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O'Sullivan dominates British F3 race one at Donington Park

Saturday, July 10 2021

Carlin's Zak O'Sullivan led from lights to flag in the opening BRDC British F3 race of the weekend this afternoon (Saturday) at Donington Park.

The championship leader started from pole position after setting the fastest time in qualifying, and rebuffed a challenge from Hitech GP's Reece Ushijima on lap one, before pulling away to win by almost five seconds.

Ushijima finished second, just ahead of Elite's Javier Sagrera, who looked to have claimed his second podium of the season, but lost his top-three spot due to a false start.

Arden's Alex Connor started third but lost out at the start and dropped to fourth, finishing just over a second behind Sagrera, but claimed third as a result of the Spaniard's penalty. His new teammate for the weekend, Roman Bilinksi, was fourth, ahead of Carlin's Christian Mansell, who gained the position from Elite's Tom Lebbon on the final lap.

The race came down to the start; Ushijima got alongside O'Sullivan on the way down to Redgate and actually pulled ahead. But through the Craner Curves, the Carlin driver fought back and got alongside, squeezing up the inside on the approach to the Old Hairpin. The pair nearly interlocked wheels, but O'Sullivan just made the move stick through the right hander.

From there the British driver was comfortable, holding a lead of almost a second and a half at the end of the first lap, and extending that out to over three seconds at the mid-race point. A string of fastest laps ensured he continued to stretch his advantage, with his dominant performance rewarded with his second win of the season, 4.9 seconds clear of the opposition.

Ushijima held off a prolonged challenge from Sagrera, though the Spaniard was immediately investigated for starting outside of his prescribed grid position, and was given a 10 second penalty which dropped him down the order.

Outside the top-six, Douglas Motorsport's Dexter Patterson gained three places from his starting position to take seventh ahead of Hitech GP's Bart Horsten, who had qualified second but started further down the order due to his penalty carried over from Silverstone.

Sagrera's penalty dropped him to ninth while Hitech GP's Sebastian Alvarez claimed the final spot inside the top-10, having started 11th. Fortec's Roberto Faria stalled on the grid at the start, and dropped from eighth to last, before fighting his way up to 14th at the chequered flag.

The second race of the weekend starts at 10.15 tomorrow morning, with O'Sullivan on pole once more. 

BRDC British F3 Championship, Donington Park, race one provisional result:
1. Zak O'Sullivan, Carlin, 12 laps
2. Reece Ushijima, Hitech GP, +4.918s
3. Alex Connor, Arden Motorsport, +6.638s
4. Roman Bilinksi, Arden Motorsport, +9.798s
5. Christian Mansell, Carlin, +11.701s
6. Tom Lebbon, Elite Motorsport, +11.853s
7. Dexter Patterson, Douglas Motorsport, +14.520s
8. Bart Horsten, Hitech GP, +14.945s
9. Javier Sagrera, Elite Motorsport, +15.578s*
10. Sebastian Alvarez, Hitech GP, +15.935s
11. Jose Garfias, Elite Motorsport, +16.952s
12. Max Marzorati, Chris Dittmann Racing, +18.626s
13. Bryce Aron, Carlin, +21.631s
14. Roberto Faria, Fortec Motorsports, +22.609s
15. Ayrton Simmons, Chris Dittmann Racing, +24.035s**
16. Reema Juffali, Douglas Motorsport, +26.486s
17. Mikkel Grundtvig, Fortec Motorsports, +26.955s

* 10 second post-race penalty for false start
** 5 second penalty issued mid-race for track limits