Alice Powell put herself in the history books yet again by becoming the first ever female Champion of the Formula Renault Asia Series. The 21-year-old from Chipping Norton, took two impressive wins out of two at the Zhuhai circuit (China), piping Maxx Ebenal (Canada) and Shigetomo Shimono (Japan) to the crown. What makes it even more impressive, is that Alice missed the first two races of the season.
After heading into the weekend 38 points behind Ebenal, Alice qualified 2nd on the grid for the first race. Not hanging back, Alice swiftly took the lead at turn one and never looked back, as she opened up over a 5.5second gap to the flag, closing in on Ebenal in the championship.
In the last race it was all to play for, as Alice lined up 3rd on the grid. Another very impressive start saw the former Cotswold School pupil take the lead heading into turn three. Powell once again got her head down, taking the victory by just over 2 seconds. Unknown to Alice, Ebenal had a mechanical failure so failed to finish. Due to Alice winning the race, she clinched the title, rewarding her team and sponsors for all their hard work.
Speaking on her return to the UK, Alice said “Wow, what a crazy weekend! I knew I had a slight chance of winning the championship, however, I knew it was going to be extremely hard! The car was great all weekend and my aim was just to win both races. In the second race, I didn’t know Max had a problem and it turns out I would not have won the championship if I didn’t win the race, so it’s quite lucky I did really!!!!”
It has been a roller-coaster of a year for the BRDC Rising Star. It was only last minute when she got a deal to race in the first race of the British F3 Championship and then another late call to race in Formula Renault Asia. Alice also tried to get into the British Skeleton team, getting down to the last 25 to be selected, “It has been a mad year. Late deal after late deal, but I am very happy I had the chance to race and I am also happy with the opportunity from British Skeleton, even though I was not selected in the end. I would not have been able to race in China if it wasn’t for the FRD Team and Bristol Street Motors and all my other sponsors, including Immun’Age, My Protein, Em Lease, Wreal Sports, Grays, Grand Prix Racewear and Silverstone Hotels. As well as this, the support from everyone back in the UK has been brilliant. I am already working on trying to race next year, so we will see.”