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Alice makes history with point at Monza
8:00pm Sunday 16th September 2012 in Sport
COTSWOLD race ace Alice Powell clinched her first GP3 Series Drivers’ Championship point in the season finale at Monza.
She is also the first female driver to score a point in the Series, making history at the iconic Italian track.
Powell ended Friday’s free practice day at the Autodromo Nationale Monza in a comfortable 12th position on the time sheets.
On Saturday morning she used only one set of new tyres in qualifying to save a set for the races ahead.
The Status GP car had good pace around the track, but the 19-year-old was unable to the utilise tow from a car in front and was only able to set a time of 1.45.303 seconds to sit in 22nd at the end of the session. She was, however, later promoted to 21st for the start of race one following a penalty for Kevin Ceccon.
Powell made a decent start to the first race on Saturday afternoon.
She gained a couple of places before turn one and moved up a further position later in the lap when eventual 2012 Championship winner Mitch Evans went off at turn seven.
Powell had a good battle with Visou and Brundle and managed to overtake them both into turn one on lap four and eventually finished in 12th.
After a poor start to race two on Sunday morning, falling back to 15th from 12th, Powell took advantage of Conor Daly’s visit to the gravel trap to be up to 14th by the end of lap one.
A good battle with Alex Brundle meant that the pair started to lose touch with the group ahead, however, Powell managed to break away from Brundle and start to reel in the front runners.
Following an off by Mitch Evans and an incident between Will Buller and David Fumanelli, Powell was now charging in 11th with three laps of the race remaining.
She challenged Ceccon, who she passed going into turn four only to be retaken at the start of the final lap.
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 10th place.
Fortunately for her, Vaino and Pal Kiss received post race penalties which meant that she was promoted to an eighth place finish and therefore awarded her first GP3 Drivers’ Championship point — the first to be received by a female racing driver in the Series too.