Abbi Pulling Secures F1 Academy Double Pole Position At Season Opener

Abbi Pulling - F1 Academy - Spielberg 2023
Abbi Pulling - F1 Academy - Spielberg 2023

Rodin Carlin’s Abbi Pulling made history at Spielberg today, topping both F1 Academy’s first-ever Qualifying sessions, in the pouring rain, ahead of PREMA Racing’s Marta Garcia, who secured P2 in both sessions. The pair will start from the front row for Races 1 and 3.

Meanwhile, ART Grand Prix’s Léna Bühler finished the first Qualifying session in P8, sealing reverse grid pole for the second of three races, which will all take place on Saturday.

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QUALIFYING SESSION 1

Heavy rain showers set up a lively opening Qualifying session of fifteen minutes, with García setting down the time to beat early on with a 1:44.987. The time from the Spaniard did not stay at the head of the charts for long, with Pulling taking the top spot with a 1:44.378 and ART driver Bühler close behind with a 1:44.564.

The drivers continued to jostle for position in the order, with Megan Gilkes setting a 1:44.038 to move up onto provisional pole before Pulling and García became the first two drivers to enter into the 1m43s. Further down the grid, Hamda Al Qubaisi, who had excelled in Testing and Free Practice at the track, headed into the pits and was not able to set another lap after her initial runs.

With little time remaining, Pulling was the first and only driver to break into the 1m42s with a 1:42.963 and pipping García to pole position. With a few drivers still out on track looking to improve on their times, a Red Flag came out after Chloe Chong was stranded off track following a spin between Turns 8 and 9, bringing an early end to the session.

The result saw Bühler claim P8, meaning the Swiss driver is set to start from pole in Race 2, with the reverse grid in play.

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QUALIFYING SESSION 2

Pulling came out flying at the start of the second fifteen-minute-long Qualifying session, with a 1:44.062, before she quickened to a 1:43.828 as the rain dramatically increased on track.

García was once again Pulling’s nearest rival. Both drivers improved on their initial times with the Briton remaining on top in the early stages in a 1:43.704 and the Spaniard under a tenth down with a 1:43.796.

These times proved vital as a second Red Flag was called after Gilkes became stranded in the gravel at the exit of Turn 3. The rain didn’t ease and at the re-start the track conditions worsened, leaving many drivers unable to improve on their personal best times. At the chequered flag, the top three remained unchanged, leaving Pulling to claim a second pole position in a row.

This means that tomorrow the Rodin Carlin ace will be starting from P1 for both Race 1 at 10:45 and Race 3 at 17.20 with Bühler, having finished in P8 in Qualifying 1, will start from reverse pole for Race 2 at 14.05.

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2023 F1 ACADEMY – ROUND 1 – QUALIFYING 1 PROVISIONAL CLASSIFICATION

DRIVERLICENCETEAMLAPTIMELAPS
1Abbi PullingGBRRodin Carlin1:42.9639
2Marta GarcíaESPPREMA Racing1:43.0739
3Bianca BustamantePHLPREMA Racing1:43.3509
4Nerea MartíESPCampos Racing1:43.5479
5Jessica EdgarGBRRodin Carlin1:43.7809
6Carrie SchreinerDEUART Grand Prix1:43.9508
7Emely de HeusNLDMP Motorsport1:43.9888
8Lena BühlerCHEART Grand Prix1:44.0149
9Megan GilkesCANRodin Carlin1:44.0389
10Lola LovinfosseFRACampos Racing1:44.7728
11Amna Al QubaisiAREMP Motorsport1:44.8188
12Chole GrantGBRART Grand Prix1:44.9169
13Chloe ChongGBRPREMA Racing1:45.9667
14Hamda Al QubaisiAREMP Motorsport1:52.2114
15Maite CáceresURYCampos Racing1:52.6108
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2023 F1 ACADEMY – ROUND 1 – QUALIFYING 2 PROVISIONAL CLASSIFICATION

DRIVERLICENCETEAMLAPTIMELAPS
1Abbi PullingGBRRodin Carlin1:43.7049
2Marta GarcíaESPPREMA Racing1:43.7969
3Jessica EdgarGBRRodin Carlin1:44.3178
4Bianca BustamantePHLPREMA Racing1:44.6638
5Nerea MartíESPCampos Racing1:44.8457
6Megan GilkesCANRodin Carlin1:44.9793
7Lena BühlerCHEART Grand Prix1:45.1457
8Amna Al QubaisiAREMP Motorsport1:45.3227
9Emely de HeusNLDMP Motorsport1:45.4057
10Hamda Al QubaisiAREMP Motorsport1:45.5207
11Carrie SchreinerDEUART Grand Prix1:45.7417
12Chloe GrantGBRART Grand Prix1:46.2157
13Lola LovinfosseFRACampos Racing1:47.1217
14Maite CáceresURYCampos Racing1:49.7446
Chloe ChongGBRPREMA RacingDNQDNQ

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