Zak O’Sullivan responded to a post-race penalty in race one in perfect fashion by surging through the field to win the reverse grid F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost race at Snetterton.
Starting alongside chief title rival Luke Browning (Fortec) on the third row, the Carlin racer passed JHR’s Abbi Pulling at the start, soon followed by team mate Christian Mansell and ended the opening tour of the 2.97-mile Norfolk circuit on Roman Bilinski’s tail for second spot.
A dive to the inside at Riches on lap two gave O’Sullivan the runner-up spot, and he duly set off in pursuit of race leader Casper Stevenson (Argenti Motorsport), who had beaten Bilinski off the line to claim the early advantage.
Fast-forward two laps, and O’Sullivan completed his rise through the order, sending it into the Wilson Hairpin to promote himself to top spot, and from there – despite a late response from Stevenson – he was never headed, crossing the line 0.3 seconds clear to register a seventh victory of the 2020 season – for the second time today!
The result moves him back to within 7 points of Browning at the championship summit, the Fortec racer soaking up race-long pressure from JHR’s Abbi Pulling and Arden’s Alex Connor to secure fourth and take the flag behind Bilinski.
That marks the Polish racer’s third trip to the podium this season and gives him crucial momentum in the battle for sixth overall against Pulling and Mansell.
The Browning-Pulling-Connor battle for positions fourth through sixth was arguably the clash of the race; lap after lap Browning was forced to drive on his mirrors, with Pulling in turn fending off Connor to round out the top five.
JHR’s James Hedley – also penalised for an incident in the earlier race – made forward progress again from nine to take seventh, with Carlin’s Christian Mansell eighth, and the winner once again in the Rookie Cup stakes.
He led home Argenti’s Reema Juffali and closest class challenger Frederick Lubin (Arden) to extend his lead to 57 points in class – an 18-point swing in the Australian’s favour tomorrow would see him wrap up the honours a round early.
Matias Zagazeta completed the Rookie podium in 11th, with Fortec’s Rafael Villagomez a late retirement.
The ITV4-televised final race at Snetterton is scheduled to start at 11:53 tomorrow (25 October).
Race Result – Round 22
|1||Zak O’SULLIVAN||Carlin||11 laps|
|2||Casper STEVENSON||Argenti Motorsport||+0.322s|
|3||Roman BILINSKI||Arden Motorsport||+1.746s|
|4||Luke BROWNING||Fortec Motorsport||+4.283s|
|5||Abbi PULLING||JHR Developments||+4.545s|
|6||Alex CONNOR||Arden Motorsport||+4.726s|
|7||James HEDLEY||JHR Developments||+6.582s|
|9||Reema JUFFALI||Argenti Motorsport||+12.157s|
|10||Frederick LUBIN||Arden Motorsport||+12.555s|
|DNF||Rafael VILLAGOMEZ||Fortec Motorsport||+2 laps|