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F1 Academy: Abbi Pulling scores double pole position in Miami

After topping practice on Friday, Abbi Pulling continued her dominant run at Miami International Autodrome by scoring a double pole position by over half a second - the third and fourth of her F1 Academy career - and will share the front row with Doriane Pin in race 1 and Bianca Bustamante in race 2.

Abbi Pulling, Rodin Motorsport, F1 Academy 2024, Miami Autodrome
Photo credits: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Abbi Pulling continued her dominant run at Miami International Autodrome by scoring a double pole position by over half a second on Saturday morning, and therefore asserted herself as the main favourite for the first race of the weekend later this afternoon, where she will start ahead of Doriane Pin, Hamda Al Qubaisi and Bianca Bustamante.


Following some of the closest sessions on Friday, it was quickly clear that the single 30 minute qualifying would be very important - as practice times had shown most drivers covered by one second and the top five by a couple of tenths. The second round of the sophomore F1 Academy season was therefore looking as open as ever as drivers took to the track for qualifying.

Abbi Pulling, who topped the times at the end of Friday with a convincing FP2, was the first driver to set a representative lap time in 2:00.289, just ahead of Bianca Bustamante, Jessica Edgar and Hamda Al Qubaisi after their first timed laps. Prema Racing teammates Doriane Pin and Maya Weug soon brought themselves up into second and third - and Campos' Chloe Chambers and Nerea Marti followed into fourth and sixth, after both had run close to the top three on Friday.

Lia Block struggled with lockups and couldn't quite put a lap together in the first ten minutes of the session, which saw Maya Weug taking the top spot for the first time with a 1:59.555 as times started to go under the 2 minute mark. Abbi Pulling set two purple sectors but was 24 thousandths short of Weug's benchmark - before drivers returned to the pits to bolt on their second set of new tyres.

Wild Card Courtney Crone had a brilliant first part of the session and was P11, just a little over a second away from the very top of the timing sheets.

Lola Lovinfosse and Aurelia Nobels meanwhile went for the alternate strategy and waited until most drivers had pitted to set their first push laps, although none of them managed to improve significantly.

On the new tyres, Abbi Pulling found a few more tenths and set the new benchmark in 1:59.278, beating Maya Weug for a virtual double pole. Home hero Chloe Chambers moved up to third and established herself as a pole contender - but was soon demoted to fourth when Bianca Bustamante put in a stellar lap that placed the McLaren-liveried Tatuus in second place. Chambers improved again - as did the Filipina star, who took provisional pole position with 6 minutes to go, having clocked a 1:59.122.

Lap times were tumbling down: Hamda Al Qubaisi set a record first sector, Abbi Pulling signed the fastest second sector - and both climbed the order to first and second place, with the Emirati just three tenths short. Doriane Pin topped the Red Bull Racing's driver by one hundredth of a second - and the timing screen continued to light up for the final three minutes of another spectacularly competitive session.

It would be Abbi Pulling to record the first lap in the 1:58 bracket, which gave the Alpine Academy racer a half a second margin over Doriane Pin, Hamda Al Qubaisi and Bianca Bustamante.

When the chequered flag fell, nobody had found enough speed to challenge Pulling, who scored a double pole position at Miami International Autodrome - the third of her F1 Academy career.

Having secured two pole positions in Jeddah, Doriane Pin will start from second and third, ahead of a strong Hamda Al Qubaisi, who had struggled with the car balance in Saudi but seems to have found again her trademark speed that saw her fighting for the overall title last year. Bianca Bustamante had an equally impressive session and will line up from the second row of the grid.

Maya Weug showed great pace but couldn't quite improve in her final attempt and thus held P5. Campos Racing's Nerea Marti - who had a lockup on her fastest lap - and Chloe Chambers will be starting from sixth and seventh place in race 1, preceding Aurelia Nobels, Tina Hausmann and Lola Lovinfosse in the first five rows of the grid.

Jessica Edgar, Lia Block and Carrie Schreiner qualified just outside the top ten; Schreiner improved on her final run but couldn't move further up than P13. MP Motorsport's Emely de Heus and Amna Al Qubaisi struggled in the final minutes; Amna was on a personal best first sector but locked up the front left and went deep in turn 17, resulting in a start from P15.

In the fourth Prema, Courtney Crone made another big step forward from practice and was 1.7 second away from pole position. The Californian - who most recently competed in LMP3 and Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America - had one test session in Zandvoort before joining the grid in Miami, and has been constantly reducing the gap as she gets up to speed with the car.

The second-best lap classification will shape the grid of race 2 on Sunday morning and will see Bianca Bustamante making a leap forward in second place; Doriane Pin and Hamda Al Qubaisi will share the second row of the grid, while Nerea Marti also gains a position and will start fifth ahead of Maya Weug. Aurelia Nobels, Chloe Chambers, Jessica Edgar and Tina Hausmann will complete the top ten for race 2.

Lola Lovinfosse and Lia Block will start from P11 and P12, while Carrie Schreiner retains P13. Amna Al Qubaisi swaps places with teammate Emely de Heus on row seven.

The first race of the weekend is scheduled for 14:05 local time. 



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