Abbi Pulling has had a difficult second season in British Formula 4 so far, but doesn’t think she needs to change her approach to race weekends to improve her form.
The protege of Alice Powell is one of four sophomore drivers in the championship, and also one of four drivers at the JHR Developments team.
JHR has been the team to beat in qualifying, with six poles from a possible 10 in the first five rounds, but Pulling hasn’t been able to match the results of title-leading rookie team-mate Matthew Rees so far and sits seventh in the points.
“I think my approach has been fine and everything. We’ve just had some little spots of bad luck here and there which has affected us a little bit,” Pulling told Formula Scout.
“So far it’s been a little bit disappointing; we thought we’d be in a different position.
“But it’s the halfway mark at the moment, so I’m hoping to turn it around. We’ve had some bad luck in the first half and things like that, but we’ve seen a really good pace. The majority of the season it’s just the stars haven’t aligned for us.”
Pulling said she starts the second half of the season with a “clean slate”, and she heads to this weekend’s Thruxton round knowing it’s where she had her best ever qualifying result: a second place on the grid for the season opener at the circuit.
It’s also a track JHR has dominated at in recent years. The round there in May didn’t quite go to plan for Pulling – she only scored once – but her team-mates finished one-two in the final race of the weekend and Rees took a double pole. In 2020 the team was unbeaten at the circuit, and also won all three races of the second round to be held there in 2019.
Pulling’s also got a confidence boost from her W Series outing at Silverstone last month. She finished eighth in what was only her third race in the Formula Regional-spec Tatuus T-318 car, while her coach Powell took the win.
“I’m fairly happy with what I did,” she said of the one-off appearance. “I hope that, if I do it next year or I’m able to jump in the car again sometime this year, that I’d only go forwards.”
She added that her focus is still on British F4 this year – which limits her W Series availability to two more possible outings due to calendar clashes – and trying to turn her season around.
“The team’s doing a good job, it’s just we’ve had a few little hiccups that have sometimes put us a bit further down the order,” she said.
“It’s frustrating but we’re starting on a clean slate for the second half of the season and trying to claw back as many points as possible.
“I think I’ll just be keeping the same level of preparation with Alice and my coaches at Gazing Performance Systems and just try to turn around the year.”