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Alice Powell and Sportsman of the Year, Bradley SmithAlice Powell came away from the Oxfordshire Sports Awards as Sportswoman of the Year, for Oxfordshire. Alice faced stiff competition from Team GB athlete, Hannah England, who is British number 1 in the 1500m, and Izzy Taylor, an equestrian. However, the judges put Alice on top.

The 20-year-old has enjoyed a fantastic year on the racetrack, with her first ventures into British Formula Three. These including a 2nd-place finish in the MotorSport Vision Formula Three Cup, and racing in the opening round of the 2013 British Formula Three Championship season at Silverstone.

With Formula 1 ambitions and vocal support from the likes of Prime Minister David Cameron – MP for her home constituency of Chipping Norton – the sky is the limit for Alice. The recognition from the Oxfordshire Sports Partnership with this award is a measure of Alice’s achievements this year, and demonstrates that she is certainly on the right track to success.

Photo by RP Photography By Design.

Alice PowellBRDC Rising Star, Alice Powell, produced a win out of what was another problematic weekend for the 20 year old.

The F3 Cup travelled overseas to race at the famous Zolder circuit in Belgium, where it was new to the majority of the field.

After having problems with her car at Brands Hatch and having to participate in a spare car, Alice prepared for Zolder in hope that she would be back in her own car. However, a test in her car before she went to Zolder showed that the problems still existed with her car, so it was back in a different spare car, “It is very frustrating that we have not found this hidden problem with my car. It is lucky that we tested it before we went to Zolder. However, it is also lucky that my other team mate, Stuart, was not racing and kindly let me use his car. It is completely different to what I raced at Brands!”

After only having a 25 minute practise session, it was straight into qualifying, where Alice managed 3rd on the grid, despite having trouble with the gearing.

For Race One, more problems soon unfolded, as a stuck solid gear cable delayed Alice from getting to the grid, so she had to start from the pit lane. However, Alice fought her way up the field to 4th and would have been right on the back of Henry Chart in 3rd if there were a couple more laps.

Alice lined up in 3rd place for Race Two, due to setting the 3rd fastest time in Race One.

All cars got a clean start away from the grid, with Alice putting pressure on the two drivers in front. Alex Craven managed to pip past Tristian Cliffe out of the final turn to complete the first lap. Alice pilled pressure on Cliffe, who made a small mistake into turn 4 on lap three, which allowed Alice to nip through. By this time, Alex Craven had produced over a three second lead. Alice was producing fastest lap after fastest lap, closing the gap on the lead, when Craven made a small error and took to the gravel, allowing Alice past and into the lead. She didn’t look back, as she took her 5th victory of the season and keeping herself on the top of the F3 Cup Drivers Championship, “After a problematic weekend, it was great to leave Zolder with a win. The MBR team have worked very hard all weekend trying to sort the problems. It didn’t take me too long to adjust to the spare car, but the car threw a few problems at us, what with the gearing trouble and the gear cable jamming before R1. However, I did have a bit of luck with the drivers in front of me making small errors, but you need some luck in this sport! I am looking forward to Brands, and really hoping I will be back in my usual car!”

The next round of the F3 Cup takes place at Brands Hatch GP on 27-28 July.

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.

Alice PowellAlice’s weekend started badly, with a head gasket going on in her engine on Friday, which led to her Mark Bailey Racing team to travel back to their base to pick up a spare car. Her first experience of this car was in qualifying, where she managed to post the 4th fastest time. However, the engine in the spare car was 4-5 MPH slower than her previous engine, due to its age.

Race One saw Alice get a good start to put pressure on Tristan Cliffe in P3. From then on, it was a procession, as fastest laps were exchanged between the top 4. Powell crossed the line in P4, but set the 2nd fastest time of the race, meaning she lined up P2 on the grid for Race Two, “ After qualifying, we knew the engine wasn’t strong, so we made a couple of changes to try and help our straight line speed and pull out of the corners. It improved slightly, but not enough, so we took a risk for R2, by taking several holes of wing off to help us up on the straights”.

