British F4 series rookie Zak O’Sullivan kept up his strong start to his first season in single-seater racing by taking two more podium finishes at the challenging Oulton Park circuit in Cheshire (August 21-23).
After qualifying a strong third in his Carlin-run machine on Saturday morning, the 15-year-old finished second in the opening race of the weekend and third in the finale, taking his overall rostrum count to six for the season.
These results book-ended a tricky wet second race, where O’Sullivan bogged down at the start from fifth on the grid and dropped outside the top 10, but was still able to fight back to ninth by the flag.
The reigning Ginetta Junior Rookie Cup champion is now second in the overall standings, 22 points behind second-year driver Luke Browning (Fortec) and 48 clear of Alex Connor (Arden) in third.
After setting the fastest overall time in Friday’s free practice, O’Sullivan secured third on the grid on Saturday morning, 0.127 behind pole-sitter James Hedley (JHR).
At a track where overtaking is usually difficult, O’Sullivan took advantage of a mid-race safety car to catch and pass Hedley, finishing just behind race-winner Browning.
Sunday brought with it the challenge of rain, leading to a tough second race for O’Sullivan, who made a slow start and dropped towards the tail of the field. Despite a mid-race spin at Island Hairpin, he was able to battle back to ninth and collect more valuable points.
Sunday’s finale on a dry circuit was more straightforward, with O’Sullivan resisting the challenge of Roberto Faria (Fortec) to take the final step on the podium.
O’Sullivan, from Withington, near Cirencester, said: “We struggled a little bit for pace over the weekend so it was a good result to bring home two more podiums.
“Oulton Park is similar to Brands Hatch in that it’s hard to overtake, and the positions at turn one on lap one are usually the same at the end of the race. That’s pretty much what happened in both race one and three.
“Both of those races went to plan but the second race in the rain was a bit of an awkward one. I made a little mistake at the start but I’ll know what not to do next time!
“There are still 18 races to go and I am just focusing on every weekend as it comes. There’s no need to focus on the championship until the last round as there are 75 points available at every meeting and there’s a long way to go.”
The F4 circus travels north of the border this weekend, visiting the ever-popular Knockhill circuit near Fife for the fourth meeting in five weekends.
“Knockhill is like a little kart track – it’s a Scottish rollercoaster! I went well in Ginettas there last year, so I am looking forward to it,” added O’Sullivan.
“It will be the same approach again of trying to improve every day of the weekend and picking up as many points as I can.”