F3: O’Sullivan beats fellow Williams junior Browning for Barcelona Sprint Race win
Zak O’Sullivan reigned supreme in the battle of the British Williams juniors. Starting from reverse grid pole, the PREMA Racing driver held off Browning’s attempts and two Safety Car restarts to secure his second victory of the 2023 Formula 3 season.
Despite showing rapid pace in the early stages, Browning couldn’t get through on his compatriot, but still secured his first Championship podium after keeping third-placed Leonardo Fornaroli at bay in the final three laps.
The action-packed race began with Ido Cohen finding the barriers at Turn 9 to bring out the Safety Car on the opening lap. Opting to go extremely early on the restart with three corners to go, O’Sullivan bolted clear of Browning on Lap 5.
After a mistake at the final corner saw Gregoire Saucy drop from fourth to seventh, Mercedes junior Paul Aron and Sebastian Montoya squabbled over the position, making contact and forcing the Hitech Pulse-Eight driver to pit with a puncture. Dino Beganovic also sustained a separate puncture, forcing him into the gravel at Turn 10.
Further back, Alpine junior Gabriele Mini was on a charge from P18 on the grid. In a drawn-out battle with Campos Racing’s Christian Mansell, the pair made contact, sending Mansell spinning off into the gravel at Turn 2. The Hitech Pulse-Eight driver received at 10-second time penalty for the incident.
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Replicating his previous restart, O’Sullivan held on to victory with three laps to go, whilst Browning defended from Fornaroli behind. Championship leader Gabriel Bortoleto kept up his consistency with P4, ahead of Aron, Colapinto and home hero Mari Boya.
Mini’s penalty moved Josep Maria Marti up to eighth, as Saucy and Taylor Barnard completed the top 10.
Marti will be eager to put on a show for his home crowd when he lines up on pole for Sunday’s Feature Race at 9:55 local time.