Rodin Carlin’s Abbi Pulling made history at Spielberg today, topping both F1 Academy’s first ever Qualifying sessions, in the pouring rain, ahead of PREMA Racing’s Marta Garcia, who secured P2 in both sessions. The pair will start from the front row for Races 1 and 3.
Meanwhile, ART Grand Prix’s Léna Bühler finished the first Qualifying session in P8, sealing reverse grid pole for the second of three races, which will all take place on Saturday.
QUALIFYING SESSION 1
Heavy rain showers set up a lively opening Qualifying session of fifteen minutes, with García setting down the time to beat early on with a 1:44.987. The time from the Spaniard did not stay at the head of the charts for long, with Pulling taking the top spot with a 1:44.378 and ART driver Bühler close behind with a 1:44.564.
The drivers continued to jostle for position in the order, with Megan Gilkes setting a 1:44.038 to move up onto provisional pole before Pulling and García became the first two drivers to enter into the 1m43s. Further down the grid, Hamda Al Qubaisi, who had excelled in Testing and Free Practice at the track, headed into the pits and was not able to set another lap after her initial runs.
With little time remaining, Pulling was the first and only driver to break into the 1m42s with a 1:42.963 and pipping García to pole position. With a few drivers still out on track looking to improve on their times, a Red Flag came out after Chloe Chong was stranded off track following a spin between Turns 8 and 9, bringing an early end to the session.
The result saw Bühler claim P8, meaning the Swiss driver is set to start from pole in Race 2, with the reverse grid in play.
QUALIFYING SESSION 2
Pulling came out flying at the start of the second fifteen-minute-long Qualifying session, with a 1:44.062, before she quickened to a 1:43.828 as the rain dramatically increased on track.
García was once again Pulling’s nearest rival. Both drivers improved on their initial times with the Briton remaining on top in the early stages in a 1:43.704 and the Spaniard under a tenth down with a 1:43.796.
These times proved vital as a second Red Flag was called after Gilkes became stranded in the gravel at the exit of Turn 3. The rain didn’t ease and at the re-start the track conditions worsened, leaving many drivers unable to improve on their personal best times. At the chequered flag, the top three remained unchanged, leaving Pulling to claim a second pole position in a row.
This means that tomorrow the Rodin Carlin ace will be starting from P1 for both Race 1 at 10:45 and Race 3 at 17.20 with Bühler, having finished in P8 in Qualifying 1, will start from reverse pole for Race 2 at 14.05.
2023 F1 ACADEMY - ROUND 1 - QUALIFYING 1 PROVISIONAL CLASSIFICATION
|1||Abbi Pulling||GBR||Rodin Carlin||1:42.963||9|
|2||Marta García||ESP||PREMA Racing||1:43.073||9|
|3||Bianca Bustamante||PHL||PREMA Racing||1:43.350||9|
|4||Nerea Martí||ESP||Campos Racing||1:43.547||9|
|5||Jessica Edgar||GBR||Rodin Carlin||1:43.780||9|
|6||Carrie Schreiner||DEU||ART Grand Prix||1:43.950||8|
|7||Emely de Heus||NLD||MP Motorsport||1:43.988||8|
|8||Lena Bühler||CHE||ART Grand Prix||1:44.014||9|
|9||Megan Gilkes||CAN||Rodin Carlin||1:44.038||9|
|10||Lola Lovinfosse||FRA||Campos Racing||1:44.772||8|
|11||Amna Al Qubaisi||ARE||MP Motorsport||1:44.818||8|
|12||Chole Grant||GBR||ART Grand Prix||1:44.916||9|
|13||Chloe Chong||GBR||PREMA Racing||1:45.966||7|
|14||Hamda Al Qubaisi||ARE||MP Motorsport||1:52.211||4|
|15||Maite Cáceres||URY||Campos Racing||1:52.610||8|
2023 F1 ACADEMY - ROUND 1 - QUALIFYING 2 PROVISIONAL CLASSIFICATION
|1||Abbi Pulling||GBR||Rodin Carlin||1:43.704||9|
|2||Marta García||ESP||PREMA Racing||1:43.796||9|
|3||Jessica Edgar||GBR||Rodin Carlin||1:44.317||8|
|4||Bianca Bustamante||PHL||PREMA Racing||1:44.663||8|
|5||Nerea Martí||ESP||Campos Racing||1:44.845||7|
|6||Megan Gilkes||CAN||Rodin Carlin||1:44.979||3|
|7||Lena Bühler||CHE||ART Grand Prix||1:45.145||7|
|8||Amna Al Qubaisi||ARE||MP Motorsport||1:45.322||7|
|9||Emely de Heus||NLD||MP Motorsport||1:45.405||7|
|10||Hamda Al Qubaisi||ARE||MP Motorsport||1:45.520||7|
|11||Carrie Schreiner||DEU||ART Grand Prix||1:45.741||7|
|12||Chloe Grant||GBR||ART Grand Prix||1:46.215||7|
|13||Lola Lovinfosse||FRA||Campos Racing||1:47.121||7|
|14||Maite Cáceres||URY||Campos Racing||1:49.744||6|
|-||Chloe Chong||GBR||PREMA Racing||DNQ||DNQ|