How Zak O’Sullivan can win the GB3 Championship between rounds
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 both Race 2 and Race 3 even if O’Sullivan were to retire from Race 1 and leave the door slightly ajar.
2021 GB3 Championship Standings After 21 Races:
|2||18||Ayrton Simmons||GBR||Chris Dittmann Racing||342pts|
|4||7||Roberto Faria||BRA||Fortec Motorsport||316pts|
|5||13||Reece Ushijima||JPN||Hitech GP||308pts|
|6||50||Bart Horsten||AUS||Hitech GP||295pts|
|7||4||Roman Bilinski||POL||Arden Motorsport||262pts|
|8||34||Tom Lebbon||GBR||Elite Motorsport||259pts|
|9||12||Sebastian Alvarez||MEX||Hitech GP||257pts|
|10||3||Javier Sagrera||ESP||Elite Motorsport||240pts|
|11||78||Frederick Lubin||GBR||Arden Motorsport||223pts|
|13||43||Mikkel Grundtvig||DEN||Fortec Motorsport||180pts|
|14||87||Oliver Bearman||GBR||Fortec Motorsport||163pts|
|15||27||Alex Connor||GBR||Arden Motorsport||138pts|
|16||99||Jose Garfias||MEX||Elite Motorsport||117pts|
|17||68||Branden Lee Oxley||GBR||Chris Dittmann Racing||90pts|
|18||10||Reema Juffali||SAU||Douglas Motorsport||86pts|
|19||81||Max Marzorati||GBR||Chris Dittmann Racing||78pts|
|20||55||Dexter Patterson||GBR||Douglas Motorsport||70pts|
|22||8||Hunter Yeany||USA||Fortec Motorsport||36pts|
|23||55||Tommy Smith||AUS||Douglas Motorsport||36pts|
|24||8||Luke Browning||GBR||Fortec Motorsport||35pts|
|25||90||Alex Fores||GBR||Chris Dittmann Racing||0pts|
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