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Abbi Pulling races in the F4 British Championship at Snetterton

Race ace Abbi Pulling was unable to challenge the leading lights in the latest rounds of the F4 British Championship over the weekend.

Pulling secured fifth, sixth and ninth places in the races at Snetterton for rounds four, five and six of the championship.

The JHR Developments driver is now lying 10th in the overall standings ahead of the next round of Brands Hatch.

Abbi Pulling. Photo: Ian Ward (48285445)
Abbi Pulling. Photo: Ian Ward (48285445)

Pulling explained: "Qualifying didn't quite go our way and it put us in eighth position for race one.

"I finished sixth in the first race, so I gained places and that was a bit of a booster.

"In the reverse grid race, I started 11th and finished ninth but the positives to take are we were the quickest on the old tyres.

"It's a half points race so some of the drivers opted to run old rubber as it's a bit of a throwaway race in a sense.

"We had the pace and I was two-tenths off the fastest lap and the tyre graining this weekend has been so bad because it’s so hot.

"Sunday was fairly average. Fifth was my best result of the season which is a bit annoying but its points on the board which is the main thing. It was a close race and there wasn’t much more to it.

Abbi Pulling. Photo: Ian Ward (48285442)
Abbi Pulling. Photo: Ian Ward (48285442)

"The driver behind had brand new tyres on and I had the legs on the car in front but, when you're defending from someone who has the advantage, it's hard to overtake. Third might have been on the cards but points were the main thing.

"I am looking forward to Brands Hatch and want to pull it back. We'll get qualifying sorted and go from there."

Welcoming a limited number of fans back to the circuit for the first time since 2019, Pulling and her fellow JHR Developments drivers put on a show for those in attendance, despite hot and sunny conditions testing their endurance.

Performing well in practice, 15-year-old Matthew Rees carried that form over into qualifying, finishing almost four-tenths of a second ahead of anyone else.

McKenzy Cresswell, a rookie like Rees, also showed his ability as he finished third fastest with team-mates Joseph Loake and Pulling sixth and eighth respectively.

Rees drove a controlled and dominant race one on Saturday, opening a lead and consistently adding to it throughout the 20-minute contest, crossing the line 5.5 seconds clear of the pack while Cresswell made it a double podium with third place.

Behind them Pulling made a pass on Loakes to finish sixth with her colleague one place behind.

Abbi Pulling. Photo: Ian Ward (48285444)
Abbi Pulling. Photo: Ian Ward (48285444)

For the true reverse grid race two, the team would line up towards the back of the field and, with overtaking proving difficult, they made the strategic decision to use up the worst sets of tyres, so the drivers had to work hard to gain every position they could.

Pulling finished highest, claiming ninth, but Loakes was unlucky as he suffered a failure on the car when attempting a pass, meaning he wasn't classified.

Leading well off the line once again for the final contest on Sunday, Rees retained the lead with Crresswell close behind while Pulling tried to claim fourth and Loake had a brilliant start, climbing from 15th on the grid up to ninth, despite being on old tyres while those around him had fresh rubber.

A safety car mid-race failed to halt Rees' charge and he claimed a second win of the weekend with Cresswell crossing the line third.

Pulling did well to hold off Matias Zagazeta who had new tyres, but her defending meant she was unable to line up a move on James Hedley in front, despite being faster than him.

The team will be back out on track in just two weeks’ time as the F4 British Championship heads to Brands Hatch for races seven, eight and nine of the season on the Kent venue’s tricky, short, Indy circuit.

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