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O'Sullivan clinches maiden BRDC British F3 win after first lap chaos

Sunday, May 23 2021

Carlin's Zak O'Sullivan claimed his first BRDC British F3 race win with victory in the second race of the weekend at Brands Hatch this morning. 

The British driver started second but took advantage of a collision on the opening lap between Ayrton Simmons and Bart Horsten to take the lead, which he held to the flag. 

Fortec's Ollie Bearman was second again, ahead of Hitech GP's Reece Ushijima.

There was drama before the race started, as a brief rain shower on the formation lap made conditions tricky, with Alex Fores spinning off into retirement as the cars warmed up. The start was delayed for several minutes while the car was recovered, and when the shortened race did get underway there was even more drama. 

Pole sitter Simmons didn't make quite as good a start as yesterday, and immediately fell into the clutches of O'Sullivan and Hitech's Horsten, with the trio going three-wide on the approach to Paddock Hill Bend. 

Getting a good run out of the corner, Horsten continued his challenge and looked to take Simmons for the lead around the outside of Druids. As the corner tightened, the pair collided sending the Chris Dittmann Racing car into the air and landing on top of the Hitech machine, with Simmons enduring a piggy back ride for several seconds before dismounting and crunching the barriers. Horsten was able to continue to the pits, but with a missing rear wing and heavy engine cover damage, he was forced into retirement. 

That chaos brought out the safety car and handed O'Sullivan the lead from Bearman. The safety car pitted with seven of the 10 laps remaining, and initially the Fortec driver was able to apply big pressure to the F4 runner-up, with the duo separated by four tenths of a second on the restart lap. 

But O'Sullivan then gained a small pace advantage of around a couple of tenths a lap to take his first win by 2.248 seconds. Bearman's second place backs up yesterday's result while Ushijima claimed his first podium of the year. 

Arden duo Frederick Lubin and Alex Connor claimed fourth and fifth as the team continued their decent start to life in British F3. Fortec's Roberto Faria headed home a train of cars including Elite Motorsport's Tom Lebbon, Sebastian Alvarez (Hitech) Carlin duo Bryce Aron and Christian Mansell and Douglas Motorsport's Dexter Patterson, who finished just outside the top-10.

The final race of the weekend, the reverse grid contest, is due to start at 16.15.

BRDC British F3 Championship, Brands Hatch race two provisional result:

1. Zak O'Sullivan, Carlin, 10 laps
2. Oliver Bearman, Fortec Motorsports, +2.248s
3. Reece Ushijima, Hitech GP, +5.546s
4. Frederick Lubin, Arden Motorsport, +6.452s
5. Alex Connor, Arden Motorsport, +7.703s
6. Roberto Faria, Fortec Motorsports, +10.470s
7. Tom Lebbon, Elite Motorsport, +11.156s
8. Sebastian Alvarez, Hitech GP, +11.557s
9. Bryce Aron, Carlin, +11.951s
10. Christian Mansell, Carlin, +12.392s
11. Dexter Patterson, Douglas Motorsport, +13.367s
12. Javier Sagrera, Elite Motorsport, +15.668s
13. Max Marzorati, Chris Dittmann Racing, +22.144s
14. Jose Garfias, Elite Motorsport, +22.590s
15. Mikkel Grundtvig, Fortec Motorsport,s +23.525s
16. Reema Juffali, Douglas Motorsport, +28.451s
DNF. Ayrton Simmons, Chris Dittmann Racing, 0 laps
DNF. Bart Horsten, Hitech GP, 0 laps
DNF. Alex Fores, Chris Dittmann Racing, 0 laps