James Pull took a dominant maiden victory in the F4 British Championship at Rockingham this weekend (27-28 Aug). The 16 year old Carlin racer blew away the competition in difficult wet conditions to take the fastest lap and then the win with an impressive five second gap.
After taking his first pole the day before, it was a perfect start to the weekend. And while he was unable to hit the same heights again after an unfortunate disqualification and a ninth place finish, it was enough to leave him positive in his fight for the title.
The ADD Motorsports driver said:
“To come away with my first pole and my first win – and a convincing win at that – is a great feeling. It was my best ever race. “Getting the first win under my belt has given me the confidence to get more wins and push on. While the last two results weren’t brilliant, the processes and race craft were still good. I made some great moves, took another fastest lap in the last race and was really rapid. There are so many positives to take away from the weekend.”
English driver James, born in Singapore, now living in Herts, topped the timesheet in the first prerace testing session and finished second overall. James then took this electrifying pace into qualifying, brilliantly securing his first pole of the season.
Going out on slicks, he went in to change to wets when it started raining, only to go back out on slicks again when it began to dry. But he still managed to post the quickest time when he went back out before an issue with the right rear suspension of the car forced him back into the pits almost immediately. Unfortunately, it meant he was unable to put together a second fastest lap time which left him starting back in ninth for the final race.
James started well in the first race, expertly defending under sustained pressure during the first couple of laps. But the Carlin driver stayed calm, slowly getting away from the rest of the field. He built on his dominance as the race progressed, taking the fastest lap along the way. And he managed to take the win in style by more than five seconds at the end and spark welldeserved celebrations.
Starting in eighth on the reverse grid of the second race, James pulled off a stunning late braking move to catch one driver and take fifth at the end. But after the race he discovered he had been excluded for overtaking under safety car boards and flags in the heat of the race. Starting in ninth in the final race, he was left with damage to the wing of the car after an incident on the third lap. He still managed to put in some super fast times, taking the fastest lap, before the damage to the car began to take hold and slow him down. It meant there was nothing he could do as he lost the places he had gained and finished in ninth.
But the fantastic win left James in fourth place in the standings with six races to go and all to play for still. He added: “It’s taken a long time and a lot of hard work to get this win after lots of podiums this season. I want to thank Carlin and ADD Motorsports for all their help and support. The car felt amazing. “The disqualification in the second race was disappointing. The safety boards at Rockingham are far away and I was concentrating on a battle I was in with another driver and missed them. It was frustrating, but an honest mistake. “There are two rounds to go and I think I have a really good chance of winning a few races. “If I can do that, I’ll hopefully be right up there battling it out for the title.”