Academy Report: Success in Spielberg and Silverstone

Published on
10 Jul 2023
Est. reading time
5 Min

Catch up with all the latest Williams Racing Driver Academy action

A three-week June break for the Williams Racing Driver Academy came to a sudden stop with Formula 3's Spielberg and Silverstone double-header, but our drivers showed their speed to add two more wins to their ever-growing tally.
Zak O'Sullivan took his first Feature Race victory in Austria and Franco Colapinto bagged a Sprint Race triumph at Silverstone to see both grabbing valuable points as the F3 season enters its final three rounds.
Stateside, Jamie Chadwick took a personal best finish in Indy NXT's Mid-Ohio round with her first top-10 classification as the season reached its halfway point.

Formula 3

Zak O'Sullivan

Austria's frantic Feature Race saw some of the championship's best racing at the front of the field, and Zak came out on top for a third winner's trophy in 2023 — and his first Sunday F3 win.
Fighting with championship leader Gabriel Bortoleto after battling forward from a P6 start, our 18-year-old held his nerve to cross the line first and add 25 points to his season total.
The success followed a Saturday surge forward in wet conditions. P10 turned to P4 with multiple successful overtakes, including one on the last lap on Pepe Martí that was close to snatching a podium in Zak's highest-scoring F3 weekend.
Unfortunately, that form didn't continue to Silverstone, the site of such a memorable weekend in 2022 for Zak, as wet weather on Saturday and being pushed wide on Sunday led to two point-less home races.
WATCH: Winning celebrations for Zak in Austria

Franco Colapinto

After the Australian heartbreak of losing a win through a technical disqualification, Franco kept his winner's trophy in Silverstone, recording his first F3 victory of 2023 in the process.
As he consistently seems to do, our Argentine Academy hopeful kept his car among the top positions in the Sprint Race and was there to pounce after a Safety Car restart to jump from P3 to P1 when the two leaders collided at Turn 1.
Franco led muted celebrations on the podium and dedicated his victory to Dilano van 't Hoff, the Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine driver who tragically lost his life one week earlier and raced for Colapinto's team, MP Motorsport.
The win followed an Austrian Feature Race where Franco looked set for more silverware by running P3 with just a few corners left. Sadly, contact from Sebastián Montoya lost the position, but he came home in P4 to take 12 valuable championship points.
In Photos: An emotional win for Franco Colapinto

Luke Browning

The first of two July double-headers didn’t go to plan for Luke Browning, who suffered his first rounds without any top-10 finishes this season in a challenging fortnight of racing.
P14 in Austrian Qualifying, just two positions shy of the reverse grid pole, had Luke on the back foot for the weekend, and he narrowly missed out on a point by eight-tenths with a P11 Sprint Race finish.
A puncture in the Feature Race after teammate Gabriele Minì drove into the back of Luke's Hitech car dropped him to last place before recovering slightly to record P23 when crossing the finish line.
Silverstone looked to have more promise, with a P8 in Qualifying, but a pit stop gamble in the safety car to switch to wet tyres didn't work out in the Sprint Race, dropping Luke from his P4 place to out of the points. His Feature Race lasted just one lap after being pushed wide and breaking his suspension.

Ollie Gray

Over the past two rounds, Ollie Gray continued to rack up the miles in his rookie F3 season, with the teenager recording his joint-best Feature Race finish in Austria with P14 to bounce back from his first DNF of 2023.
The P20 Spielberg qualification was the best of any Rodin Carlin in F3, and Ollie had reached P15 by Lap 6 in an encouraging Sprint Race. Sadly, a moment of understeer on the downhill run to Turn 4 had him collect Rafael Villagómez, ending both drivers' races and bringing out the Safety Car.
On home soil at Silverstone, Ollie qualified in the middle of a Rodin Carlin sandwich to start both races from P25. This became the same position he'd finish in the Sprint after pitting for wet tyres during the Safety Car period.
He and Zak enjoyed some late-race wheel-to-wheel action in Sunday's Feature Race, with Ollie taking P20 despite the late-race shower that made for a tricky track surface.

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Indy NXT

Jamie Chadwick

While our F3 quartet had two full-on rounds, Jamie's racing happened on the weekend when Alex and Logan took on the Red Bull Ring, with a race-free time during the British GP.
In what became a two-lap shootout in Qualifying, thanks to a mid-session red flag, Jamie took P12 on her final lap as the Mid-Ohio course continued to speed up.
P12 turned into a season-best P10 during a race where the three-time W Series champion fought behind fellow rookie Enaam Ahmed throughout the 35 laps of running.
Surviving a brief sprinkle of rain that caught out championship leader Nolan Siegel, Jamie dropped down a place when Ahmed nudged her wide, but she regained P10 after Jagger Jones span out of contention in the final laps.
Formula 3 will join F1 at the upcoming Hungarian and Belgian Grands Prix for two all-important rounds as the championship enters its closing stages, starting on July 20.
Jamie, too, will jump back into action over our weekend at the Hungaroring as Indy NXT tackles its first oval event at the Iowa Speedway.
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