The view from the podium

There were smiles all round on the Rockingham round five podium as Alice Powell returned to F3 Cup with a win, Sowery enjoyed his wheel to wheel racing and Louis Hamilton-Smith

There were smiles all round on the Rockingham round five podium as Alice Powell returned to F3 Cup with a win, Sowery enjoyed his wheel to wheel racing and Louis Hamilton-Smith continues his impressive podium run.

Powell held off Sowery's pressure all race, and knew what she needed to do to kep the championship leader at bay.

She said: "It's good to be back with a win, we didn't expect it. I knew it was going to be a really tough race so I made sure I got a good exit out of the last corner because I knew Toby was going to get me down the straight.

"In the heavy braking zones I was struggling but Toby was piling the pressure on. My tyres started to go off a bit so I was struggling. It's great for all my sponsors and for Gale Force, it's a maiden win.

"I knew I had to get a good start and as soon as I saw Toby had got past I knew he was going to be attacking me soon as he's very quick. I tried to make my car as wide as possible which I managed to do and brought it home for the win."

Powell starts round six from pole after she and Sowery set identical lap times on lap eight to tie fastest lap.

"It's incredible!" Powell said. "I've never seen that before. They showed me the times and I just said "Wow". It's crazy."

Powell's win means Sowery's unbeaten record in 2014 comes to an end, and Sowery said he knew he'd been in a race at the flag: "It was my toughest race for sure. I tried getting past but she defended well. When I got right up behind I got a tow but she's definitely got some power under there. It's not an excuse it's just something you have to compete against.

"I do miss winning."

Sowery had to clear Oliver Rae at the start, and the opportunity almost took the youngster by surprise: "I didn't think he was going to brake that early, I was right behind him and just dived up the inside. It wasn't a desperate move, after all he's in a different class to us. If he had beaten me it wouldn't have been the end of the world."

While he was hounding Powell, Hamilton-Smith ensured he needed to keep an eye on his mirrors at the same time.

"For the first few laps he was there waiting for one of us to make a mistake and pick up the pieces. He was there for five or sx laps and then fell back, it was good to see him back out again and good to have someone around us."

Hamilton-Smith's third is his third of the year, and he was pleased to get some solid running under his belt. But for tyres, he believes he would have stayed with front two.

"It was good to start with but I lost out near the end. Tyres were going off a bit and we struggled to nearer the end.

"We were keeping up with them to start with and thought we'd give them a race of it. Midway through we started losing a lot of time on the used tyres. I think everyone quicker than me was on new tyres.

"I haven't driven around here for a while bit the car's getting better. It's the first time we've driven without any problems."

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

Photo credit Jonathan Hatfield