Abbi Pulling races in the opening round of the Formula 4 British Championship at Thruxton
Gosberton’s Abbi Pulling was left to rue a luckless weekend after a disappointing return from the first round of the Formula 4 British Championship.
Pulling finished in 13th place overall in the standings after the first meeting of the season at Thruxton.
She came home in 12th spot in both the first and third races with a fifth place in the second outing her best return.
Qualifying had gone well for Pulling ahead of Saturday’s first race where the drivers were met with difficult conditions on a damp but drying track.
Pulling and her JHR Developments team opted to run on wet tyres, as did most of the grid, and she made a great start by taking the lead.
However, with no further rain falling, those on wets found their tyres going away and the handful of drivers who gambled on slicks scythed their way through the field, relegating Pulling down the order for a disappointing opening contest of the weekend.
Pulling had to contend with starting at the rear of the field for the reverse grid race to start Sunday’s action, but she performed admirably and showed her skill and craft to cross the line in fifth place.
Lining up back at the front for the final contest of the weekend, Pulling started well but the race was quickly red-flagged for an incident at the final chicane which blocked the circuit.
With time constraints from delays in earlier races, the organisers moved the restart to the end of the day after the final British Touring Car Championship race.
That delay not only helped those caught up in the red flag fix their cars, but also changed the weather once more as rain moved back in across the circuit.
Pulling fell back to fifth and then her car lost performance and she struggled to keep up the sort of pace she is capable of.
She commented: “Qualifying couldn’t have been much better. I would have liked to have taken pole but having the team one, two, three and four was awesome.
“I knew I had the legs on my team-mates in certain areas, so I was quite happy. I hadn’t been to the track in over a year and a half in the wet but I thought we were in a good place.
“In race one I got the jump on Matthew Rees at the start and I ended up pulling over a second in the first two laps, but we made the wrong tyre choice.
“You can’t put too much blame on the team because no one knew what was going on, but sadly we went the wrong way.
“The reverse grid race on Sunday was awesome. We knew we had the pace, so it was about coming through. I knew I could do it and made sure I did everything we had talked about in the pre-season.
“It was then just a shame that it was our car which didn’t finish the third race where it should have and I am hoping the bad luck is out of the way this weekend.”
Pulling will now take a break before returning to action at Snetterton in Norfolk over the weekend of June 11-13.
She added: “The championship isn’t won first at the first round, it’s a long season, and I am confident in myself and the team.
“It’s annoying Snetterton is a month away as I want to redeem myself. I definitely had the pace for a win this weekend but things didn’t quite go right.
“Overall, the weekend was disappointing results-wise. We have shown we have a lot of pace, but we’ve been so unlucky in so many circumstances.
“I got up to third in race three, but I had no front left grip and we will have to investigate why the car lost so much pace. I couldn’t drive it any better, especially for the last five minutes.”