O’Sullivan takes GB3 reverse-grid win at Silverstone, Faria and Bilinski tangle

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Credit: Newsline PR

Zak O’Sullivan took his fourth win of the GB3 Championship season at Silverstone on Sunday, profiting from a collision that eliminated an emerging Championship rival.

Roman Bilinski started from pole, with Carlin‘s Bryce Aron alongside, the American taking his highest grid position of the season to date.

Roberto Faria and Branden Lee Oxley moved past Aron on Lap 1 as he fell to fourth, while Zak O’Sullivan and Bart Horsten found a way past Fortec Motorsport‘s Mikkel Grundtvig, who had started third.

Reece Ushijima shot up six places into ninth in the early running, while Race 2 podium-finisher Jonathan Browne and double race-winner Ayrton Simmons slipped back.

O’Sullivan soon moved past his team-mate Aron to go fourth, while the final Carlin of Christian Mansell sat 12th after two laps.

Tom Lebbon, Oliver Bearman and Ushijima were next to depose Grundtvig, moving the Donington-winning Danish driver down to 11th.

O’Sullivan set the fastest lap on the third tour of Silverstone as he looked to factor himself into the conversation for a podium, with Horsten getting past Aron less than two seconds behind him.

Second-placed Faria’s pace was impressive, and he seemed to have the measure of race leader Bilinski after the first four laps, but things suddenly changed immensely.

Faria, sitting second in the standings ahead of Race 3, tried to make his move, but he and Bilinski both ran wide, allowing Oxley and O’Sullivan through.

O’Sullivan seized the opportunity to take three positions in one go, Chris Dittmann Racing‘s Oxley losing the lead as soon as he had taken it.

Bilinski fell to the back of the field with what looked to be a puncture, struggling as he had in Race 2, with Faria also in strife, giving the timing boards a green hue as the other 15 runners all gained positions.

O’Sullivan cleared off after taking the lead, leading Oxley by 3.7 seconds at the end of Lap 6, with Faria’s whereabouts seemingly unknown. He would continue to stretch the gap, his fastest lap on Lap 6 being several tenths up on the rest of the field’s best efforts.

Aron seemed to make a mistake in the last few laps, allowing Sebastian Alvarez, Bearman, Lebbon and Ushijima through as the Carlin man’s promising grid position ultimately counted for little.

Lower down the order, Mansell moved past Grundtvig and Ayrton Simmons got ahead of Elite Motorsport‘s Javier Sagrera.

Horsten, Mansell, Simmons and Tommy Smith (Douglas Motorsport) all set personal bests on Lap 8, while race leader O’Sullivan’s times remained consistently several tenths quicker than the chasing pack could muster, allowing the Championship leader to take a fourth win by over eight seconds.

Oxley held on for a maiden GB3 podium ahead of Horsten, while Alvarez and Bearman completed the top five.

Tom Lebbon took sixth just ahead of Ushijima, with the Carlins of Aron and Mansell three seconds of tenth-placed Frederick Lubin.

Mansell’s ninth-place finish will see him overtake Faria in the Championship standings to go second again, with his team-mate surely heading towards a first title after runner-up campaigns in Ginetta Junior (2019) and F4 British Championship (2020).

2021 Silverstone (2) Race 3 Results:

151Zak O’SullivanGBRCarlin10 laps
268Branden Lee OxleyGBRChris Dittmann Racing+8.313s
350Bart HorstenAUSHitech GP+8.651s
412Sebastian AlvarezMEXHitech GP+9.255s
587Oliver BearmanGBRFortec Motorsport+9.929s
634Tom LebbonGBRElite Motorsport+11.296s
713Reece UshijimaJPNHitech GP+11.570s
823Bryce AronUSACarlin+12.469s
921Christian MansellAUSCarlin+12.972s
1078Frederick LubinGBRArden Motorsport+16.323s
1143Mikkel GrundtvigDENFortec Motorsport+16.726s
1218Ayrton SimmonsGBRChris Dittmann Racing+16.863s
133Javier SagreraESPElite Motorsport+17.224s
145Jonathan BrowneROIHillspeed+17.384s
1555Tommy SmithAUSDouglas Motorsport+17.841s
164Roman BilinskiPOLArden MotorsportDNF (puncture)
177Roberto FariaBRAFortec MotorsportDNF (damage)

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Stickler for track limits, covering the GB3 Championship and the FIA Formula 3 Championship. Twitter: @MCallanderMedia
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