Back at the wheel, James Pull demonstrated his superb racecraft to scale the podium at Rockingham this weekend. Bouncing back from disappointment in Race Two, the young British superstar clinched second place in a hard-fought final race.
The first of the Carlin teammates to make a foray onto the chilly track in qualifying, James laid down some sighting laps to put him in fifth before the pack made their final runs. Taking every opportunity as the track started to come to him in a bid to clinch pole position, however, a red flag ended the session early and cut short his efforts. With teammate Das taking the front row, the Rockingham crowds were set up for a thrilling chase from tenacious Pull.
With the Rockingham speedway bathed in cold sunshine, it was visor down for the first race of the weekend, where from 9th on the grid James had it all to play for. The talented 17-year-old stormed off the line making up 3 places on only the first rotation of the 1.94-mile track. James judged his moves to perfection with a collection of stunning passes round the outside of his rivals. Hot on the heels of Ismail in fifth, edging closer and closer, the Singapore-born racer soon claimed the position as his own. But caught up in the dirty air of Hingeley ahead, James settled for a fighting fifth place finish and a determination to build on his momentum in the remaining races.
Starting from 4th for the reversed-grid Race Two, James launched from lights out, eyes firmly on first place. Carving his path through the cars ahead it was a perilous three-abreast battle into turn one. But with pole-sitter Chadwick eager to retain position, James was squeezed and sent spinning off the track, undoing all his hard work and ending his race.
Undeterred by disappointment, James was eager to get on track for the final foray, intent on claiming some silverware for his efforts. Spinning his tyres off the line, he steamed from fifth to third place on lap one. With teammate Das maintaining the lead, James set after chasing down Hingeley before the fight was neutralised with the first of two safety car periods in the 14 lap race. Mastering the restart, James closely followed his rival past Carlin teammate Das, before the safety car was called upon once more. Holding off the challenge from Das, James remained within a second of the leader till the chequered flag fell, battling hard throughout. His superb second place rounded off a weekend of podiums for the Carlin team, showing their pace is a force to be reckoned with in the BRDC F3 Championship.
Speaking of his brilliant return to the podium:"Race Two was a shame, as it wasn’t my fault and there wasn’t anything more I could’ve done, I definitely feel I could’ve won that race”
"Race Three was a really good race. It was just so much fun! After a flying start, I enjoyed a really tight battle at the front, and it was a great way to end the weekend, after the red flag cut short my run in qualifying. I’m really happy with the start of the season and I thank the team for a great car. We had good race craft, the pace is there and I am in the thick of the fight for the Championship”
The BRDC F3 Championship next turns the wheel at Snetterton on 27th-28th May where James Pull looks to build upon his fierce pace and undeniable talent, to clinch his first win of the season.