VICTORIOUS POWELL MAKES HISTORY WITH HILLSPEED AT SILVERSTONE Hillspeed's Alice Powell made history at Silverstone National Circuit today, Sunday, 9th May, as the first female racer to ever win a Formula Renault race in Britain -- a thoroughly...
VICTORIOUS POWELL MAKES HISTORY WITH HILLSPEED AT SILVERSTONE
Hillspeed's Alice Powell made history at Silverstone National Circuit today, Sunday, 9th May, as the first female racer to ever win a Formula Renault race in Britain -- a thoroughly dominant drive during round four of the Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship securing a superb maiden victory.
Earning her maiden pole position during a rain-affected qualifying session at her local track on Saturday, 8th May, the Chipping Norton 17-year-old went on to make a perfect start to the second of the weekend's races and was never challenged on her way to a stunning 7.4 second winning margin.
Starting the earlier third round from second on the grid, Powell piled on the pressure to pole-sitter Mitchell Hale during the first half of the race and settled for a very competitive second position in the end -- a full 10 seconds clear of the rest of the pack.
Closing out the weekend second in the driver standings, the Silverstone Hotels-backed teenager's win was also her first since graduating to car racing in 2007. She now has her sights firmly set on challenging for the Formula Renault BARC title as the season progresses.
An elated Powell said: "I can't believe it, to take my first win is absolutely fantastic -- it's been a long time coming! After six months out of the car I had to get my head around things again at Brands Hatch during the first round but here, we were strong all the way through the weekend.
"Obviously I want to thank everyone at Hillspeed for doing a great job and especially Sarah (Shaw -- Manor Competition co-owner) for engineering my car. My aim is to go for the championship, if we can take wins along the way then that's fantastic but consistency will be the main thing."
First podium of 2010 for Theodore as Ferrada debuts Hathersage-based Hillspeed also enjoyed podium success with Telford's James Theodore during round four, the Liberty Properties Plc supported racer securing his first rostrum visit of the year to put behind him the disappointment of a missed potential double win during the season opener at Brands Hatch last month.
Although an unfortunate spin during the damp round three qualifying session, while holding pole position by almost two seconds, led to a fifth row starting spot for the first race of the weekend, Theodore bounced back in session two to secure third on the grid for round four.
Scything his way through the order from 10th on the grid very well indeed during the early stages, by lap three Theodore was inside the top six. Taking fifth position on the sixth tour around the outside into Brooklands, his hard work was then undone following a major moment at Copse Corner. Luckily, he managed to recover and fought his way back into ninth place at the finish.
Starting round four alongside team-mate Powell on the front row, due to the fact Joseph Reilly was unable to line-up second on the grid after damaging his car beyond repair in race one, Theodore slipped to third on lap two but hit back almost immediately to retake the position. Running in second place up until the penultimate lap, he had to give best to series leader Hale at Brooklands.
This weekend's action also saw Hillspeed expand its Formula Renault BARC attack to three cars after signing 17-year-old Josephine Ferrada. Making her debut in UK competition the German racer, who is based in Chester and studies at college in Guildford, recorded a pair of solid, untroubled finishes with a brace of 11th place results.
Commenting on the weekend, team principal Richard Ollerenshaw said: "We're very pleased indeed, we got the best we could have expected from Alice at Brands Hatch last month considering the deal came together so late but since then she's made significant progress. To take her first pole position and to win in such dominant style this weekend, especially at her home track, was fantastic.
"Unfortunately qualifying didn't go as James would have hoped, he pushed a little bit too hard in the first session, but proved his pace in the second session. He raced very well and was unlucky to have a spin while in fifth place in race one. Finishing off the weekend with a podium was what he needed and he thoroughly deserved it. James undoubtedly has the pace, he can be as quick as anyone."
Ollerenshaw added: "We're very pleased with Josephine's performance, it was as much as we could expect on her first time in a Formula Renault. She couldn't test on Friday due to exam commitments and that'll be the way of things for the next month and a half. She did a very good job in difficult conditions in qualifying and then had two good, solid races -- it's been a very positive start."
There is now a lengthy eight week break in the Formula Renault BARC Championship calendar with the fifth and sixth rounds of the season taking place on 3rd/4th July at Croft. Before then though, Hillspeed will join the Formula Renault UK test at the North Yorkshire venue this Tuesday, 11th May.
The team's Ginetta Junior Championship squad will then be in action for the seventh and eighth rounds of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship-supporting category over the weekend 5th/6th June at Oulton Park Island Circuit in Cheshire.