Abbi Pulling recently finished second in the Super One British Karting Championship in the Junior TKM class: a feat made all the more impressive by the fact she is competing against others almost four years her senior
In fact on the final lap of the final race, Abbi was looking good for the Championship win before an incident behind promoted the eventual winner and gave him the points he needed.
“I’m pretty happy with how I’ve performed this year but I wouldn’t have been able to do it without my dad or Alan Turney from Talko Racing’s help all the way through the year, and support I get that motivates me to go out there and drive,” said Abbi reflecting on her year.
“This season has been great: in every race I’ve been consistent and in contention for the win. I just love the adrenaline when I’m racing let alone when I win!”
2016 was Abbi’s first full season in the Junior TKM class, where she will continue to compete in 2017. As the year passed she went from strength to strength, and just missed out on clinching the title by just two points.
“Some of the high points of my season was definitely my first ever British Championship win at Llandow Kart Centre. I managed to get a good start and pull away from the other competitors. I also won at Bickmore Park which is very special to me because it’s my favourite track and Lewis Hamilton started karting there.”
“However I’ve also had some bad moments in the season. The most devastating one was on the last round where I was at Paul Fletcher International (PFI) kart track: I was going down the back straight and as I was about to brake I felt a massive knock from behind. It turned out someone had missed their braking point and hit me off and I was unable to finish due to parts of the kart being broken.”
Abbi has already been nominated for numerous awards for her performance this year. She is currently the youngest ever winner of the BWRDC’s prestigious Mary Wheeler Memorial Embassy Trophy for The Club Champion.
Abbi’s affinity for motorsport comes as no surprise: it runs in the family.
“I got into motorsport because of my dad. He used to race motorbikes and I would watch whenever I could. Then when I turned eight my dad signed me up to go to Ancaster Karting Centre every month. The Christmas after that he got me a kart for myself. Ever since my first time in a kart I’ve loved karting.”
As a result of the success she has had this year, Abbi won a chance to compete for one of the most prestigious prizes for up-and-coming racers: the Ginetta Junior Scholarship.
Abbi was invited to take part in a series of driving, fitness and media tests and drove a car for the first time.
“The experience in the Ginetta Junior was amazing, every time I got out of the car I was smiling and just wanted to get back in. I also met some very good people and other talented drivers!”
“My goal is to become a professional racing driver, maybe in British GT, LMP1 or F1 but I know that would be very hard to achieve. In the next few years I hope to go into cars through hard work and dedication.”
It’s been a heck of a year for Abbi, who counts some seriously talented faces from the motorsport arena as fans, including motorbike racer Maria Costello.
“Someone who’s really inspired me is Maria, because she’s achieved some really amazing things in her career. She didn’t just decide she wanted to race at a young age, she just stumbled into motorsport.”
“My motorsport heroes are Valentino Rossi because I used to watch him race with my dad and he’s such a talented rider, and my dad because I wouldn’t be here today without him.”
Many thanks to Bethanie Lawson for the images: you can check out her work here.