Cotswold 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.