Pulling makes history as Chadwick shines in the States

Monday 13 May 2024

It was a significant breakthrough weekend for British female racers on both sides of the Atlantic.  

Here in the UK, Abbi Pulling made history at Brands Hatch, becoming the first female race winner in the ROKiT British F4 Championship while, in the US, Jamie Chadwick claimed her maiden Indy NXT podium at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  

Both landmark achievements further underline the strident advances being made to encourage more inclusivity in all areas of motorsport. More importantly, they will be motivating milestones along the journey to inspire even more female accomplishments in the future.  

Pulling’s breakthrough victory came just a week after the 21-year-old Motorsport UK Academy driver won both races in the formative, all-female F1 Academy championship at Miami Grand Prix. 

Having started Sunday’s reverse-grid race from pole position, she led from lights to chequered flag, setting a succession of fastest laps as she pulled away from the chasing pack to take a dominant win by more than five seconds. 

“It’s been an incredible weekend,” admitted Abbi. “Ever since I first started to compete in Formula 4, my aim has always been to break that record and be the first female to stand on the top step on the podium. It’s so nice to add to the history books – and now, hopefully, many more girls will be added to that list.” 

There’s a very real possibility that others will be joining Pulling on that roster, too, as she is one of an unprecedented four females contesting the coveted British single-seater series in 2024. 

“There’s just such a buzz around women in motorsport now,” confirmed Abbi who is now hoping to extend her winning streak when the F1 Academy resumes in Barcelona later this month.  

“I feel like I’m on a bit of a roll,” she grinned. “It’s important for me to be competitive in both the championships. I just don’t want to be quick in one or the other. I want to show that I can compete against whatever and whoever.”  

Chadwick’s career-best third place on the Indianapolis road course confirms the progress she has been making in this, her second, Indy NXT season. Jamie is the first woman to finish on the podium since Pippa Mann won a round in 2010. That top step is very much Chadwick’s next target. 

For all those inspired by the escalating successes of Pulling and Chadwick, Motorsport UK has a number of far-reaching initiatives established, firstly to speed young females into the sport and then to support those with obvious talent.