Gloucestershire’s Zak O’Sullivan mastered tricky conditions to notch up a sixth victory of his impressive maiden British F4 campaign at Croft in North Yorkshire (October 9-11). The 15-year-old qualified third for the two weekend races and improved on his grid slot in both, mastering the wet weather to win Saturday’s opening encounter and backing that up with second in Sunday’s race, televised live on ITV4.
The Carlin driver is now 13 points behind series leader Luke Browning (Fortec) in the championship standings, having cut the gap from 62 points over the last two meetings. On a slippery surface, O’Sullivan made a good start to the opening race, passing Browning when he ran wide into the first corner, Clervaux. He then harried poleman Casper Stevenson (Argenti) around the rest of the lap, passing him on the second tour to establish a lead he would never lose, coming home just 0.4 seconds to the good at the flag.
After holding his starting position off the line in Sunday’s race, an early safety car to retrieve the stricken Arden of Roman Bilinski led to drama for O’Sullivan, with the second Arden of Alex Connor making contact with the rear of his car at the complex. O’Sullivan was able to continue and maintain third at the restart, before diving past Browning at the hairpin and running side-by-side with the Fortec driver down the pit straight. After taking the outside line into Clervaux, O’Sullivan executed the cutback perfectly to take second and hold the position to the flag.
O’Sullivan, from Withington, near Cirencester, said: “It was a really positive weekend. About an hour before the first race, the rain came down, which made conditions tricky. Luke ran wide at the first turn and gifted me second and then I was able to overtake Casper for the lead. In the second race, I made a really nice move on Luke at the hairpin and was able to take second. I put the pressure on Casper but he didn’t make any mistakes, so I settled for second.”
O’Sullivan says he’s still not thinking about the championship fight but was full of praise for the British F4 series he’s competing in for the first time. He said: “I am really enjoying this championship and the competition, it is very even out there. I am very pleased with the decision to race in British F4 and the publicity it has given me has really helped with my plans for next year. I came into the championship with the purpose of learning to race single-seaters and to enjoy myself, and both objectives have been achieved. I’m not focused on the championship battle – I’m just reflecting on how much I’ve learned.”
The series now pauses for another week before arriving at Snetterton in Norfolk (October 23-25) for the penultimate round of the championship.