The change did just that! Alice got an excellent start to beat Tristan Cliffe into turn one and take a lights to flag victory, and keeping herself at the top of the F3 Cup standings, “It was a huge risk taking of the wing, as we knew it would be a handful round the corners, but I managed to control that and have a mistake free race to take the win. Saying that, it was not easy at all, as Alex Craven kept the pressure on me throughout the race. It was a special win and I have to dedicate this to the team for their hard work on getting the spare car ready. Hopefully we can get my engine sorted for the next race, so I can be back in my own car!!”

The next round of the F3 Cup is on the 29/30th June at Zolder, Belgium.

Alice PowellBRDC Rising Star, Alice Powell, stretched her lead at the top of the drivers’ standings in the F3 Cup at the weekend, securing a second place and a win in the two races.

Alice was pipped to pole position in qualifying by Henry Chart, by only 0.047 seconds.

Race One saw Alice get a great start off the line to put pressure under Chart. However, she could not find a way past and had to settle for second place.

Alice lined up second for Race Two, with Alex Craven on pole position. Both drivers got a decent start off the line, but Alice put Craven under pressure heading into the fast Maggot, Becketts complex, where she took the opportunity to dive up the inside to take the lead. She didn’t look back after that as she stormed to victory, winning by 5.5 seconds and taking the fastest lap.

“It has been a pretty good weekend to be honest!” exclaimed the BRDC Rising Star. “The Toyota engine is around 30kg heavier and slightly slower down the straight compared to the Honda engine, so we knew it would be an interesting weekend. However, to come out with a 2nd and a 1st and to extend the championship lead is fantastic. The MBR crew did a great job once again!”

Alice also had success in the BRDC Formula 4 Championship, as she is driver coach for local team Sean Walkinshaw Racing (SWR), who had a win and a third in their first ever race weekend.

The next round of the F3 Cup takes place at Brands Hatch on 1-2 June.

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.

Alice PowellCotswold racing driver, Alice Powell, had a perfect start to her F3 Cup campaign securing two wins, two fastest laps and started from pole position on both occasions, storming into the championship lead.

It was Alice’s debut weekend racing in the F3 Cup and her first visit back to the challenging Oulton Park circuit since 2011. Powell qualified a good 1.3 seconds clear of second place man, James Cross and won both races in some style.

“It couldn’t have gone better at all!” exclaimed the BRDC Rising Star. “I didn’t have a great start in the second race, but I had a good battle with Alex (Craven) and managed to get past him going into Shell hairpin, and managed to pull a gap from there. Mark Bailey Racing has done a great job this weekend, and all my sponsors that have done fantastically to get me here racing, so I’m really pleased.”

Powell dominated the first race, winning by 18 seconds, but in the second was out dragged to the first corner by Craven.

“The second race definitely went quicker! In the first race I was way out front, but to have that race with Alex in race two was really good and I saw Henry (Chart) was coming up quite fast as well, so it was good to have a bit more of a scrap and I’m looking forward to the next round at Silverstone.”

Powell also admits that she’s enjoyed participating in the F3 Cup so far.

“Coming from GP3, I’m really enjoying it, it’s a great, low budget series and I’m just having a great time.”

The next round of the F3 Cup takes place at Silverstone on 27-29 April.

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.

Alice PowellChampionship winning single seater driver, Alice Powell, has confirmed she will complete a full season in the F3 Cup Championship with Mark Bailey Racing.

The 20-year-old from Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, has proved to be one of the most talented single seater drivers in the UK with the 2010 Formula Renault BARC title already among her list of achievements. After a season of GP3 which supports Formula One, she has decided to switch her attention to Formula 3 racing in the F3 Cup Championship due to lack of budget. She is also the only female to score points in GP3 following an eighth place finish at Monza with Status GP last season.

Powell, who is also a BRDC Rising Star, is delighted at the prospect of getting behind the wheel of F3 machinery for the first time and has been impressed by the evolution of F3 Cup.

