Carlin duo Zak O’Sullivan & Christian Mansell were the winners of two frantic BRDC British F3 races on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit today (Sunday).
O’Sullivan triumphed in this morning’s race two, taking advantage of lap one drama to claim his first victory in BRDC British F3 ahead of Fortec’s Ollie Bearman and Hitech GP’s Reece Ushijima.
Mansell then rocketed to the lead from seventh on the grid to lead by Paddock Hill Bend in race three, and survived two safety car restarts to win from Elite Motorsport’s Javier Sagrera, with Douglas Motorsport’s Dexter Patterson third.
Chris Dittmann Racing’s Ayrton Simmons started from pole, but was challenged on the way down to Paddock Hill Bend on lap one, going three wide with Hitech’s Bart Horsten and O’Sullivan.
At Druids, Simmons and Horsten collided in spectacular fashion, promoting O’Sullivan to the lead and necessitating a safety car with Simmons and Horsten retiring.
Bearman challenged O’Sullivan at the restart, with the Fortec driver right behind him as the field returned to racing. The Carlin driver managed to hold off his advances and then pulled out a margin of a couple of tenths a lap to take the flag over two seconds clear, with Bearman repeating his second place result from yesterday.
Reece Ushijima claimed his first podium of the year in third for Hitech GP, with Arden duo Frederick Lubin and Alex Connor next up, and Fortec’s Roberto Faria completing the top-six.
A stunning start in the reversed grid race three this afternoon saw Mansell slice his way from the fourth row of the grid to the lead by the first corner.
Drama further down the field brought out two safety car periods, but the Australian made excellent restarts and pulled away in the final seven minutes of the race to claim his first victory.
Sagrera claimed a maiden podium for the Elite Motorsport team in British F3 with his second place, while Patterson held off a sustained challenge from Carlin’s Bryce Aron, who finished just under three tenths further behind the Sauber Academy driver.
Mikkel Grundtvig (Fortec) and Ushijima completed the top-six.
In the early championship standings, O’Sullivan holds a four point lead over Bearman, with both drivers standing on the podium twice across the weekend, while consistent results from Ushijima puts him third overall after the first event of the year.
O’Sullivan commented: "I made a pretty atrocious start off the line, and I got a shock when Bart was suddenly in the middle of us. I conceded turn one pretty quickly and then focused on settling down but I looked up at turn two and the two in front collided. So in a way it was a bit of a gifted win but I think from there I could just manage the pace and manage the tyres.”
Mansell said: "Honestly I'm buzzing! It's been about 10 minutes since I got out the car and I'm just still so happy about this. After what I gave the boys on Saturday, I mucked up qualifying for myself, and they really deserve this. I'm so proud to be representing Carlin and everyone in the team, and I'm just so, so happy to be here.
"The start was just absolutely nuts! Either everyone was caught napping or I just got a blinder! I'm not sure, I don't even know how to explain it, it was just awesome.”
BRDC British F3 Championship, Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit race two top-six:
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
BRDC British F3 Championship, Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit, race three top-six:
1. Christian Mansell, Carlin, 12 laps
2. Javier Sagrera, Elite Motorsport, +1.991s
3. Dexter Patterson, Douglas Motorsport, +4.190s
4. Bryce Aron, Carlin, +4.483s
5. Mikkel Grundtvig, Fortec Motorsports, +4.990s
6. Reece Ushijima, Hitech GP, +5.603s
BRDC British F3 Championship, top-six drivers' standings after race three of 24
1. Zak O’Sullivan, Carlin, 78pts
2. Oliver Bearman, Fortec Motorsports, 74pts
3. Reece Ushijima, Hitech GP, 61pts
4. Christian Mansell, Carlin, 50pts
5. Frederick Lubin, Arden Motorsport, 45pts
6. Ayrton Simmons, Chris Dittmann Racing, 44pts
BRDC British F3 Championship, top-six teams' standings after race three of 24
1. Carlin, 84pts
2. Fortec Motorsports, 80pts
3. Hitech GP, 77pts
4. Arden Motorsport, 72pts
5. Chris Dittmann Racing, 50pts
6. Elite Motorsport, 45pts