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Abbi Pulling shines at Thruxton, continues strong campaign in British F4 with podium

Updated: Jun 12

After becoming the first ever woman to secure a race win in British F4, Abbi Pulling continued her extraordinary campaign with a second place finish at Thruxton, having battled for the top three all weekend.

Abbi Pulling, Rodin Motorsport, British F4, 2024 Thruxton
Photo: Jakob Ebrey Photography

After becoming the first ever woman to secure a race win in British F4 at the second round in Brands Hatch, Abbi Pulling continued her extraordinary campaign with a second place finish at Thruxton, fourth round of the 2024 championship.

The Alpine Academy driver - who is also currently leading the F1 Academy standings after three victories in two rounds - returned to the podium for the ninth time in the British F4 Championship, her second of the year, and has now moved up into fifth place in the drivers' championship standings also thanks to a very solid shortened third race which saw the Rodin Motorsport driver collecting a fourth place finish after failing to score points in the reverse grid race, where she recovered from the back of the field following a first lap incident.

The weekend at the 3.793km-long circuit often branded as the fastest track in the UK was off to a great start for Pulling, who had topped the combined pre-event testing on the week before the race meeting. She in fact showcased her speed by setting the fifth fastest time in the second session, then clocked the fastest time in all testing with a 1:10.612 in the fifth session. Heading into the race weekend, Pulling had realistic chances for more podium finishes.

In the early stages of qualifying, Pulling was consistently in the top five, before everyone pitted to bolt on a fresh set of tyres and rejoin the track for the final five minutes.

She made it back in the top 5, then further moved up to fourth with 2 minutes to go. With a great final lap, the Alpine Academy racer was then up to third - before Deagan Fairclough took pole position across the line, demoting Pulling to P4.

Based on the second-fastest times, Abbi was initially set to start second in Race 1, but amended results after track limit times were reinstated saw Pulling starting from third.

Starting from the second row of the grid in Saturday's race, Pulling dropped two positions at the start, settling into P5. A significant accident involving Zack Scoular and August Raber brought out the red flag on lap two, with the former ending against the catch fence, luckily to no physical harm. After the restart, Pulling advanced to P4, capitalizing on a mistake by Ninovic.

Ahead, Fairclough opened a gap, as Sherwood and Seewootuthun battled for second. Pulling closed in, with Ninovic also not far behind for the battle for the podium.

On lap 6, Abbi picked up positions on Sherwood and Seewooruthun when both dropped down when they made a mistake at turn 5.

Fairclough took the chequered flag less than 4 seconds ahead of Pulling, who gained over one second in the final lap to the leader but couldn't eventually catch the Hitech driver. Ninovic rounded out the podium.

The reverse grid race of the weekend featured Alex Berg and Mika Abrahams on the front row. Due to the reverse order from the fastest qualifying times, Pulling started from ninth and quickly began making up places. However, a multiple-car accident on the first lap brought out the red flag: Abbi was squeezed and then hit by Campbell-Pilling into the path of Sherwood - who was then collected by Scoular.

The stoppage gave Pulling the chance to rejoin the field, as she had nursed the car back to the pits and the Rodin Motorsport's crew could fix the front wing, sending her back out for the restart.

Despite a challenging restart, Pulling battled her way through the field and passed Chong who was trading positions with Dodd and Lloyd. She then chased Nina Gademan, although the two lapped on similar lap times. A new neutralization halted the action with 7 minutes to go, but there were more opportunities to gain positions at the restart, when Pulling passed Gademan, then cleared Dodds and was all over the back of Daryanani - who attacked Campbell-Pilling at the final chicane, also opening a door for Pulling.

After an action-packed reverse grid race, Alex Berg sealed the victory from Abrahams and Ninovic. Pulling crossed the finish line in P12 after a remarkable recovery.

The final race of the weekend was shortened due to delays in Sunday's schedule. Pulling started from fourth and maintained her position at the start. Scoular passed Sherwood for second while Fairclough continued to lead and opened a gap in the first couple of laps.

Scoular, though, made a mistake and dropped down the order, with Pulling also shuffled down to fifth behind Sherwood.

In a dramatic turn of events, Fairclough's car came to a halt from the lead: the safety car was deployed and Seewooruthun took over the top spot, leading Ninovic and Sherwood, with Pulling back up to fourth with 5 minutes left on the clock. A tricky recovery of the stricken car resulted in the race not being resumed; Seewooruthun claimed victory in a messy shortened race, ahead of Ninovic and Sherwood. Pulling finished just shy of the podium in fourth place.

Despite an unfortunate second race of the weekend on UK's fastest circuit, Abbi Pulling secored a healthy haul of points in the fourth round of the championship and consistently battled for the podium positions, again coming close to the top spot in race 1.

The results are yet another morale boost, as Pulling now aims for the top step of the podium next weekend at Silverstone.



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