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Category: Formula MRF

Alice PowellChipping Norton racer, Alice Powell, says she is ready for the final rounds of the MRF Series, which takes place on the weekend of the 9th/10th Feb, at the Madras Circuit in Chennai, India.

Powell is currently 3rd in the standings, 32 points off the championship leader, Jordan King, and 27 points off 2nd place runner, Conor Daly (son of ex Formula One and Indy car driver, Derek Daly) . However, current Formula Two Champion, Luciano Bacheta, is only 1 point behind Alice in 4th.

The final two races will be held at the newly renovated Madras circuit, expecting to attract large crowds. Powell, who is sponsored by Renault for the MRF series, is looking forward to the challenge of the title fight “I cannot wait! I am really looking forward to getting back on track. It will be a tough fight, but I have kept up my winter training at Lotus F1 and I just need to focus on doing the best job possible”.

You can keep up to date with Alice’s progress by following her on twitter @alicepowell and for more information about the MRF series, visit http://www.mrfracing.in.

Alice PowellAlice Powell, 2010 Formula Renault BARC Champion finished second in the MRF Series, by taking two podiums spots in front of a very large F1 crowd out in India, on the New Dehli circuit. Alice created a lot of media attention, by being only female racer in the series, receiving many interviews, including from the BBC.

Alice was amongst twenty international drivers to put the Formula 1600 cars through their paces this weekend as she raced for the Team Sidvin team. After only having a 30 lap test last month, Alice managed to put her Sidvin car P2 and P4 on the grid for the races. “I did not expect to get P2 on the grid. The track was very dusty and the tyres took a long time to come on, but when they did I just carried on pushing and pulled out a time. To be part of an F1 support race is fantastic, and we have a decent chance to get on the podium in both races”.

For the start of Race One, Alice got a clean start, but lacked pace for the first few laps and dropped down to third. However, she quickly closed the gap to Jordan King, who competed in 6 races in the MRF car at the start of this year. However, it was only a 10 lap race, so Alice crossed the line in 3rd place, setting the second fastest time in the race.

In Race two, Alice got another great start, and benefited from Jordan King colliding with V8 Supercar driver, Nick Percat, to move up into third place. Two laps later, Powell pulled off a brave move on Kourosh Khani, to take second place. With a 3 second gap to first place, Alice pushed hard ending the race in second, only 1.9 seconds behind the race winner.

Commenting after the weekend, Alice said “It was a brilliant weekend, and a great way to end the season! In the last race, we were the only ones on old tyres, thinking that the new tyres would act the same as they did in quali, and take a long time to come on, but that didn’t happen and old tyres were slower, so to finish in second place was great for us! It was amazing to stand on the F1 podium, twice, in front of such a great crowd! I would like to thank Team Sidvin for their outstanding support this weekend. Next for me, is to continue to hunt for sponsorship to get myself out racing in either GP3 or Formula Renault Eurocup next year”.

Alice PowellOn the 16th of October 2011, Alice made history, yet again, by becoming the first ever female to commentate on a motorsport event for ITV. She joined ITV Sport commentator, Richard John Neil in the comms box to commentate on the final round of the Formula Renault BARC Championship, the same championship she won this time last year. Alice did the commentary live on ITV4 at the Silverstone circuit. Richard John Neil said “Alice did a fantastic job! We are extremely pleased with her! I would love to work with her again.”

It was the first time Alice did anything like this and she commented, “I loved it! I thoroughly enjoyed it and I would love to thank ITV and Richard John Neil for this great opportunity and would jump at the chance to do it again!”

Also for Alice, it was the final round of the Formula Renault Championship. Struggling in qualifying with and a slipping clutch for the first few laps in race one, Alice finished P11 for the first race. But it would be the final race of the season which was highly frustrating. Alice fought hard to get P8 by the end of the third lap, but was ordered by the Clerk of the Course to serve a drive through penalty for using too much exit on the exit of Copse corner. Alice ended up finished P10, and P9 in the championship, but 4th in the Graduate Cup.

Commenting on the weekend, Alice said “It was a tough and frustrating weekend for us we struggled with things in qualifying, and we were unlucky with the slipping clutch in race one, and getting the drive through, as many drivers were doing the same thing. However, taking the positives, we raced very well and showed to people that no matter what happens we will always fight through. Huge thanks for my sponsors for all their support this season. I am hugely grateful! Also to Manor Competition for their spectacular work and their support this season, especially to my engineer Sarah, and my mechanic Sam. Next outing is the MRF race in India, which I am so excited about! As for next season, I hope to do Eurocup Formula Renault or GP3, but need to find the budget first.”

