Commanding fourth victory of the season for Zak O'Sullivan at Silverstone


Zak Silverstone (1).jpgGloucestershire’s Zak O’Sullivan dominated the final GB3 Championship race of the weekend at Silverstone (August 13-15) to further stretch his lead in the standings to more than 100 points with two meetings to go.

It was another weekend of Sunday comebacks for the 16-year-old Carlin driver, who was forced to pit following contact from a rival in Saturday’s opening race – exactly the same scenario he faced at Snetterton last weekend.

The recovery started with a bold drive to fourth in the second encounter, before O’Sullivan benefited from chaos around him in the reverse-grid finale to take the flag more than eight seconds to the good. 

O’Sullivan’s lead over team-mate Christian Mansell has now grown to 108 points with only the final two meetings at Oulton Park and Donington Park left to run. 

A tricky qualifying in damp conditions on Saturday left O’Sullivan eighth on the grid for the first race, with his second-best time good enough for fourth for race two. He held this position from the start but was tagged by

Sebastian Alvarez (Hitech) and picked up a puncture, which necessitated a pitstop and condemned him to 15th place at the flag.

Alvarez picked up a five-place grid penalty for the clash, with O’Sullivan looking to minimise the damage to his points lead in the first of Sunday’s races. He made a good start and was at the back of a quartet of cars who broke away from the pack, eventually taking the flag just two seconds behind winner Ayrton Simmons (Chris Dittman Racing).

The reverse grid race saw the luck swing the other way for O’Sullivan for the first time in the weekend, as the leading trio of Roman Bilinski (Arden), Roberto Faria (Fortec) and Branden Lee Oxley (Chris Dittmann Racing) took each other out of the race, enabling the #51 Carlin to jump from fourth to first and streak home to the flag. 

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O’Sullivan, from Withington, near Cirencester, said: “It really was a déjà vu kind of a weekend after Snetterton. 
“We had a wet qualifying again and I was on the wrong side of the luck, as it was so borderline with the tyres. Pole for one race was set on slicks and pole for the other was set on wets. 

“I got an OK start in the first race but had a minor gearshift issue, which put me in the danger zone in a Hitech sandwich. Unfortunately another driver made a mistake, locked up and sliced my right rear tyre.

“In round two I started fourth and stayed fourth, as it’s so hard to pass in the dirty air at Silverstone. Simmons won the race, but I don’t think he was the fastest driver.

“Then race three was a bit of an unexpected one and we had a nicer shade of the luck. The three in front of me managed to take each other out and exited stage left into Stowe corner. 

“The good thing from my point of view was to see how fast we were at the end of the race. It was the pace we weren’t able to show for the rest of the weekend.”

The championship now takes a late summer break ahead of the penultimate meeting at Oulton Park (September 10-12).

“Oulton is a bit like a street circuit in these cars – it’s really bumpy and narrow, making progress near-on impossible. So it will be important to qualify at the front,” added O’Sullivan.

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