Gloucestershire racer Zak O’Sullivan endured a trying British F4 weekend at Thruxton (September 18-20), with car issues and an on-track clash with championship leader Luke Browning denying him the chance to add to his tally of four race wins.
The 15-year-old took fifth and 10th placed finishes from the weekend’s three races, results which didn’t reflect his speed over the course of the meeting and left him 57 points behind the Fortec driver in the standings.
O’Sullivan qualified his Carlin in a solid fifth for the first race of the weekend, a position he held to the flag to secure pole position for the reverse grid second race.
It was at this point the weekend started to unravel, with O’Sullivan taken out in a first-corner clash with Browning and Alex Connor, an incident which landed Browning a five-place grid penalty for the third race.
The 18-year-old was later handed three penalty points on his licence and a three-point deduction for another clash with Connor in Sunday’s race, an encounter where engine problems left O’Sullivan stranded on the start line and well adrift of the pack.
O’Sullivan, from Withington, near Cirencester, said: “Qualifying wasn’t great, which hindered my progress in the first race as my rivals were able to pull away on the straights and I could only get back in their tow into the braking zones.
“In the second race, I was dispatched from the lead at the first corner and that was that. I think Luke was very fortunate to get off with a five-place grid penalty for the incident.
“Then, in the third race, the car wouldn’t get off the line properly. I was confident I could have cut through the mid-pack with a normal start.
“It’s disappointing, to say the least. I want to fight for this championship on the circuit, not in the stewards’ room. Luke has been involved in numerous incidents with other drivers throughout the year.”
In the latest double-header of a packed calendar, the British F4 series heads to the home of the British Grand Prix, the iconic Silverstone circuit, this weekend (September 25-27).
“The main aims for this weekend will be to have a strong qualifying and three clean races to get things back on track after Thruxton,” added O’Sullivan.