Motor racing: Historic Italian job for teen sensation Powell
ALICE Powell created motor racing history by claiming the first-ever GP3 points by a female driver at the weekend's season finale at Monza.
The 19-year-old from Bourton-on-the-Water enjoyed a superb race weekend at the iconic Italian track at the end of a season packed full of promise for the future.
After qualifying in 21st place with a lap time of one minute 45.303 seconds, Powell made a decent start to race one on Saturday afternoon.
She made a number of places during the opening laps and raced strongly to achieve a finish of 12th place at the chequered flag.
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That gave her 12th position on the grid for race two, held prior to the Italian Formula One Grand Prix on Sunday morning.
After a slow start, in which she fell from 12th to 15th in the field, Powell took advantage of Conor Daly's visit to the gravel trap to move up a place.
She then joined battle with Alex Brundle, and after passing her fellow Brit and taking advantage of a three-car incident ahead of her was now in 11th place with three laps remaining.
She then challenged Kevin Ceccon, who she passed going into turn four only to be retaken at the start of the final lap.
Determined to make a strong finish and to regain position, Powell got a decent tow coming out of turn seven and hit the brakes late for turn eight in a move that enabled her to cross the finish line in a well deserved tenth place.
Fortunately for Powell two drivers received post-race penalties which meant that she was promoted to an eighth place finish.
That was enough for her to create history by becoming the first racer in the GP3 series to claim a point, and it left the former Cotswold School pupil almost lost for words
"To end the weekend like we did is great," Powell said.
"Even though qualifying did not go to plan, it has been a good weekend with two solid results. To get my first point in GP3 is brilliant and I am so chuffed.
"Status Grand Prix has done a great job and helped me so much this year, so to finish the weekend with a top eight finish is fantastic.
"I have learnt so much throughout the year and could not have learnt the amount I did if it wasn't for help of the Status crew, so a big thanks to them.
"Huge thanks also to all of my sponsors this year. It is great to get a good result for them and I hope to raise enough sponsorship to compete in the fantastic GP3 Series next year."