Academy Report: Positive progress and points for our quintet

Published on
01 Aug 2023
Est. reading time
4 Min

Find out how our Williams Racing Driver Academy quintet have got on recently

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

Victory number four for Zak O'Sullivan saw the British racer equal the record for wins in a single season on a terrific day at the Hungaroring.
Pole position, the fastest lap, and an insurmountable lead made Zak’s Sunday drive in Budapest an enjoyable one, overcoming unexpectedly high degradation on Pirelli's medium compound tyre to be the class of the field.
That fast-racing form continued into Spa-Francorchamps in the Sprint Race, with a push through the order to P4, but a five-second penalty for an off-track overtake frustratingly saw Zak leave Belgium empty-handed.
WATCH: Zak and Franco's Hungary podium celebrations

Franco Colapinto

Fresh from his Silverstone victory, Franco Colapinto continued his podium-worthy drives with a P3 in Hungary's Feature Race to make it a Williams Racing 1-3 finish.
The Argentine driver defended from Ollie Goethe on the opening lap to keep P4 before some excellent driving had him get by Goethe's teammate, Leonardo Fornaroli, to grab third place and a fourth 2023 trophy for his growing collection.
More points in Belgium came amid highly changeable conditions. Colapinto's P10 in Sunday's Feature Race represented the fourth-best finish of those that ran the slick tyre in the wet conditions, and he heads into the summer break having hit the 100-point milestone with one round to go.

Luke Browning

A couple of tricky qualifying sessions saw Luke Browning miss out on the all-important top-12 starting position, with our young Brit fighting forward from the midfield in July's second double-header.
In Hungary, that meant advancing from P18, and with many spinning or colliding in the Sprint Race, Luke reached P11 by the chequered flag before a time penalty dropped him a little further back.
However, Belgium did net the 21-year-old Brit some points. Luke used the few moments of Saturday's Race that weren't behind the safety car to climb into the top 10 for a P8 classification and three well-earned points following an incident-filled 12 laps.

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Ollie Gray

The uncertainty of which tyre was the best option for the slowly-drying track in Belgium's Feature Race sadly saw Ollie Gray fall from a point-scoring position during an early-race safety car.
After rocketing 17 places up the order in one lap from P25, Ollie switched from wet to dry tyres in the slowdown but soon found the Pirellis grooved rubber was the better choice. The busy midfield battles soon engulfed him, and late-race contact with Hugh Barter ended his race.
The overtaking abundance in Spa followed a Hungaroring trip with similar advances through the order. A qualifying crash meant Ollie began both races from P30, but his moves and other drivers' mistakes led to an impressive P14 finish in the Sprint Race, 16 places higher.

Indy NXT

Jamie Chadwick

A first taste of oval racing for Jamie Chadwick followed her maiden top-10 finish at Mid-Ohio earlier in July – and Chadders doubled up by reaching the top positions with another P10 at Iowa Speedway.
Jamie led a rookie quartet with her P13 qualification but slipped down to P15 in the opening corners of the 75-lap race before recovering up the order.
Sixty laps of green-flag racing meant no opportunities to take advantage of slowdowns, but some contact in the final 15 laps meant Jamie could vault up to P10, making it two races running where she took 20 points home with her.
Just one round remains for our F3 racers, who go from four races in one month to four race-free weekends, returning to action across September 1-3 at Monza.
It's another story for Jamie, though, who instead has a double-header and triple-header coming up, starting this weekend in Nashville for the Indy NXT by Firestone Music City Grand Prix.
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