In the final round of the 2017 BRDC British F3 championship, James Pull once again proved himself as one-to-watch securing the vice-champion title with a race to spare in only his rookie year in the series.
Coming back to Donington Park, a successful track for James during his F4 campaign, the Singapore-born driver was looking at nothing but the prize. Boosted by ending the test sessions on Thursday at the top of the sheets, James was keen to get back to the track on Saturday to put his good work into practice. He was more determined than ever to take second in the championship.
Overcast clouds threatened to dampen the track for qualifying, but held off as the track action unfolded. With a driver spinning into the gravel at Coppice, the session was red flagged. Undeterred by the interruption James set a string of solid laps securing 8th on the grid when a second red flag was raised ending the session early with James unable to complete his flying lap.
Although slightly disappointed that he didn’t get to show his true pace, James headed out for Race 1 knowing that 2nd in the Championship was in touching distance.
As the lights went out for the start of race one, James’ head was firmly in the zone. An incredible start saw him pass four cars as if they were stationary, getting him up to fourth before the first lap had even ended. Pumped up by his spectacular start, James set his sights on team mate Cameron Das in third, determined to start his weekend off with a podium. He pushed Das to the limit, looking for a way past but the clean move didn’t appear before the chequered flag. Crossing the line in fourth James rose back to 2nd in the championship.
With the partially reversed grid for the penultimate race of the season, James saw himself starting fifth ahead of team mate Das. Maintaining his position off the start, James searched for his race victory. After a rather uneventful 11 laps, carnage erupted on the final lap with leaders O’Keefe and Kjaeragaard coming together, promoting James to stand on his 14th podium of the season. This third place finish gave James a points advantage that no one could catch with one race left, officially crowning him 2017 Vice-Champion.
Giving it his absolute all for the final time, James darted off the line in Race 3, gaining 3 positions within the first corners. Intent on finishing the season on a high James set his sights on chasing Hingeley in front and he crossed the line in P5 having closed the gap to just seven tenths of a second as the checkered flag fell.
Reflecting on his weekend and his debut BRDC British F3 season, James commented:
“To end the series as Vice Champion is a result I am very proud of. It was my rookie year and I was competing against great drivers who have been highly successful in this championship in previous years. Only Enaam and I have been on the podium at every round this year and to achieve that level of consistency feels great.”
“Carlin have been fantastic, everything about them is first rate. I am so grateful to so many people who have helped me this year and for many other years. To all of them I say thank you. Now we are planning for the future and are in the process of looking at a number of options for 2018. I look forward to making a decision on our plans soon.”
After an incredible showing of pace and consistency, achieving 14 podium finishes in 24 races, James has truly shown himself as one to watch both now and in the future. Adding an illustrious 7 FIA Superlicence points to his name, James looks ahead to the next stage in his exciting career.