After extending his championship lead to 23 points over Luke Browning, Zak O’Sullivan was starting in sixth place in the reverse grid for race two this evening after an impressive victory earlier this afternoon pipping Browning to the flag after an intense battle.
But away from the lights, it was reverse grid pole sitter Christian Mansell that had a lightening start to take control of the race into Paddock hill bend ahead of Roberto Faria and Abbi Pulling after the JHR Developments driver tried her luck on the inside of Faria but had to settle into third after losing the early momentum.
Luke Browning quickly made it up to fourth place, gaining a place from his fifth place start. James Hedley started at the back after missing race one earlier and was quickly making moves up the field despite having limited track running this weekend, passing Frederick Lubin and Rafael Villagomez to be running thirteenth at the end of lap two.
Faria was quickly setting the fastest lap of the race as he began his pursuit of Mansell for the lead, bringing the gap down to six tenths as he closed on the Australian Carlin rookie.
Meanwhile, Abbi Pulling was being chased hard by Browning for the final podium place as the Fortec Motorsport man was looking to make inroads into Zak O’Sullivan’s points advantage. The race one winner was mired down in seventh place, unable to make any progress from his starting position in this second race of the day.
At the half way stage, it was Mansell in a commanding lead setting the fastest lap in the process. Roberto Faria was keeping him honest however, and the Brazilian driver now in his second year was just half a second behind with just 10 minutes to go. Browning was not piling the pressure on Pulling for third, with Alex Connor in tow in fifth.
James Hedley was still making his way through the field, and was challenging Argenti Motorsport‘s Nico Pino for the final points paying position of tenth place.
Major drama ensued with just seven minutes to go, as race one winner and championship leader Zak O’Sullivan grinder to a halt and dropped down to the back of the field and seemingly out of the race. This allowed Luke Browning to close the gap and also brought Hedley into the points, which was a great gift after the hard work from JHR to get the car back working for this second race.
16-year old James Hedley was now setting fastest lap after fastest lap, and was running in ninth place and beginning to chase Mathias Zagazeta who’s had a solid weekend so far, the Peruvian showing early promise in 2020.
As the final lap began, just two seconds separated the top five drivers, with Mansell holding on for the lead ahead of Faria, Pulling, Browning and Connor. But as the field came out of Clearways, it was Carlin’s Christian Mansell that took a very impressive victory ahead of a chasing Roberto Faria and maiden podium for JHR Developments’ Abbi Pulling. Championship contenders Luke Browning and Alex Connor came home in fourth and fifth to further apply pressure on Zak O’Sullivan after the Carlin driver’s retirement.
Race 2 Classification:
|1||Christian Mansell||Carlin||14 Laps|
|2||Roberto Faria||Fortec Motorsport||+ 0.581|
|3||Abbi Pulling||JHR Developments||+ 1.093|
|4||Luke Browning||Fortec Motorsport||+ 1.526|
|5||Alex Connor||Arden Motorsport||+ 1.828|
|6||Roman Bilinski||Arden Motorsport||+ 4.391|
|7||Casper Stevenson||Argenti Motorsport||+ 5.020|
|8||Mathias Zagazeta||Carlin||+ 6.338|
|9||James Hedley||JHR Developments||+ 6.622|
|10||Nico Pino||Argenti Motorsport||+ 10.702|
|11||Nathanael Hodgkiss||JHR Developments||+ 10.899|
|12||Reema Juffali||Argenti Motorsport||+ 13.882|
|13||Frederick Lubin||Arden Motorsport||+ 14.194|
|14||Rafael Villagomez||Fortec Motorsport||+ 16.968|