Home Formula 3BRDC British F3 O’Sullivan tops BRDC British F3 test day at Brands Hatch Indy

O’Sullivan tops BRDC British F3 test day at Brands Hatch Indy

by Steve Whitfield

Photo: Jakob Ebery Photography

Zak O’Sullivan set the pace again in the final pre-season BRDC British Formula 3 test at Brands Hatch Indy.

The Carlin driver set the fastest time across the four test sessions on Friday, with the season opener taking place this weekend on the circuit’s full Grand Prix layout – used for the most recent test where O’Sullivan was also fastest.

O’Sullivan’s closest challenger was series returnee Ayrton Simmons – a title favourite as he embarks on a second full season with Chris Dittmann Racing – who was second fastest overall and actually set an identical 43.804s lap to O’Sullivan to jointly top the day’s opening session.

Javier Sagrera led the way early on ahead of reigning Ginetta Junior champion Tom Lebbon, but the Elite Motorsport pair eventually dropped to fifth and sixth. The session was red-flagged with just under three minutes remaining after Douglas Motorsport’s Reema Juffali beached her car in the gravel at Paddock Hill Bend.

Dexter Patterson was third fastest for Douglas ahead of Ollie Bearman, who then led the way for Fortec Motorsports early in the second session by lowering the day’s benchmark to a time of 43.578s.

Simmons then bettered that effort by 0.1s, with Patterson again edging Bearman to move into second. But it was O’Sullivan who ended up on top once more, setting a time of 43.298s in the final minutes. With rain arriving before the afternoon’s final two sessions, O’Sullivan’s lap would not be beaten.

Carlin’s strong day continued, with Christian Mansell setting a time of 52.361s to beat Hitech GP’s Sebastian Alvarez by 0.075s to top spot in the rain-affected third session.

Bryce Aron triggered the second red flag of the day after spinning off at Clarke Curve, but the Carlin driver bounced back in similar conditions to be on top for most of the final session. It was Arden, slowest in the dry, that ended up as the team on top in that session with Frederick Lubin beating team-mate Alex Connor, before a spin for Juffali brought an early end to proceedings.

Patterson set the fifth fastest time overall of the test, sandwiched between the Fortec pair of Robert Faria and Bearman.

Reece Ushijima was the fastest driver from the Hitech stable, pipping team-mate Alvarez to eighth, while Juffali ended up 10th fastest despite a tricky day.

Test results
Pos Name Team Time Gap Laps
1 Zak O’Sullivan Carlin 43.298s 113
2 Ayrton Simmons Chris Dittmann Racing 43.438s +0.140s 102
3 Christian Mansell Carlin 43.462s +0.164s 108
4 Roberto Faria Fortec Motorsports 43.493s +0.195s 99
5 Dexter Patterson Douglas Motorsport 43.575s +0.277s 77
6 Ollie Bearman Fortec Motorsports 43.578s +0.280s 98
7 Bryce Aron Carlin 43.646s +0.348s 108
8 Reece Ushijima Hitech GP 43.726s +0.428s 84
9 Sebastian Alvarez Hitech GP 43.752s +0.454s 81
10 Reema Juffali Douglas Motorsport 43.817s +0.519s 104
11 Tom Lebbon Elite Motorsport 43.839s +0.541s 77
12 Alex Fores Chris Dittmann Racing 43.844s +0.546s 99
13 Max Marzorati Chris Dittmann Racing 43.883s +0.585s 101
14 Javier Sagrera Elite Motorsport 43.941s +0.643s 77
15 Jorge Garfias Elite Motorsport 43.946s +0.648s 97
16 Mikkel Grundtvig Fortec Motorsports 43.946s +0.628s 96
17 Bart Horsten Hitech GP 44.039s +0.741s 65
18 Alex Connor Arden 44.349s +1.051s 92
19 Frederick Lubin Arden 44.359s +1.061s 91