An impressive Sunday comeback at Snetterton (August 6-8) saw Gloucestershire’s Zak O’Sullivan rack up his ninth and tenth podium finishes of the season to extend his lead in the newly-renamed GB3 Championship to nearly 100 points.
The 16-year-old recovered from a disappointing Saturday where he was taken out of the first race by Reece Ushijima (Hitech) to bag a pair of second places in Sunday’s two races and grow his gap over Carlin team-mate Christian Mansell to 99 points.
A heavily rain-affected qualifying session meant O’Sullivan could only manage laps good enough for seventh and fifth in the opening two races, with just seven minutes of dry running available to the drivers.
He gained two positions at the start of race one to run fifth but picked up a puncture following contact from Ushijima and was forced to pit, eventually finishing 17th and last. For the second time this season, Ushijima was punished for a clash between the pair and given a five-place grid penalty for Sunday’s first race.
This race also saw O’Sullivan gain from the start, moving up to fourth, which quickly became third thanks to an impressive pass on Tom Lebbon (Elite) at the Montreal hairpin. Series returnee and race one winner Oliver Bearman (Fortec) then slowed with technical issues, moving O’Sullivan up to second on the tail of Hitech’s Sebastian Alvarez in the lead.
Despite applying pressure to the 19-year-old and setting the fastest lap, O’Sullivan had to settle for second heading into the reverse grid finale, where he made his third excellent start of the weekend, quickly moving up to fourth and entering a fierce battle with a feisty Bearman, who passed him on lap three.
After defending resolutely against Roberto Faria (Fortec), O’Sullivan put a great move on Javier Sagrera (Elite) around the outside of Riches and then on Mikkel Grundtvig (Fortec) around the outside at Agostini to take third.
This became second when Bearman span off in increasingly wet conditions, with O’Sullivan holding his nerve on a slippery surface to bring home another huge haul of points.
O’Sullivan, from Withington, near Cirencester, said: “Saturday wasn’t ideal, being taken out of the first race after a difficult qualifying where we were really unlucky with the weather.
“With that in mind, Sunday was a great recovery with two more satisfying results. I had the pace to win the second race but just couldn’t get close enough to Alvarez to attempt a pass, so I had to settle for second.
“The reverse grid race was a real challenge with a huge train of cars fighting for second. I really had to get my elbows out to make up positions as it was getting really chaotic out there. Overall, it’s a positive weekend and a good recovery from where we were on Saturday.”
Next up is a return to the Silverstone GP circuit this weekend (August 13-15), where O’Sullivan took two second places at the corresponding meeting in June.
“Silverstone is another track where it is hard to pass, so qualifying is going to be really key for the races,” said O’Sullivan.
“We did well to take home two second places when we raced there in June and I’ll be looking to keep up the momentum as we head into the final few weekends in the championship.”