A mixed Spa debut for race ace Powell

First published in Sport

BRITISH GP3 rookie Alice Powell endured a mixed weekend at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.

The 19-year-old Cotswold driver finished 18th and 12th in the two races of the F1 support series with her Status Grand Prix team.

Engine issues in both Friday’s free practice and Saturday’s qualifying session meant Powell was forced to start 20th on the grid for race one. Following a poor start, she began to fight her way through the field but a crash ahead of her brought the safety car out and she was unable to improve on her 18th position.

Powell slipped to 21st off the line in the second race but started to show her pace and, with three laps to go, pulled off a brave move on team-mate Marlon Stockinger and Mitch Evans to clinch 12th place.

“It was a really mixed weekend for us. It was my first time driving at Spa and I absolutely love the track,”

Powell said.

“We had a number of issues at the start of the weekend and then the red flag and ultimate stopping of race one which ruined my chances of a good position.

“I made a shocking start off line in race two but the car was good and I knew that I had to be brave and pull off some moves.

“You can get a good tow on the straights at Spa and so I went for it. I wanted to achieve a good result for my sponsors, the team and myself.

“It is a shame about my start as we could have had a top 10 finish but I am pleased with our final result and the weekend ended well.”

Status Grand Prix engineer Simon Cayzer added: “Alice drove very well all weekend.

“Although we had technical issues which were out of the team’s control, Alice put this to one side and kept focused.

“She demonstrated that she can overtake very well.”

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