Alice PowellBritish GP3 rookie Alice Powell showed maturity and focus, bouncing back in the final race after a difficult start to the weekend for herself and her Status Grand Prix team in Spa-Francorchamps this weekend.

Following a wet and limited free practice on Friday due to a severe engine issue, Alice took to the track for qualifying on Saturday morning. Unfortunately a further engine issuse (which was nothing to do with the team) on lap two of her running, forced her to return to the pits to sort the problem. With only enough time left in the session for one stint out on track, Alice was the only car to use solely one set of new tyres during qualifying and she ended in a disappointing P20.

Alice got a poor start to Race One on Saturday afternoon, but she was fighting her way through the field well when Ocean Racing Technology’s Robert Cregan had a premature end to his race after a crash at turn 10 into the tyre barrier. After the safety car was deployed the race was soon red flagged and not restarted meaning that Alice was unable to improve on her current position of P18.

She had a difficult start off the line for Race Two on Sunday morning, falling to P21. Alice kept her head down however and fought fantastically through the field, showing her pace. Three laps from the end she pulled off a brave move on team mate Stockinger and Mitch Evans to clinch 12th place. She was quickly catching Alex Brundle, but ran out of time to get onto the back of him before the chequered flag.

Alice Powell, Driver #16 Status Grand Prix, GP3 Team
“It was a really mixed weekend for us. It was my first time driving at Spa and I absolutely love the track. We had a number of issues at the start of the weekend, and then the red flag and ultimate stopping of race one which ruined my chances of a good position, but the main thing is that Robert is okay. I made a shocking start off line in race two, but the car was good and I knew that I had to be brave and pull off some moves. You can get a good tow on the straights here at Spa and so I went for it. I wanted to achieve a good result for my sponsors, the team and myself; it is a shame about my start as we could have had a top 10 finish, but I am pleased with our final result and the weekend ended well.”

Simon Cayzer, #16 Engineer, Status Grand Prix, GP3 team
“Alice has driven very well all weekend. We started with a very difficult practice session; it was wet and her first time at Spa. We also had an engine issue and were significantly down on power, but this issue was sorted out over night. However, we endured a further engine problem during qualifying and although it was quickly rectified, Alice missed quite a bit of track time. As a result we changed our strategy to use only one set of new tyres, giving us an extra new set for the races. We did not have the best start to race one, but the car was quick and she had good straight line speed as we had opted for a low down-force option. We could have had a good result had the race not ended prematurely. Alice had a good solid race two today with lots of overtaking to produce a great P12 result. Although we had technical issues which were out of the team’s control this weekend, Alice put this to one side and kept focused. She demonstrated that she can overtake very well, use the tow – techniques required for a good race at Monza and the points will come.”

Photo by Daniel Kalisz / LAT Photographic.