Alice will be racing in India on the 29/30 of October as a support race to the Formula One, Alice’s final race of 2011.

To keep up to date on progress in India, follow Alice on twitter, @alicepowell.

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.

Alice PowellAlice Powell, 2010 Formula Renault BARC Champion and recipient of the 2011 BWRDC’s Elite Gold Star and prestigious Lord Wakefield Trophy, was invited to participate in the MRF Formula Championship shakedown session in Chennai, India on 21st – 23rd September in preparation for the stand alone round taking place on the inaugural Formula 1 Indian Grand Prix weekend in Greater Noida on 29th – 30th October 2011.

Alice was the only female racer amongst twenty international drivers to put the Formula 1600 cars through their paces last month. The 18-year old, who won the 2010 Formula Renault BARC series driving for Hillspeed, will be racing in India for the first time with Team Sidvin, who has also been running her current Formula Renault UK team mate Jordan King in the Indian series. King won three out of the six MRF Formula Championship 2011 races with Team Sidvin back in February where the season kicked off at the Madras Motor Race Track on 5th – 6th and 12th – 13th February.

“I had a fantastic first trip to India,” comments Alice. “We used the first day to acclimatize as it was 40 degrees! I surprised myself at how quickly I adapted to the conditions and after the seat fit, talks with the engineers and mechanics we took to the track on day two when I completed approximately 20 laps and encountered a couple of issues that needing rectifying.

“We completed about 25 laps on the last day and checked everything on the car as well as its set up because all of the cars were being taken straight to Delhi for the race weekend as they were. Therefore I tried to do as little as possible in my car on the third day so it would be in good form for the races at the end of this month.”

The Greater Noida leg takes place during the F1 weekend and is titled the ‘Delhi Championship with MRF’. It will be the official support race for the inaugural F1 event and offers the winner a reportedly $100,000 prize purse.

Powered by a 1.6 litre, 16-valve Ford Duratec engine and built on a Van Diemen designed chassis, the Formula 1600 puts out 140bhp and boasts of a Hewland five-speed sequential shift gearbox.

Alice adds, “I did not find the car hard to drive at all and really enjoyed it! I am happy with how my body adapted, not only to the weather conditions, but to the car itself too. I was the quickest driver on the last morning of the shakedown and second quickest overall, so I am really looking forward to driving the car on an F1 track. I shall be getting to grips with the Buddh International Circuit on my Xbox over the next few weeks and cannot wait to visit India again – thank you Team Sidvin and the MRF Formula Championship 2011 for this amazing opportunity.”

Alice is currently running P7 in the 2011 Formula Renault UK 2.0 Championship with the final round taking place at Silverstone Circuit, UK on 16th October.

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.

James PeaceWhilst his closest rivals in the 2011 Intersteps Championship embark for excursions in other formula, Motaworld driver, James Peace opts for a more consolidated approach.

The current Junior TKM British Kart Champion, who lives near Oxford, sits 4th in the Intersteps Championship and mathematically could still win the series. Peace, who moved to single seaters this year, has had limited testing due to finalising the sponsorship deal only days before Intersteps was to start, but has shown a true talent against the odds.

“We just don’t have the budget to jump into other formulas at the drop of a hat”, says Peace. He maintains his focus by adhering to his plans. “I use the facilities at iZone to perfect my circuit and mind preparation needed for each event.”

The 17 year-old is currently preparing for the final round at Croft where he intends to dominate. “There is very limited testing available at Croft and this gives me an advantage”.

Peace has shown clearly that when a level playing field is presented, he and the team are head and shoulders above his counterparts. This was no clearer than with his domination of the recent Thruxton meeting.

With other drivers having completed significant winter testing programmes, Peace, with almost no track time, has regularly been a front runner, claimed pole positions, fastest laps and won twice in fine style.

The UK Governing Body, the Motorsports Association has recognised the talent within Peace and continue to support him within the MSA Academy by providing access to Nutrition, Psychology and Fitness programmes through their Advanced Apprenticeship (AASE) delivered in conjunction with Loughborough College.

PHoto by Jakob Ebrey Photography.