Zak O’Sullivan charges clear to win Knockhill reverse grid race

Carlin’s Zak O’Sullivan picked his way through the early chaos and charged to a fourth victory of the 2020 F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost season at Knockhill.

O’Sullivan – starting third – assumed the lead on the opening tour of the 1.26-mile Fife circuit after polesitter Abbi Pulling (JHR) and Arden’s Roman Bilinski made contact under braking for Duffus Dip.

With the safety car deployed to recover Pulling’s stricken car from the gravel, O’Sullivan had to make the perfect restart, with championship rival and current points leader Luke Browning (Fortec) looming in the mirrors, third behind Bilinski.

O’Sullivan made no mistake, charging clear when the race resumed and stretching his lead to some 3.415 seconds at the chequered flag.

The result moves him to within 28 points of Browning, and he smashed his own race lap record in the process with a blistering 49.380.

Browning consoled himself with the runner-up spot after a bold lunge to the inside of Bilinski at Duffus Dip; the Arden racer had to rejoin across the astroturf on the inside and slotted into third.

The final spot on the podium would go to his team mate Alex Connor, however, the Dubai-based Brit capitalising on a small error for Bilinski out of Clark to send a move down the inside of Taylor’s Hairpin and assume third.

Casper Stevenson (Argenti) kept a strong recent run of form going in fourth, with Bilinski rounding out the top five.

James Hedley (JHR) was a notable sixth after a stunning drive through the field; the BRDC Rising Star set the fastest lap of the race whilst making up four positions in the opening exchanges, and then gradually picked his rivals off one-by-one to bank a strong haul of points.

Christian Mansell extended his Rookie Cup points lead with another class victory, the Australian’s fifth of the campaign, with Rafael Villagomez (Fortec) second in class and eighth on the road just behind.

Nat Hodgkiss (JHR) equalled his career-best result in ninth, and Matias Zagazeta (Carlin) made a welcome return to the points in tenth, the pair separated by just a tenth of a second across the line.

The battle for 11th, 12th and 13th was as thrilling as anything else on track; Frederick Lubin (Arden) triumphed after a superb dice with Reema Juffali and Nico Pino (both Argenti), including a tense three-wide moment into Taylor’s and some close-quarters action at MacIntyres.

Juffali beat team mate Pino to the flag by 0.2 seconds to round out the 13 finishers, with Roberto Faria (Fortec) the only other non-finisher after a spin at the hairpin late on.

The ITV2-televised final race of the weekend gets underway at 16:00 (BST).

More to follow…