Academy Report: Four in action last weekend

Published on
26 Mar 2024
Est. reading time
3 Min

Discover how Franco, Zak, Luke and Oleksandr fared as they tick off another race weekend

The Williams Racing trip Down Under wasn't one that the team will look back on with fond memories.
Sadly, our Williams Racing Driver Academy also endured an Albert Park weekend of misfortune.
Nonetheless, each scored points in Australia as Franco Colapinto, Zak O'Sullivan, and Luke Browning returned to action in Formula 2 and Formula 3.
Some four-wheeled racing happened in Europe, too, as Oleksandr Bondarev raced in Valencia in karts as the 2024 motorsport season continues ramping up.

Formula 2

Franco Colapinto
A P13 qualification had Franco on the back foot all weekend in Melbourne, with two races to fight forward from the back half of the field.
Saturday's Sprint Race saw a strong performance from our Argentinian as he advanced to a P4 classification on Saturday after some sublime wheel-to-wheel racing and a post-race penalty for the initial winner.
Sunday wasn't to be more of the same despite a P7 finish. Franco had a slow start, ending the first lap in P18.
He did fight back through the order, but a disqualification for not completing a pre-race procedure left him empty-handed despite his efforts, concluding his time in Australia on a sour note.
Zak O'Sullivan
An unfortunate time for Zak had the British driver leaving the state of Victoria with just one point more than when he entered.
Fighting with Franco on Saturday in the F2 Sprint Race was clean, and the two had reached the upper places after Zak's P11 qualification, but he slipped back to cross the line in P9, finishing in P8 after a rival's 10-second penalty.
Sunday, however, was a day of problems from the off. Zak was the one on the receiving end of a time penalty for a Lap 1 collision, with further contact later in the race ultimately seeing an early retirement for the teenager.
Miss it live? Watch our Zak, Franco and Luke make their Melbourne Fan Zone appearance...

Formula 3

Luke Browning
By grabbing P4 in qualifying, Luke enjoyed a better time in Australia than his Williams Driver Academy's F2 peers, and he remains atop the F3 standings.
Saturday wasn't as fruitful as Friday's qualifying session, however, with Luke suffering a mechanical issue that had him head to the pit lane on Lap 5 and run the remaining tours of Albert Park one lap down.
A better Sunday followed, and Luke was running in P4 after recovering past Nikita Bedrin following an early Safety Car slowdown.
Overtaking around the outside of Turn 9 for P3 looked like a podium-position finish could be possible, but Luke settled for fourth place, ending the race just 0.8s behind the top three.


Oleksandr Bondarev
Bondi will hope for some better times ahead after a disappointing P30 finish in the opening round of the OK European Championship.
Our Ukrainian sat among the upper positions in qualifying, showing good pace, but leaves Spain already looking ahead to the trip to France next month.

As Formula 1 goes off to enjoy some more flyaway races, our racers in F2 and F3 get a two-month break before returning for the busy European season, starting at Imola in May.
Meanwhile, Sara Matsui, our other karting hope, will be in action for the opening round of the Champions of the Future Academy, which kicks off at Cremona Karting in Italy this weekend.
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