Disappointment at Croft, but joy with Aston Martin Test

This weekend was rounds 9 and 10 of the Formula Renault UK Championship at Croft. Alice was hoping to capitalise on a good points finish at Oulton and take that to Croft.

Qualifying One, was wet, and Alice did not get the best out of the wets, and sadly ended up P9 on the grid. Qualifying Two was hit and miss with the weather, with rain threatening just before the session. The rain held off and out the field went on slicks. For the majority of the session, Powell was P2, but it wasn’t till the later stages that she dropped to P3. “Quali 1 was disappointing, but to get P3 in Quali 2 was great and it was a key opportunity to get a podium or a win.”

For race one, Alice used her worst set of tyres to save the best set for race two. Alice got a great start, challenging for P8 and P7. Sadly, whilst trying to make a move she lost a position and dropped down to P10. For the remainder of the race, Alice put pressure on P9, but could not gain a way through and had to settle for the tenth spot.

Race Two would see Alice line up 3rd on the grid. Again getting a great start, she moved along side Mitchell Gilbert (P2) on the approach to the first corner. However, Gilbert bounced off the kerb into Turn one, resulting in his rear wheel hitting Alice’s front wheel and sending her through the gravel and knocking out her tracking (steering). Alice made it back on track, but in P5. Towards the end of the lap, Powell challenged Oliver Rowland for 4th place, but he squeezed her onto the grass and his rear wheel touched Alice’s front wheel, the same side that Gilbert touched. This knocked her tracking out a bit more and on lap two, she misjudged the chicane, due to the tracking, and clipped the tyres, sadly ending her race.

Speaking about the weekend, Alice said “It has not been a great weekend. Getting 3rd on the grid for race two and getting brilliant starts was a positive, but the rest was very disappointing. We definitely have the pace to get great results, and my team (Manor) and sponsors (Silverstone-Hotels.com, Immun’Age, IWI Watches and Sparco) deserve a good result, but, at the moment, things are not coming together. I just need to try and keep my head up and try and raise some money for the remainder of the season. I would like to thank Manor (Competition) for their efforts at the weekend.”

Straight from Croft, Alice flew out to Germany to test at the Nurbugring, Nordschleife Circuit for Aston Martin. This was a great opportunity for the 18 year old to learn the 15mile circuit, and to gain experience in a GT Sports Car. The Nordschleife circuit is very well known across the motorsport world, not only for its length, but for the challenging corners as well as the exciting races it have produced in the past.

Alice thoughts after the test were, “Wow! It was a brilliant experience and I would love to thank everybody from Aston Martin, and their sponsors, for letting me test. It really was a joy!!”

David King, Director, Special Projects at Aston Martin commented, “We invited Alice to come and experience the Nordschleife at a private test. She was so impressive in her training laps, that we sent her out in a 500bhp V12 Vantage race car, in the rain! As expected, she did a great job and impressed the whole team with her professional approach”.