Alice PowellThis weekend was rounds 7 and 8 of the Formula Renault UK Championship at Oulton Park. Alice was hoping to finish both races and collect good points after the disappointments of getting knocked off at Thruxton in May.

Qualifying One was interrupted by a red flag, causing the young female driver disappointment as she was not able to complete her flying lap, due to this. Alice would line up for Race One, P10. Qualifying Two was a different story. No red flag meant Alice could push and get in her flying lap. For the majority of the session, the 18 year old from Chipping Norton, was P3, but it was only in the last few minutes of the session, that she slipped down to P6, “Q1 was disappointing, but that is motorsport. Q2, however, was going great until I just tried too hard and made a few mistakes in the last few minutes, which caused me to drop down the order to P6”.

Unlike Saturday, the sun was not shining on Sunday. Rain poured an hour or so before Race One, making tyre choice hard. However, slicks it was, even tho, off line was slightly wet. Alice lined up P10, and got a great launch off the line, gaining two places before the first corner. However, while making the second move, Alice was forced onto the wet, causing her to have to slow dramatically before making the turn, which sadly made her drop three places. However, Alice made her way back to 9th place.

Race Two produced the same track conditions as Race One. For Alice, it would be quite a quiet race until the last lap, occasionally pressuring the driver in front and having to defend at times, from her team mate behind. On the last lap, the Fortec driver of Felix Serralies made a mistake coming out of the Knickerbrook chicane, allowing Alice to get alongside him. Serralies, forcefully pushed Alice onto the grass, causing her to lose time, as well as the chance to gain a position. Powell had to settle for 6th and left the weekend P9 in the Championship and 4th in the Graduate Cup.

Speaking about the weekend, Alice said “It was a tough weekend. I was definitely expecting better results, but I scored points this weekend which is good! However, we do have some work to do before Croft as putting a lap, with all sectors together is key. We hope for better results there. ”

Commenting on Alice’s performance, her engineer, Sarah Shaw said “Alice had a frustrating weekend; in Q1 she was on a very good lap when the session was interrupted by a red flag – this meant that her lap time was not recorded and she had only done one other flying lap. The drivers who got out of the pitlane first were able to get one more flying lap before the chequered flag, and several of them improved their time, but unfortunately Alice was near the back of the queue and took the chequered flag at the end of her out lap. This meant she qualified an uncharacteristic 10th.

Q2 was better but a mistake on her best lap cost her nearly 2 tenths – she qualified 6th but had the potential to be much higher up the grid.

Both races took place in damp / drying conditions. Alice got good starts in both and drove really well, showing good race pace and pressuring the drivers in front. Oulton Park is a track where overtaking is very difficult even in bone dry conditions, but with the circuit still damp and slippery off line it was almost impossible. Still Alice made the best of the situation and brought home some valuable points”.

The next rounds of the Championship are on the 18th/19th of June at Croft.

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.