1st May 2019
Zak O’Sullivan enjoyed a sensational weekend behind the wheel with two second place finishes, two rookie wins and another rookie podium to cap off an impressive weekend. He leaves Donington Park third in the championship standings and as the leading rookie.
The second round of this season’s Ginetta Junior Championship took the 14-year-old to Donington Park, where he’d look to match his impressive debut weekend in cars with a three-race weekend at the Midlands circuit.
It was a wet track for qualifying as the Ginetta Junior Championship got underway on Saturday, as the twenty-five car hit the track for qualifying at Donington Park.
Getting off to a near perfect start, despite the adverse conditions, O’Sullivan instantly showed his pace from the start as he qualified in second position with a time of 1:35.780, one and a half seconds quicker than the third-place driver, ensuring a front row grid start for the youngster in the opening race.
Zak’s second quickest lap time of 1:35.903, was once again the second quickest lap time, ensuring another front row start, this time in the second race taking place on Sunday.
Saturday’s opening race of the weekend once again took place in challenging conditions following the earlier rain in Donington. Despite the conditions, Zak managed to stay out of trouble in a hectic race as he was involved in a battle at the top end of the field.
Managing to hold onto his second position, Zak narrowly missed out on the top position as he secured a strong start to the weekend finishing in second place, whilst claiming his first rookie victory of the weekend, and second of the season.
The following day saw Zak back out on the track ready to compete in two races on a busy Sunday programme at Donington Park. With his second fastest lap time from qualifying, ensuring another front row start for the youngster in the second race of the weekend, leaving the 14-year-old in a strong position for the day ahead.
However, a difficult start saw Zak fall back down the grid in another chaotic race. Despite the difficult start, Zak managed to negotiate his way through the remainder of the race, staying out of trouble as he managed to gain back some lost places.
A late safety car appeared to halt Zak’s chances of any late movements up the grid, however, the youngster ended the race in P8, resulting in another visit to the rookie podium, this time in third place, as Zak picked up valuable points in the championship.
The final race of the day saw Zak start from P8, following his finish from the previous race. Saving arguably his best driving performance for the last round of the weekend, Zak was involved in an epic battle for the crucial podium places. Zak smartly negotiated his way up the grid, staying away from the chaos around him..
With two laps to go, Zak made a daring move up the inside of two drivers, which reaped rewards for the Douglas Motorsport driver, seeing him jump through the two cars into second position. O’Sullivan then defended his position smartly until the end of the race, securing his second podium of the weekend as well as his second rookie win of the weekend.
Following another strong weekend in only his second outing in cars, Zak leaves Donington Park in third position in the championship standings with 116 points. This also means Zak leads the Rookie Championship by 24 points at the early stage of the season.
Reflecting on an impressive weekend, Zak added:
“It was another really strong weekend for us. It was great to get the two rookie wins and the two podiums. I feel more and more confident every time I get in the car now, following the move up from karts. The pace is strong at the moment but there is definitely still lots of work to do, so we can hopefully get the first outright win of the season next time out!”
Zak’s next outing in the Michelin Ginetta Junior Championship will be at Thruxton race track in three week’s time (18th - 19th May).