Powell's eyes firmly on championship after car troubles
26/07/13 - Alice Powell has been atop the standings all season long in 2013, but luck has seemingly escaped her over the past few rounds.
Alice Powell has been atop the standings all season long in 2013, but luck has seemingly escaped her over the past few rounds. Problems with her Toyota-powered Dallara have been difficult to diagnose, and she's had to call on her team-mates for the odd favour to keep her championship on track.
Points have still been consistently put on the board, but Lanan Racing's Alex Craven has closed the gap to just eight points after some strong performances. Powell is yet to finish a weekend this season without taking home at least one of the two wins, and now she's back in her own car things are looking good for the ex-GP3 racer at Brands Hatch Grand Prix this weekend (27/28 July).
"I'm back in my original car this weekend after we found, or we hope and think we've found the problem with the straight line speed and the misfire so we're hoping for a good weekend." Powell said while testing at Brands Hatch.
"From swapping in with my team-mate Frank (Thomas) for the race on the Indy circuit here, then thinking we'd found the problem before we went out to Zolder. It turned out we hadn't so I was in Stuart's car. I was quite lucky to have two team-mates that weren't racing on the weekends that we had the problem. We've brought Frank's car just in case this does have issues, but hopefully it's going to be all sorted."
Like many, Powell's experience of the Grand Prix configuration is limited, though she can call on her 2011 Formula Renault campaign and racing with Chris Dittman in Ginetta G50s in 2010. Friday's testing has taken place on the Indy circuit, and she admits that has made things a little difficult in terms of set-up.
"I've been round [the GP loop] in a Ginetta G50 and a Formula Renault, but the last time was in 2011 in the Formula Renault. I really enjoy it, I have to admit I haven't done any simulator work for it but I have got some notes from when I was last here a couple of years ago. I'll read up on those and hope for a good weekend.
"The car feels good, we've got it all set up for the GP track so obviously going through Clearways is going to be completely different, so I'm struggling a little bit at Clearways. But, we're not going to be racing on the Indy circuit. We're focusing on having the car right for the Grand Prix circuit, making sure everything's good for Paddock and the corners that we're going to use."
Attention has been firmly on the championship from the outset and Powell is keen to keep racking up the points, even if that means settling for second sometimes.
"I've just got to try and be consistent really. It would be obviously nice to win every race but I'd rather have two seconds than a win and a DNF. At this stage you've got to consistently keep in the points. I think we should have a good weekend and it should be tight at the top. I'm hoping it is going to be tight anyway."
Alice Powell will have another two chances this weekend to add to her five wins so far this season, starting with race one at 16.00 on Saturday. Race two starts at 12.35 on Sunday. Tickets cost £13 on the gate both days.
Photo credit Jonathan Hatfield.