Perfect return for Powell in Rockingham opener

Returning 2013 runner-up Alice Powell continued her perfect weekend at Rockingham Motor Speedway by beating Toby Sowery to the win in round five.

Returning 2013 runner-up Alice Powell continued her perfect weekend at Rockingham Motor Speedway by beating Toby Sowery to the win in round five.

Louis Hamilton-Smith survived the close attentions of front-row starter Oliver Rae to finish third and Tristan Cliffe passed teammate Harrison to claim fifth.

Gale Force Racing's Powell led throughout to hand the squad a maiden win, but the battle at the front was ferocious. Sowery worked hard to find a way past, closing on the long straights, but Powell defended well to keep the Lanan Racing championship leader behind. 

The lead pair were only once more than one second apart and even set the joint fastest lap of the race on lap eight. They'll line up on the front row for race two, with Powell on pole by virtue of setting the time first.

Trophy 01 class winner Rae had to quickly defend against Sowery at the start and succumbed at the hairpin as Sowery held on around the outside. Hamilton-Smith in fourth capitalised, following Sowery's lead to demote Rae to fourth. 

Hamilton-Smith held on to the front two, nearly squeezing past Sowery at Chapman Curve. Powell and Sowery shook him off, and he was then forced to fend off Rae late in the race.

The big loser at the start was Tristan Cliffe, slipping behind Tony Bishop and Lee Morgan off the line. Morgan soon found a way past Cliffe's Omicron Motorsport teammate Harrison for fifth but spun to the back of the pack. He recovered, and set the third fastest lap of the race to start race two on the second row.

Cliffe put heavy pressure on Harrison and once through was able to stretch out a gap. Harrison had to switch his attentions to Bishop as the race neared its conclusion, holding on to sixth by 0.3s.

Nick Robinson picked up more points for Gale Force Racing in eighth, despite a late visit to the pits.

Round five classification:

  1. Alice Powell - Gale Force Racing - 16 laps
  2. Toby Sowery - Lanan Racing - +0.353s
  3. Louis Hamilton-Smith - Jigsaw Engineering - +11.826s
  4. Oliver Rae - Enigma Motorsport - +12.255s
  5. Tristan Cliffe - Omicron Motorsport - +18.526s
  6. Mark Harrison - Omicron Motorsport - +32.127
  7. Tony Bishop - Chris Dittmann Racing - +32.468
  8. Nick Robinson - Gale Force Racing - +1 lap
  9. Lee Morgan - Grays Motorsport - +1 lap

 

View the full result

Round six starts at 17:35, follow @F3Cup on Twitter for live updates and like F3 Cup on Facebook.

Photo credit Jonathan Hatfield