Pull clinches his first pole
Carlin driver James Pull has clinched his maiden pole position in the BRDC British F3 Championship at Snetterton. On a drying track Pull and team mate Enaam Ahmed were trading places at the very top throughout the duration of the 30 minute session. However it was Pull who set an incredible final lap to see him take his first pole position in the series for the opening race of the weekend. Championship leader Ahmed made it a Carlin 1-2 with his final lap while American Cameron Das will start race one this weekend from a strong eighth position.
With a summer thunderstorm before the session drenching the Snetterton circuit, and a drying track potentially on the cards towards the end of the session, all of the ingredients were in place for a tense and hard fought race to pole. With such pressure, the entire field left the pit lane the minute the track went green in order to get their early laps in. Two previous days of testing at Snetterton had been in hot and sunny conditions so getting up to speed quickly in these new conditions would play a crucial part.
Wasting no time at all, all three Carlin drivers were on the pace quickly with Pull and Ahmed trading positions at the top of the time sheets and with a third of the 30 minute session complete it was Championship leader Ahmed who was quickest, with Das fourth and Pull seventh. But there was no rest as the times continued to tumble as the track conditions improved – meaning that every lap would be vital in this fast moving session.
However the progress of the field was soon halted with just over 17 minutes on the clock following an off for Hillspeed with Cliff Dempsey Racing’s Nick Worm which brought out a subsequent red flag. By this point Pull was the driver at the very top, with Ahmed just behind in second and Das nicely rounding off the top five.
When the track went green, the three Carlin drivers waited just a little longer than some before heading out on their second runs. When they did take to the track they were quick to all improve on their previous times. All three drivers started putting in purple sectors and soon enough were running in a Carlin 1-2-3 with Ahmed, Pull and Das leading the rest of the field.
In the final five minutes however, it was all change again with it looking more than likely that everyone’s final lap would be the one to set their positions. Pull and Ahmed once again began trading places at the top and as the chequered flag fell it was a nervous wait to see where everyone would end up. Ahmed crossed the line with a brilliant provisional pole position however just seconds later Pull marched his Carlin car to the very top taking a dominating pole position as his own, his very first in the series, dropping Ahmed to second overall and clinching an impressive front row lock out for Carlin. Das meanwhile rounded off a strong session with eighth position behind the two Fortec Motorsport drivers Nicolai Kjaergaard and Ben Hingeley, sixth and seventh respectively.
Lanan Racing’s Toby Sowery set the third time, ahead of Douglas Motorsport’s Callan O’Keeffe and Double R Racing’s Jamie Chadwick.
“It was a great job from the whole team during quite an interesting session out there“, Pull said, “It started off really well and we looked strong from the start when it was really wet on track. Enaam and I battled it out from the very start and it turned in to a hectic session for all of us. After the red flag I knew it was going to get drier and that I had to get a good last lap because that was likely to be the fastest and my best chance. Enaam beat me to it at the start but I knew that I had to nail it and it all came together in the end. It’s great to secure my first pole position and especially when it’s a strong result for the team too. The focus now is on the race this afternoon.”