The vast majority of the 2021 BRDC British F3 field were in action on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit today (Thursday) as preparations for the new season reached their final stages. Carlin’s Zak O’Sullivan emerged as the fastest of 18 drivers on a wet/dry day at the legendary Kent circuit, with the test acting as an early form guide ahead of the new season.
O'Sullivan’s time of 1m21.039s came in session four when track conditions were at their best, and was faster than any time achieved by a British F3 car during last year’s race weekend. The 16-year-old was almost four tenths of a second clear of the field, with British F3 returnee Bart Horsten second fastest. Hitech’s GP Horsten had set the fastest time of the day with around half the final session remaining, before two late flying laps from British F4 runner-up O'Sullivan that were enough to put the young Brit on top of the pile.
Carlin's Australian charge Christian Mansell, another F4 graduate, was third, 0.078s away from Horsten and a couple of tenths ahead of teammate Bryce Aron in fourth. Frederick Lubin powered newcomers Arden into the top-five, and just 0.051s clear of teammate and fellow F4 graduate Alex Connor in sixth.
Douglas Motorsport’s Sauber-backed Scotsman Dexter Patterson was seventh overall courtesy of his effort in session three, while Chris Dittmann Racing's best time came courtesy of Alex Fores, with the 20-year-old F3 Cup runner-up just under a tenth clear of Ginetta Junior champion Tom Lebbon. Lebbon ensured another new team, Elite Motorsport, were represented inside the top-10, with his teammate Javier Sagrera tenth overall and just 0.034s further back.
The field will be back in action at Brands Hatch next weekend (22-23 May) for the first race event of the 2021 season.
The day started wet, with the pair of morning sessions affected by persistent drizzle, but the afternoon was almost completely dry. Connor (Arden) and Roberto Faria (Fortec) were the fastest drivers in the morning, with O’Sullivan topping the times in both afternoon tests. O’Sullivan commented: “The morning started off very wet, and it was just about building up to it, and the afternoon’s gone pretty well. There’s still quite a bit of work to do, a bit from me and a bit with the car, but things are looking good ahead of round one.”
BRDC British F3 Championship, Brands Hatch test, combined classification:
1. Zak O'Sullivan, Carlin, 1m21.039s
2. Bart Horsten, Hitech GP, +0.384s
3. Christian Mansell, Carlin, +0.462s
4. Bryce Aron, Carlin, +0.690s
5. Frederick Lubin, Arden, +0.887s
6. Alex Connor, Arden, +0.938s
7. Dexter Patterson, Douglas Motorsport, +0.949s
8. Alex Fores, Chris Dittmann Racing, +1.247s
9. Tom Lebbon, Elite Motorsport, +1.344s
10. Javier Sagrera, Elite Motorsport, +1.378s
11. Roberto Faria, Fortec Motorsports, +1.657s
12. Ayrton Simmons, Chris Dittmann Racing, +1.708s
13. Jose Garfias, Elite Motorsport, +2.150s
14. Reece Ushijima, Hitech GP, +2.524s
15. Sebastian Alvarez, Hitech GP, +2.739s
16. Max Marzorati, Chris Dittmann Racing, +3.153s
17. Reema Juffali, Douglas Motorsport, +3.284s
18. Mikkel Grundtvig, Fortec Motorsports, +3.300s
For more championship information visit www.britishf3.com