GB3 drivers Zak O’Sullivan and Ollie Bearman have been selected as finalists for this year’s Aston Martin Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year Award, it was confirmed today (Thursday).
The duo are among four drivers in contention for one of the most coveted prizes in motorsport, with the package offering £200,000, full British Racing Drivers’ Club membership and an Arai helmet.
Carlin driver O’Sullivan is on the verge of claiming this year’s GB3 Championship title following an outstanding campaign, having won five races so far in 2021, with seven additional podium finishes. Bearman, a part-time contender in GB3 with Fortec, has so far competed in nine races, with a win and three second places. He’s also raced in two F4 series in Europe this year, currently leading both by a significant margin.
Louis Foster, a multiple BRDC British F3 race winner in 2020, has also been nominated following a strong season in the EuroFormula category. He lies second in the championship standings with one round remaining.
The four drivers will undergo fitness and simulator assessments before a two-day test at the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit, where they will get behind the wheel of MSV F2 cars plus a BBM Sport Ginetta LMP3 and a Garage 59 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 car.
Their performances will be judged by a panel including BRDC Vice-President Derek Warwick, previous Award winners Darren Turner, Andrew Kirkaldy and Alexander Sims, BTCC legend Jason Plato plus McLaren designer Mark Williams, leading engineer Leena Gade, commentator Ian Titchmarsh and Autosport’s Chief Editor Kevin Turner. The winner will be announced at the Autosport Awards in London on 19 December.
The GB3 Championship’s predecessors, BRDC British F3 and BRDC F4, have a strong track record of success with the prestigious Award, with drivers from those categories winning on five of the last six occasions, courtesy of George Russell, Will Palmer, Lando Norris, Tom Gamble and Johnathan Hoggard.
Speaking to Autosport Magazine, O’Sullivan said: “I saw the top 10 announcement and thought that was really cool but didn’t think anything more about it as I’m focusing on winning the GB3 title. I’ll be much more familiar with the Formula 2 car, it’s more what I’m used to, but I’m also looking forward to the GT3. With GB3 and British GT being on the same package it’ll be great to see what the cars are like.”
Bearman added: “Since the award was called off last year it wasn’t in the front of my mind, but I saw [2019 winner] Johnathan Hoggard got his F1 test run and it’s a pleasant surprise to be in the final four. I’m looking forward to the GT3 because in F4 a lot of the time we support GT3 series, and I drive a lot of GT3 in iRacing and sims.”
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