After finishing in P2 in both Free Practice sessions, Rodin Carlin’s Abbi Pulling went one better and will start on pole position for Race 1 as she continues the quest for a first race win. In Qualifying 2, a dominant Lena Bühler performance saw her set the fastest time of the weekend so far as she stormed to pole position.
After a short break following FP2, the drivers were ready to tackle Qualifying 1 which would set the grid for Race 1 and Race 2 tomorrow.
With benchmark times being set by ART Grand Prix teammates Chloe Grant, 1:28.380, and Carrie Schreiner, 1:28.554, early on in the session, the rest of the grid knew the time they had to beat.
It wasn’t long before Martí would reach the top of the Q1 timesheets with a 1:27.335, before going even faster with a 1:27.281, her fastest time in the session.
Pulling though wouldn’t be outdone as she powered through the 3.826km track to set an unbeatable 1:27.249 ahead of Bühler and Lola Lovinfosse. Meanwhile, series leader Marta García could only manage P6, behind her two nearest rivals, Bühler and Hamda Al Qubaisi.
Amna Al Qubaisi will start on Pole for Race 2 for the third time in a row and the fourth time this season in what was the closest Qualifying session of the year, with just 0.7 seconds separating the whole grid.
Pulling again was on top early on in Q2, as she set purple sectors with a 1:27.042, before Bühler set a 1:26.785.
Meanwhile García moved into P3 with a 1:27.079, before Pulling improved again to move into P2 with a 1:26.871. The Brit would further improve to get a 1:26:860 but ultimately it wouldn’t
be enough to overtake Swiss driver Bühler and she would have to settle for P2.
Bühler who sits in P3 of the Driver’s Standings, will start on pole position tomorrow afternoon ahead of Pulling and Campos Racing’s Lovinfosse, who achieved her joint best qualifying performance of the season. The French driver will line up on the second row for both Race 1 and Race 3.
Race 1 pole sitter Abbi Pulling said:
“Really happy to be P1. I think it shows how me and Rodin Carlin have been working to get to this point. The car feels really good and competitive in the hotter conditions. Bit disappointed in Q2 with P2, didn’t maximise the first sector on my best lap but regardless to start on the front row in both Race 1 and 3 and it puts us in a good position for us to fight for wins.”
Race 3 frontrunner Léna Bühler said:
“It’s really good to be on pole for Q2. I was blocked on my lap in Q1 so it is a bit of a shame, but I missed the pole or P2 by a very close margin. I am really happy with Q2. I had a really good lap and I will give my best for Race 3.”
We go racing tomorrow as all three races take place on a jam-packed Sunday. Race 1 at 9:15 will see Pulling on a quest to become the sight F1 Academy Race winner of the season.