Luke Browning took his first GB3 Championship win at Oulton Park in controversial circumstances on Sunday, being reinstated into top spot on countback as the race was red-flagged late on.
The Fortec Motorsport man won the 2020 F4 British Championship, and has been a podium-finisher in ADAC and Italian F4 this season, but made his GB3 debut at the weekend.
He moved around the outside of Championship leader, and 2020 British F4 runner-up Zak O’Sullivan into Old Hall on the first lap, and held the lead until Lap 10, when Carlin‘s 16-year-old tried to take the lead around the outside into Hislop’s, a move which had caught Sebastian Alvarez out two laps earlier.
Alvarez’ attempted move on Roman Bilinski nearly resulted in the Hitech GP car collecting O’Sullivan’s team-mate Bryce Aron, but it was O’Sullivan who found himself in the tyres after going onto the damp grass and locking up.
He wasn’t the only title contender in strife. Fortec’s Roberto Faria challenged new team-mate Browning through Old Hall, making contact with the rear of Browning’s car after the pair took opposite lines into the first corner.
Faria looked around the outside before trying to cut back inside for the exit, clipping Browning on the exit. The contact sent Browning into a spin he would recover from, while the Brazilian spun and backed his car into the tyre barrier on the inside, retiring on the spot.
While Javier Sagrera‘s stricken Elite Motorsport car was recovered from the gravel trap at Cascades, O’Sullivan and Faria’s cars sat stranded around the circuit, drawing out the red flags.
After Browning and Faria’s coming-together, Bart Horsten had inherited the lead ahead of fellow Australian, and Carlin’s second title challenger, Christian Mansell. Indeed, Horsten was interviewed as the race winner in parc fermé, before the result was declared from the end of Lap 10.
That saw Browning take the win, ahead of Horsten and Mansell. Faria was excluded from the result as he was not running at the time of the red flag,
Ayrton Simmons took fourth, with Reece Ushijima and Frederick Lubin some way behind in fifth and sixth.
Tom Lebbon had spent most of the race in Lubin’s gearbox, but couldn’t find a way through and had to settle for seventh for Elite Motorsport, while Bryce Aron and Hillspeed‘s Jonathan Browne were separated by less than a second, with Reema Juffali rounding out the top ten in the sole Douglas Motorsport entry.
With O’Sullivan’s retirement, he delayed what some predicted would be an early coronation for the driver with five wins after Saturday’s Race 1, with Mansell and Simmons both scoring strongly to keep them narrowly in the conversation going into the final four races of the season.
2021 Oulton Park Race 2 Results
|1||8||Luke Browning||GBR||Fortec Motorsport||10 laps|
|2||50||Bart Horsten||AUS||Hitech GP||+1.516s|
|4||18||Ayrton Simmons||GBR||Chris Dittmann Racing||+4.563s|
|5||13||Reece Ushijima||JPN||Hitech GP||+9.880s|
|6||78||Frederick Lubin||GBR||Arden Motorsport||+17.394s|
|7||34||Tom Lebbon||GBR||Elite Motorsport||+17.684s|
|10||10||Reema Juffali||SAU||Douglas Motorsport||+22.643s|
|11||43||Mikkel Grundtvig||DEN||Fortec Motorsport||+22.917s|
|12||68||Branden Lee Oxley||GBR||Chris Dittmann Racing||+23.439s|
|13||4||Roman Bilinski||POL||Arden Motorsport||+29.450s (10s penalty)|
|14||12||Sebastian Alvarez||MEX||Hitech GP||+29.454s|
|15||7||Roberto Faria||BRA||Fortec Motorsport||DNF (crash)|
|16||51||Zak O’Sullivan||GBR||Carlin||DNF (crash)|
|17||3||Javier Sagrera||ESP||Elite Motorsport||DNF (crash)|