Taking his first win in the European Lamborghini Super Trofeo Championship this weekend at Spa-Francorchamps - 18 year old James Pull entered the history books as the first British race winner in the 10 year history of the event.
In the first race of the weekend Pull, the current 2017 British F3 Vice-Champion, brought his Bonaldi Motorsport Huracán Super Trofeo Evo home to claim victory in a 46 car race and goes into a six-week break in third place in the Championship, alongside team mate Kelvin Snoeks.
It was the fourth race weekend of the six round series, taking place at arguably one of the most famous circuits in the world, Spa-Francorchamps. With significantly reduced running time in the Free Practice sessions plagued by rain and red flags and only having ever raced the track once before in a single-seater, the ADD Management supported driver was fully aware of the challenge ahead of him as he entered the first race.
After a great first stint by team-mate Snoeks, James took over the car in third place and latched onto the back of the first two cars. With his engineer advising him that both drivers ahead were under investigation for pit-stop infringements James knew he had the win within his grasp. When the car in front was handed a 1.1 second time penalty for being under the mandatory pit-stop time James ensured he kept his car as close as possible. Minimizing the gap to under a second as the flag fell, James converted his 3rd to 2nd instantly.
With the race leader also being handed a penalty for a pit lane violation, James and Kelvin rose triumphantly on the top step of the podium, sealing their maiden series win and adding James’ name into the history books as the first ever British driver to win in European Lamborghini Super Trofeo.
“I knew that the car ahead of me had a penalty, so I knew I didn’t have to take too many risks,” he commented.
“I just had to stay as close behind him as possible. As for the car in the lead I was 100% sure there was going to be a penalty there as well as I saw the pit lane violation while I was following him out of the pits.
“So I managed the remainder of the race and we won. It feels really good to be the first ever Brit to win in Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe and to do it at Spa is a massive bonus’
Heading into Race 2, James hoped to be able to continue this run of good form and at the start, it looked like he would. Opting for wet tyres seemed like the best strategy after he passed seven cars in the first four laps, but as the track dried, the inevitable happened. Pull lost time to the cars around him on slicks and dropped back. It was a gamble that almost paid off for the British-Malaysian driver, but it wasn’t meant to be.
The race was later red flagged after a crash involving Frederik Blomstedt, driver of the sister Bonaldi Motorsport car. He and a marshal were taken to hospital to receive treatment for their injuries, which were not life-threatening.
Recapping on his race James commented:
“We gambled and we went with the wet tyres because we knew at the start they were going to be much faster. I overtook seven cars in the first few laps, which felt great , but then it stopped raining and the sun came out,” he said.
“My team-mate Frederik had a big crash which involved a marshal being injured. After a couple hours of worry, we were very relieved to find out that everyone was ok. I went to visit Frederik in the hospital and it was good to see he was alright."
The series now takes a short break, returning to the Nürburgring on 15th - 16th September.