To be fighting for a Championship in your rookie season is special, but to be doing it at 15-years-old is even more astonishing. That’s exactly what Zak O’Sullivan is doing this year.
During a year of uncertainty and suffering, racing around the world resumed with the purpose of being as safe as possible, especially during these times where coronavirus is the hottest topic.
But with 26 rounds of the British F4 Championship being squeezed into a four month period, drivers, mechanics and all team personnel are all working their socks off to ensure that this season didn’t go to waste.
Zak O’Sullivan, has taken to these F4 cars like a fish takes to water, all while being a rookie competing in his first year of single seaters. Six wins and a further seven podiums for the Cheltenham born racer is an outstanding return for someone who is a relative novice to these cars.
Having raced in Ginetta’s in 2019, having that extra experience driving on similar circuits to this year has helped in O’Sullivan’s favour.
“It’s gone really well, I’ve learned a lot this year but there’s always so much to work on,” O’Sullivan said. “It was quite a tricky one, you’re in a car and learning all the time after getting out of karts and it was pretty difficult.
“But the main advantage with the Genetta’s was gaining the experience of the tracks and having that year’s extra experience.”
With his season starting off well, leading the Championship after the first three races at Donington Park which included a victory and a second-place, a few torrid races during the middle part of the season left O’Sullivan with a lot of work to do.
“It started off really well,” said O’Sullivan. I led the championship for the first three races had a good consistency, but then I had a bit of an issue, we had some issues and some bad luck at the middle stage at Thruxton and Knockhill,
“I think at Thruxton I only scored five points away from the weekend with two DNF’s and a mechanical issue, that wasn’t ideal because after that round there was a 62 point gap.
“Then in my mind, it was kind of a bit of a reset I just needed to go for any opportunity and desperately claw back anything that was lost and go on the offensive rather than the defensive.”
However in the last five races O’Sullivan has been superb, clawing back at that Championship lead to reduce to only 13 points with just six races remaining. Being a rookie hasn’t hindered him, but O’Sullivan predicted the rookie would hit top form towards the end of the year.
“I think it has paid off for [Luke] Browning in certain things and in certain conditions,” O’Sullivan said smirking. “But for sure we’re all coming closer and coming faster towards the end of the season.
“The drivers with second-year experience always try to make up ground at the start of the season and then towards the end of the year the rookies come charging through.”
A title in his rookie season will cap off a fantastic year for the 15-year-old, a year that has been plagued with tragedy and unpredictability. This boy is aiming for the top, and nobody can stop him.
If you would like to sponsor and support Zak on his motorsport adventure, follow him at @ZakOSullivan on Twitter and @zak.osullivan on Instagram.