James Pull ends phenomenal GT debut season with World Title Challenge
Signing off from his debut GT season as Vice Champion in both the Super Trofeo Middle East & the Super Trofeo Asia series James went so close to winning the World Title in the last action of the 65-car event.
With 5 wins and 12 further podiums in 2018, James has firmly established himself as one of the top young British GT drivers.
Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia
Teaming up with FFF Racing once again, James contested the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia series with teammate Jack Bartholomew. Despite initially struggling with the balance of the car in qualifying, James battled to claim a 3rd place start for Race 1. At the start of the 50-minute race he jumped into second and held that position until the pit window opened. Despite falling back to P3 during the mandatory driver change, Jack piled on the pressure to claim back a valuable P2 result. Earning a further P3 finish in Race 2 was enough for James to claim his second Vice Championship of the year.
“It’s great to have another Vice Championship under my belt. I would like to thank everyone at FFF Racing for all their hard work during the year”
Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe
Back on track for the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe finale with Bonaldi Motorsport, James and teammate Kelvin Snoeks were in fine form. Behind the wheel for qualifying, James was just 0.1s shy of pole position, netting himself a front row start for Race 1.
“The balance in the car was incredible, the competitiveness was the best it’s been all year, both of us felt very confident from qualifying onwards”
As Race 1 got underway James found himself in a battle for P2 with a rival who had jumped the start. Eager to gain back his place, James overtook around the outside at the Cimini corner, but was shunted and sent into a spin on only the first lap. The incident saw the car end up in the gravel and the end of the challenge in Race 1.
With his teammate starting from P3 in Race 2, the pair had managed to fight their way into P2 once the pit stop window opened. With a strong pit stop strategy, James took to the wheel and rejoined the track in the lead of the race, holding off all challenge from behind. Looking like another race win in the European Series, bad luck was about to strike. With just 8 minutes left on the clock, the #3 Bonaldi car suffered a puncture, bringing the championship to a cruel end for James and Kelvin.
“It’s a massive shame, we had the pace to do well in Race 1. It was just unfortunate, I couldn’t have done anything differently after making the overtake. In Race 2 it was great to lead the race for so long, we managed the tyres the best we could, but the pressure started to drop in one tyre and then the puncture happened”
Lamborghini Super Trofeo World Final
With experience gained from his debut year in GT racing, James geared up to tackle the World Final against a talented field of the world’s best Super Trofeo drivers. Hampered by traffic he qualified 8th in a field of 29 drivers, but rapidly climbed to P5 when the race got underway, taking 3 cars in the first lap alone. Handing over to Kelvin, the car was adjudged to be 0.1s short of the minimum pit stop time, resulting in a drive through penalty. But, unfortunately, issues with the radio meant the message failed to be relayed, which led to them being excluded from the race for failure to comply with the penalty.
Resetting for Race 2, James had another chance to showcase his pace and talent. In a less eventful but strong race for the team, the #3 car claimed a P2 finish against the experienced field, a result which would have secured the World Championship for James, in only his rookie year, if the exclusion from Race 1 had not happened.
“To miss out on the world championship was a real blow, it all came down to a time-keeping error at the track coupled with a radio issue and unfortunately it cost us the title. It would have meant such much to me, especially in my rookie year. However, battling with the best guys out there, I gained a lot of experience that will serve me well as I head into next year”.
With such strong experience gained and a catalogue of impressive results to his name, the 2019 season looks bright for Lamborghini Young Driver, James Pull.