Heading into the final race of the weekend at Oulton Park, pole sitter and new championship leader Luke Browning was looking to defend his newly assumed 12-point title advantage over Carlin’s Zak O’Sullivan in what was a finally a dry race after what can only be described as a soaking wet day of action so far across all TOCA race series.
As the lights went out, it was status quo out front as Browning held onto the lead ahead of James Hedley and Zak O’Sullivan as Nathanael Hodgkiss spun and hit the barrier at the hairpin on the opening lap after contact with Frederick Lubin, with Hodgkiss unable to continue.
Roberto Faria was making up for a less than impressive weekend so far for the Brazilian, running up in fourth place and chasing after O’Sullivan for the final podium place. The repaired car of Alex Connor was running close behind in fifth after the Arden Motorsport team did a fantastic job or getting the car working again after his massive impact at the end of race two earlier today.
Casper Stevenson made a small mistake through lodge corner at the 5 minute mark and dropped down to eighth place after what’s been a promising weekend for the Argenti Motorsport hopeful. Meanwhile out front, JHR Developments’ James Hedley was applying serious pressure on Browning for the lead as the duo were beginning to drop O’Sullivan in third.
Abbi Pulling was also on a charge, with the JHR driver passing Roman Bilinski for sixth place in what was slowly becoming the lead battle in the midfield, as the top five of Browning, Hedley, O’Sullivan, Faria and Connor had made a break for it up front.
Christian Mansell was the highest placed rookie once again, with the Australian running in eighth place and once again showing huge promise in the Carlin.
Faria was now on the back of O’Sullivan for the final podium place, but typically couldn’t get much closer than half a second in what’s historically a very different track to pass on, with the tight and quick nature of the Oulton Park Island circuit.
The gaps between the field as we entered the final five minutes were all now relatively equidistant, as the drivers appeared to be settling for their positions and potential points to be gained in this third and final race after what has been a very topsy turvy weekend in terms of track conditions.
As we started the final lap, Browning was suddenly under pressure from Hedley who managed to pile on the pressure after setting the fastest lap, but it was a little too late and it was Browning that took his third win of the weekend, taking the clean sweep ahead of James Hedley and Carlin’s Zak O’Sullivan rounding off the podium places.
Browning now stretches his championship lead to 22 points over Zak O’Sullivan as we head to Knockhill next weekend.
Race 3 Classification:
|1||Luke Browning||Fortec Motorsport||15 Laps|
|2||James Hedley||JHR Developments||+ 0.520|
|3||Zak O’Sullivan||Carlin||+ 3.361|
|4||Roberto Faria||Fortec Motorsport||+ 3.879|
|5||Alex Connor||Arden Motorsport||+ 7.933|
|6||Abbi Pulling||JHR Developments||+ 10.283|
|7||Roman Bilinski||Arden Motorsport||+ 11.936|
|8||Christian Mansell||Carlin||+ 13.928|
|9||Casper Stevenson||Argenti Motorsport||+ 15.087|
|10||Nico Pino||Argenti Motorsport||+ 20.549|
|11||Mathias Zagazeta||Carlin||+ 21.293|
|12||Reema Juffali||Argenti Motorsport||+ 28.759|
|13||Frederick Lubin||Arden Motorsport||+ 52.765|
|14||Nathanael Hodgkiss||JHR Developments||DNF|