How Zak O’Sullivan can win the GB3 Championship between rounds

2 Mins read
Credit: Jakob Ebrey

Zak O’Sullivan has enjoyed a stellar debut season in the GB3 Championship, being one of the most consistent performers throughout the 21 races so far.

The first of Carlin‘s two title challengers going into the final round at Donington Park will take a 112-point lead to Leicestershire, with Chris Dittmann Racing‘s Ayrton Simmons just ahead of O’Sullivan’s team-mate Christian Mansell, the Australian also sitting narrowly within the maximum 116 points available at Donington.

O’Sullivan has suffered two retirements this season, one in a collision with early title challenger Reece Ushijima in the reverse-grid Race 3 at Donington in July, and another in Race 2 at Oulton Park, as an ambitious move on Fortec Motorsport‘s wildcard, and reigning F4 British Championship holder Luke Browning, sent the Gloucestershire driver onto the wet grass and into the tyre barriers.

Browning took the title by four points over O’Sullivan after a wet race was shortened at Brands Hatch in the season finale; perhaps the out-of-character risk-taking displayed by that move at Hislop’s was a legacy of last season’s title battle on the British Touring Car Championship support bill.

Meanwhile, Simmons has finished every race but Race 2 at Brands, when his CDR car rode atop Bart Horsten after the pair banged wheels at Druids on Lap 1. He won the first race of that weekend, taking a further three wins across the Championship’s two visits to Silverstone GP.

Mansell won Race 3 at Brands after making a stunning start in the wet, benefitting from a safety car late in the race to nullify the threat from behind. His second win came in similar conditions at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, ahead of team-mate O’Sullivan and mid-season British F4 graduate Roman Bilinski (Arden Motorsport). The Australian is the only driver to have started and finished all 21 races so far this season.

O’Sullivan goes into Donington in the enviable position of knowing that he can win the title before turning a wheel, should circumstances help him out.

The points system for the reverse-grid Race 3 offers points down to 15th, with points added for positions gained against the driver’s starting position, and there were only 17 entries at Oulton Park.

If the entry list reduces to 15 ahead of Donington, the Carlin man would be guaranteed the title even if he retired from the first two races and finished last in Race 3, on account of his five wins to date. By contrast, Simmons has four and Mansell has two, meaning O’Sullivan would take the title even if the points were tied after 24 races.

Supposing Donington sees the same entry list as the penultimate meeting at Oulton Park, O’Sullivan would only need to finish 16th in Race 1 to guarantee an unassailable margin back to Simmons and Mansell going into the final two races, which offer 55 points for winning both, before adding points for positions gained in Race 3.

However, with Race 3’s grid being the reverse of the Qualifying result, it is extremely unlikely that any driver would win all three races in a weekend, even if O’Sullivan were to retire from Race 1 and leave the door slightly ajar.

2021 GB3 Championship Standings After 21 Races:

151Zak O’SullivanGBRCarlin454pts
218Ayrton SimmonsGBRChris Dittmann Racing342pts
321Christian MansellAUSCarlin339pts
47Roberto FariaBRAFortec Motorsport316pts
513Reece UshijimaJPNHitech GP308pts
650Bart HorstenAUSHitech GP295pts
74Roman BilinskiPOLArden Motorsport262pts
834Tom LebbonGBRElite Motorsport259pts
912Sebastian AlvarezMEXHitech GP257pts
103Javier SagreraESPElite Motorsport240pts
1178Frederick LubinGBRArden Motorsport223pts
1223Bryce AronUSACarlin201pts
1343Mikkel GrundtvigDENFortec Motorsport180pts
1487Oliver BearmanGBRFortec Motorsport163pts
1527Alex ConnorGBRArden Motorsport138pts
1699Jose GarfiasMEXElite Motorsport117pts
1768Branden Lee OxleyGBRChris Dittmann Racing90pts
1810Reema JuffaliSAUDouglas Motorsport86pts
1981Max MarzoratiGBRChris Dittmann Racing78pts
2055Dexter PattersonGBRDouglas Motorsport70pts
215Jonathan BrowneROIHillspeed64pts
228Hunter YeanyUSAFortec Motorsport36pts
2355Tommy SmithAUSDouglas Motorsport36pts
248Luke BrowningGBRFortec Motorsport35pts
2590Alex ForesGBRChris Dittmann Racing0pts
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About author
Stickler for track limits, covering the GB3 Championship and the FIA Formula 3 Championship. Twitter: @MCallanderMedia
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