F4 British Championship

Luke Browning draws first blood in title showdown with race one victory at Brands Hatch

2 Mins read
Credit: Jakob Ebery Photography

The scene was set for a climactic race weekend in the 2020 British F4 Championship, with title rivals Luke Browning and Zak O’Sullivan starting together on the front row for race one at Brands Hatch, and the pair of them on equal points. The gloves were off.

As the lights went out it was Browning that led into Paddock Hill bend ahead of Zak O’Sullivan with British F4 returnee jumping up into third place and receiving immediate pressure from James Hedley and Christian Mansell keep a watching brief.

Hedley and Faria made contact on the next lap at Paddock to send both of them spinning and to the rear of the field, promoting Mansell back to third place.

Meanwhile up front, Browning and O’Sullivan pulled away as the two title contenders commenced battle in the damp but ever drying conditions at Brands Hatch. Outside title contender Casper Stevenson was up to eighth place after starting eleventh, but the Argenti Motorsport driver’s title hopes were rapidly fading.

Luke Browning set the fastest lap and began to slowly gap the chasing Zak O’Sullivan as the two top performers of 2020 were searching for grip and running wide lines in a desperate need to keep the tyres in a working range.

Rookie Mathias Zagazeta was having one of his most promising performances of the season so far, and was challenging Stevenson for eighth place and would eventually take the place into Clearways – the Peruvian looking for a second season at Carlin for 2021.

Completing one of the stronger days for Carlin a while, Christian Mansell was running in third place at the half way mark and looking to seal the rookie cup honours for what has largely been a thoroughly impressive debut campaign for the young Australian.

Abbi Pulling was the highest climber in the race, running an impressive fourth as the JHR Developments driver was showing immense pace in her debut season in British F4, especially after also completing her debut weekend in Formula Renault Eurocup a couple of weeks ago at Imola.

As we approached the final five minutes, O’Sullivan was beginning to close on Browning for the lead as battle commenced between the title rivals, the gap now down to just seven tenths of a second.

But as the timer ticked down to zero and the final lap board came out, it was Luke Browning that coaxed home a vital win ahead of Zak O’Sullivan to take the maximum 25 points and more importantly take a seven point lead in the championship with just the final two races to be completed tomorrow.

Christian Mansell sealed the rookie cup in third place, with Abbi Pulling finishing an impressive fourth ahead of lead Arden Motorsport man Alex Connor and James Hedley claiming race two reverse pole position with a sixth place finish.

Race 1 Classification:

1Luke BrowningFortec Motorsports22 Laps
2Zak O’SullivanCarlin+ 0.582
3Christian MansellCarlin+ 12.361
4Abbi PullingJHR Developments+ 15.151
5Alex ConnorArden Motorsport+ 17.242
6James HedleyJHR Developments+ 24.713
7Frederick LubinArden Motorsport+ 27.688
8Roman BilinskiArden Motorsport+ 31.410
9Mathias Zagazeta Carlin+ 34.732
10Roberto FariaFortec Motorsport+ 38.487
11Casper StevensonArgenti Motorsport+ 42.067
12Reema JuffaliArgenti Motorsport+ 50.727
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British Formula 4 correspondent and occasional F1 reporter for The Checkered Flag.
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