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 took two impressive wins out of two at the Zhuhai Circuit in China, pipping Canada’s Maxx Ebenal and Shigetomo Shimono from Japan to the crown. What makes it even more impressive, is that Powell missed the first two races of the season.
After heading into the weekend 38 points behind Ebenal, the Chipping Norton driver qualified second on the grid for the first race. Not hanging back, she swiftly took the lead at turn one and never looked back, as she opened up over a 5.5 seconds gap to the flag, closing in on Ebenal in the championship.
In the last race it was all to play for, as Powell lined up third on the grid. Another very impressive start saw her take the lead heading into turn three. Powell once again got her head down, taking the victory by just over two seconds. Unknown to Powell, Ebenal had a mechanical failure so failed to finish, so she clinched the title, rewarding her team and sponsors for all their hard work.
Speaking on her return to the UK, Powell said “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.
Powell also tried to get into the British Skeleton team, getting down to the last 25 to be selected.
She added: “It has been a mad year. Late deal after late deal but I’m very happy I had the chance to race and that I had 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.
“I am already working on trying to race next year, so we will see.”