s absence with his maiden triumph.
“Race two was unlucky but it was nobody’s fault. It was a problem that had never happened before,” says O’Sullivan.
With six rounds behind him, and twenty still to go, O’Sullivan refuses to be drawn on his title aspirations, insisting that his method centres on taking the maximum number of points from each race weekend.
“I’m not really thinking about the championship. I’m just focusing on myself and getting the most I can out of every weekend,” he said.
“It is a bit of a surprise to be doing so well as we weren’t that fast in pre-season testing.”
Britain’s FIA Formula 4 series heads next to Oulton Park in just under a fortnight, another circuit where qualifying usually has a large say in the race.
“I quite like Oulton Park, it’s similar to Brands Hatch as it’s difficult to overtake there,” said O’Sullivan.
“I’d quite happily do more back-to-back weekends but I think the team are thankful for the break!”