Previously she has contested Formula Renault, both the TOCA support and BARC series. She came out on top of a three way fight for the BARC Formula Renault Championship in 2010, taking two wins on the way to securing the title.

She said: “I have been keeping a close eye on the F3 Cup last season and I have to say it is a great championship. It is a great way to race Formula 3 cars and drivers are able to do it in a cost effective way. F3 Cup has been getting stronger over the last few years and I’m looking forward to be racing in a competitive championship with a great team in Mark Bailey Racing. I am still looking at trying to do GP3, but the season starts soon in F3 Cup, so my sponsors and I decided it would be good to sign up and get racing. There is a huge difference of budget between F3 Cup and GP3, with F3 Cup being much, much cheaper. ”

While Alice is yet to compete in a competitive F3 race, she is already intending to make an impact on the 2013 F3 Cup title race.

She added: “The championship is really competitive but I want to be targeting a top three finish in the title race come the end of the season. There is a long way to go and a lot of racing to be done but I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

The F3 Cup championship will head to Cheshire’s Oulton Park on April 1 for the first round of the season where it will share the bill with the popular British GT Championship.

Alice PowellCotswold racing driver, Alice Powell, arrived back from India on Wednesday (20th Feb) with Prime Minister David Cameron as part of a UK trade mission.

Alice, 20 flew out to India with the PM and more than 100 delegates to promote UK motorsport and she was the youngest person to take part in a UK trade mission.

Speaking after the trip, Alice said: “It’s really opened my eyes to new thinking and new ideas. It was a very busy few days and it was none stop for us delegates, but especially the PM.

“I was doing a lot of networking and promoting my current sponsors as well as Women in sport and British Motorsport.

Alice arrived in Mumbai on the morning of the 18th, before the Prime Minister addressed delegates with a welcome talk. She then visited Hindustan Unilever before a conference at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalays Museum, hosted by BP. On the evening of the 19th, she went to an early Queen’s birthday party at the British High Commission in New Delhi, with more than 2000 people attending, which included Mr Cameron. The BRDC Rising Star’s last visit was to the Golden Temple, before flying back to the UK on a chartered flight.

Alice was invited to India after having dinner with Mr Cameron last July. This led to further correspondence and the Prime Minister inviting her on this week’s trip.

“He’s been fantastic and very supportive of my racing. He is very keen to get a female into Formula One, which is one of the main reasons he invited me on the trip. Formula One is begging for a female driver.” she added.

Alice has nothing confirmed yet for 2013, and is still looking for business partners to be part of her journey to Formula One.

Alice PowellCotswold racer, Alice Powell, suffered huge disappointment at the Madras Circuit in Chennai, India, this weekend. She entered the weekend 3rd in the championship, but clutch problems and a spin lead to her finishing 5th in the final MRF Championship standings.

Alice qualified 5th for the first race of the weekend, but on the start of the warm up lap, the clutch started to slip, “I could feel it slip when I pulled away on the green flag lap. When I pulled up to my grid box for the start of the race, the clutch was not engaging properly. When the lights came on, I went full revs and the car edged forward. I did manage to stop before the lights went out, but it was too late, I had already moved”. This was seen as a jump start by the stewards so Alice had to take a drive through penalty. She came out in last place (15th), but managed to work her way back up to 12th.

For the first race on Sunday, Alice started in 6th place, and she chose to stay in that position as it would mean she would start pole for the final race, as the final race grid was top six reverse.

So, for the final race of the MRF Series, Alice started on pole position. She got an excellent start, leading into the first few corners. However, on the run down to turn 4, Alice was forced to defend onto the dusty side of the track. As the BRDC Rising Star, down changed gear, the rear tyres locked aggressively, sending Alice into a spin. She had to wait until all the cars had passed, to get back onto the track. Powell worked her way back to P10, setting the third fastest lap of the race, “I am so disappointed! My start was excellent, but Sam (Dejonghe) got in my tow down the straight to turn 4. I pulled to the left to defend, but the track is very dusty. The down changed snatched the rear, but because I was on the dust I could not catch it. We had such great pace, and I know it would have been a win and that would have meant 3rd in the Championship. It is painful knowing victory was there, but I have to move on now, learn and focus on raising sponsorship for this coming season.”

