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Abbi Pulling to take part in the W Series races at Silverstone alongside Formula 1 at the British Grand Prix weekend

Gosberton’s Abbi Pulling admitted to feeling ‘over the moon’ after being selected to make her W Series debut this weekend.

Pulling has been chosen to drive for the Puma team with Spain’s Marta Garcia when the W Series races alongside Formula 1 at the British Grand Prix weekend.

The 18-year-old was named as a W Series reserve driver for the 2021 season after being invited to take part in the pre-season test at the Anglesey Circuit, Wales, in May.

Abbi Pulling (right) will make her W Series debut alongside mentor Alice Powell.
Abbi Pulling (right) will make her W Series debut alongside mentor Alice Powell.

She said: “I am over the moon to be making my W Series debut at Silverstone and I want to show people what I can do.

“I have never been to the British Grand Prix weekend before and I can’t even begin to imagine what the atmosphere will be like racing in front of a full home crowd.

“It will be a very special occasion and, whatever the result, something that will stay with me forever.

“My only experience of Silverstone’s Grand Prix circuit was in the Ginetta GT5 Challenge in 2019 when I got my first top-10 finish in car racing after starting outside the top 20, so I will be trying to draw on those good memories.

“I will prepare as well as I can, watch lots of videos, work hard on the simulator and ask Alice (Powell) lots of questions.”

Powell has been Pulling’s mentor during her fledgling career with the 28-year-old having won the opening round of the W Series season in Austria and is third in the championship standings ahead of her home race at Silverstone.

Pulling added: “I wouldn’t be where I am now without Alice. My whole perspective changed when I started working with her last year.

“She is constantly training or doing something to benefit her racing – the amount of work she puts in is crazy and of a very high standard.

“She opened my eyes and made me realise how hard I need to work to achieve my goal of reaching F1, which feels like a realistic one thanks to her.

“Alice has helped me technically, mentally and physically and my results have improved so much.

“W Series’ pre-season test at Anglesey couldn’t have gone much better for me and I’ll head to Silverstone feeling competitive.

“It will be strange racing against Alice and I hope it goes better than the only previous time it happened when we collided during a go-kart race.

“We won’t be easy on each other, but I know that Alice and lots of the other girls are trying to win the championship and I’m a reserve driver, so I’ll be respectful of that.

“Alice is a great driver who has already won a race this season, so if I am battling her it’s likely to be at the front of the field and I’ll take that.”

Powell was delighted that her protege was getting the chance to step up with the former Bourne Academy pupil having previously been a British karting champion who currently competes in the British Formula 4 championship.

Powell said: “I am really happy for Abbi because she thoroughly deserves this opportunity.

“I started working with her in August 2020 on all the elements of being a racing driver. At the end of last year, she moved closer to me so we could train together every day to ramp up her fitness and we also do lots of simulator work.

“Her work ethic is extremely good and that has allowed her to make the step up from karting to single seaters.

“Abbi is a serious talent. She hasn’t had that much experience in single seaters because budget has been an issue, so it’s great that W Series has given her this chance on the biggest stage.

“Given the right opportunities and backing, Abbi can go all the way and achieve her goal of reaching Formula 1.

“We’ve been joking about racing together at Silverstone and, though we’ll race hard if we come up against each other, we’ll be fair.

“I know she’ll be working hard to achieve a great result on debut and it will be a proud moment for me to see her racing at the British Grand Prix weekend.”

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