Gosberton race ace Abbi makes F4 podium at Brands Hatch
Gosberton race ace Abbi Pulling made the podium in the latest round of the British F4 Championship at the iconic Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit.
On her first racing visit to the GP circuit, Abbi (17) showed good pace during Friday testing, translating that into a fourth place time in the vital qualifying session early on Saturday morning.
With two races during the day in the 32 degree heat, it was always going to be a tough day and Abbi rose to the challenge magnificently. After a good start in race one she soon cemented herself into fourth, constantly pulling away from the chasing pack and just behind the lead trio. A strong fourth place finish was just reward for her efforts.
Another good start in race two saw her into third place with a train of drivers behind and the front two edging away. Once again, consistency played its part and despite severe pressure from two more experienced drivers behind her, she gradually caught the leaders, getting to within a second of the winner but running out of laps to mount a challenge.
This resulted in a maiden podium and a major step for Abbi in her racing career. She became only the second female to step onto a British F4 podium. More importantly, her on-track performance showed the promise of more to come.
The third race on Sunday afternoon, televised live on ITV4, saw her starting from a difficult grid position of seventh.Abbi managed to hold position for the whole race and was challenging for fifth on the last lap when a collision with the car behind saw her spin out of the race.
Abbi said: "Overall, it's been a really good weekend. There was a bit more in the bag after looking at the data, but it's my best qualifying performance in my second meeting in British F4, so it's not too shabby.
“The first race I started and finished fourth so it was quite a calm race. Race two was kind of the highlight of the weekend; I got my first podium and it’s not like it was an easy race either.
"I was pushing 100% from start to finish as I had two very experienced drivers behind me in Browning and Connor who have both raced at Brands Hatch in the past, whereas I'd only done one test day beforehand so you can't really complain about that, especially as we caught the leaders at the end as well.
“Race three didn't really go our way – I messed up the start a little bit, but you know it's still a learning experience. It was annoying that we had a bit of contact on the last lap which put me down in 14th position because it would have been a good point scoring weekend if it wasn't for that.
“The pace is definitely there, and we've shown the lads that I'm here to win. I was speechless on Saturday and hopefully we can carry that to Oulton Park. We've been strong there in testing and I know that I've got the pace.”
British Women Racing Driver Club chair Lorraine Gathercole was following the live timing on Saturday and was delighted by Abbi’s performance, saying: "She proved herself in this highly competitive formula with her first podium. The thrilling third race was live on ITV 4 and sponsors and supporters of this upcoming talent were able to enjoy seeing a star in action."
Abbi’s next race is at Oulton Park in two weeks, this time at a track she knows well, and she goes there full of confidence.
Abbi is still looking for sponsors and partners to benefit from her journey to that top step and beyond. Please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.