Alice has nothing confirmed yet for 2013, as she is still continuing to raise sponsorship.

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 Powell19 year old British racer Alice Powell clinched her first GP3 Series Drivers’ Championship point in the season finale at Monza this weekend. She is also the first female driver to score a point in the Series, making history at the iconic Italian track.

It was Alice’s first time at the Autodromo Nationale Monza and her weekend kicked off with free practice on Friday. It was a productive session as Alice learnt the track and worked with her Status Grand Prix team to set-up the car and get to grips with the hard tyre option. She ended the day in a comfortable 12th position on the time sheets.

On Saturday morning Alice used only one set of new tyres in qualifying to save a set for the races ahead. The Status GP car had good pace around the track, but Alice was unable to utilise tow from a car in front and was only able to set a time of 1:45.303 seconds to sit in P22 at the end of the session. She was, however, later promoted to P21 for the start of race one following a penalty issued to Kevin Ceccon.

Alice made a decent start to race one on Saturday afternoon. She gained a couple of places before turn one and moved up a further position later in the lap when eventual 2012 Championship winner Mitch Evans went off at turn seven. Alice had a good battle with Visou and Brundle and managed to overtake them both into turn one on lap four. From then on she got her head down to try and catch the pack in front and made great effort avoiding further race incidents to reach P12 at the chequered flag.

After a poor start to race two on Sunday morning, falling back to P15 from P12, Alice took advantage of Conor Daly’s visit to the gravel trap to be up to P14 by the end of lap one. A good battle with Alex Brundle meant that the pair started to lose touch with the group ahead, however Alice managed to break away from Brundle and start to reel in the front runners. Following an off by Mitch Evans and an incident between Will Buller and David Fumanelli, Alice was now charging in P11 with three laps of the race remaining. She then challenged Kevin Ceccon, who she passed going into turn four only to be retaken at the start of the final lap. Determined to make a strong finish and to regain position, Alice got a decent tow coming out of turn seven and hit the brakes late for turn eight in a move that enabled her to cross the finish line in a well deserved P10. Fortunately for Alice, Vaino and Pal Kiss received post race penalties which meant that she was promoted to an 8th place finish and therefore awarded her first GP3 Drivers’ Championship point – the first ever to be received by a female racing driver in the Series too!

Alice Powell, Driver #16 Status Grand Prix, GP3 Team
“To end the weekend like we did is great! Even though qualifying did not go to plan, it has been a good weekend with two solid results. To get my first point in GP3 is brilliant and I am so chuffed. Status Grand Prix has done a great job and helped me so much this year, so to finish the weekend with a top eight finish is fantastic. I have learnt so much throughout the year and could not have learnt the amount I did if it wasn’t for help of the Status crew – so a big thanks to them. Huge thanks also to all of my sponsors this year; it is great to get a good result for them and I hope to raise enough sponsorship to compete in the fantastic GP3 Series next year.”

Simon Cayzer, #16 Engineer, Status Grand Prix, GP3 team
“It’s fantastic that Alice finishes the season with a point score. She has always shown great speed during the season, but getting on the points table had been our target for some races now. To be the first female driver to achieve this in the GP3 Series is a great achievement and it’s testament to all the hard work Alice puts in both on and off the track. The final two rounds at Spa and Monza are ‘big’ tracks with famous corners that require huge commitment. Alice got on top of these circuits very quickly and everyone has been very impressed with her race-craft during these races. Alice was consistently one the fastest drivers in sector two at Monza throughout the whole weekend. Now we look forward to 2013 with the new era GP3 car and sincerely hope that Alice can be with us again next year.”

Photo by  Daniel Kalisz / LAT Photographic