O’Sullivan moves to within striking range after Snetterton victory

Carlin’s Zak O’Sullivan surged to a seventh victory of the 2020 F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost season in the opener at Snetterton to move within range of championship leader Luke Browning.

The two title rivals made a level start from the front row of the grid, with Browning holding his nerve around Riches for the first time to see off an early challenge from O’Sullivan and retain the lead – though the gap between them remained scarcely 0.2 seconds.

O’Sullivan would not be denied a lap later, moving to the inside through Oggies and Williams to seize the race lead, with Arden’s Alex Connor and a charging James Hedley (JHR) – up to fourth from ninth on the grid – following him through to assume second and third on the road.

A spin for Connor at Nelsons released Hedley into a clear second, and from there the gaps between the front three stabilised, and O’Sullivan duly took the chequered flag 0.8 seconds clear to put himself just three points adrift of Browning with five races left to run.

For Hedley, a superb performance keeps his title dreams alive, and cements his fourth position in the standings ahead of Connor, who fought back valiantly to ninth.

Fourth for Christian Mansell boosted Carlin’s chances of taking a clean sweep; the Aussie strengthened his hold on the Rookie Cup crown with another class win, and a strong result for the Farnham-based team has provisionally seen them leapfrog Fortec to go top in the Teams Cup.

Mansell had to keep a watching eye behind in the closing stages, but Casper Stevenson’s attempts to wrest fourth away left him vulnerable to JHR’s Abbi Pulling, and she needed no second invitation, moving through to round out the top five. Sixth means Stevenson now sits 40 points behind the points leaders.

Roman Bilinski (Arden) put in a solid drive to move up to seventh at the flag, leading home his fellow Red Arrows in Frederick Lubin and Connor. Reema Juffali (Argenti) emerged from a battle with Rafael Villagomez (Fortec) and Carlin’s Matias Zagazeta to claim the final point in tenth.

The reverse-grid race takes place at 15:35 (BST), with Stevenson on pole position ahead of Pulling.

Provisional Result – Round 21

Pos. Name Team Time
1 Zak O’SULLIVAN Carlin 11 laps
2 James HEDLEY JHR Developments +0.830s
3 Luke BROWNING Fortec Motorsport +3.821s
4 Christian MANSELL Carlin +9.301s
5 Abbi PULLING JHR Developments +9.554s
6 Casper STEVENSON Argenti Motorsport +10.046s
7 Roman BILINSKI Arden Motorsport +13.825s
8 Frederick LUBIN Arden Motorsport +14.917s
9 Alex CONNOR Arden Motorsport +15.975s
10 Reema JUFFALI Argenti Motorsport +16.437s
11 Rafael VILLAGOMEZ Fortec Motorsport +17.927s
12 Matias ZAGAZETA Carlin +19.210s