Zak O’Sullivan takes top spot in closely-fought final practice

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost points leader Zak O’Sullivan (Carlin) topped the timesheets in final practice after a series of late improvements on a drying track at Oulton Park.

O’Sullivan, who arrives at the 2.26-mile Cheshire circuit with an 18-point buffer over local racer Luke Browning (Fortec), switched to slick tyres with the rest of the field after his install laps and gradually set about scaling the timesheets.

His benchmark time – a 1:23.703 – was set with less than 90 seconds of the 45-minute session remaining, and proved enough to beat erstwhile leader Argenti Motorsport’s Casper Stevenson by 0.017 seconds.

The remainder of the top five – Arden’s Alex Connor, Fortec’s Luke Browning and JHR’s James Hedley¬† – also took turns at the head of the field earlier in the session, and with all five separated by 0.3 seconds, and from five different teams, the odds on a blockbuster qualifying session tomorrow morning look strong.

Roberto Faria (Fortec) was sixth, 0.035s behind the leading quintet in the sister Fortec car and just under two tenths clear of Abbi Pulling (JHR) and Roman Bilinski (Arden) in seventh and eighth respectively.

Frederick Lubin made it all three of Arden’s ‘Red Arrows’ in the top ten with ninth, with Nat Hodgkiss tenth after recovering well from a small off at the Island Hairpin in the morning session.

The remaining two entries apiece for Carlin and Argenti finished the session staggered from eleventh onwards, the order Matias Zagazeta, Nico Pino, Christian Mansell and Reema Juffali.

Competitive action begins in Cheshire with qualifying tomorrow at 09:05 (BST).

Classification – Free Practice 2

Pos. Name Team Time Laps
1 Zak O’SULLIVAN Carlin 1:23.703 18
2 Casper STEVENSON Argenti Motorsport +0.017s 17
3 Alex CONNOR Arden Motorsport +0.189s 22
4 Luke BROWNING Fortec Motorsport +0.206s 24
5 James HEDLEY JHR Developments +0.347s 18
6 Roberto FARIA Fortec Motorsport +0.382s 23
7 Abbi PULLING JHR Developments +0.527s 23
8 Roman BILINSKI Arden Motorsport +0.593s 26
9 Frederick LUBIN Arden Motorsport +1.273s 25
10 Nathanael HODGKISS JHR Developments +1.358s 22
11 Matias ZAGAZETA Carlin +2.035s 22
12 Nico PINO Argenti Motorsport +2.138s 22
13 Christian MANSELL Carlin +2.350s 20
14 Reema JUFFALI Argenti Motorsport +2.812 17