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MOTORSPORT: Powell looks to next level
Alice Powell believes her chances of progressing to a higher level of motorsport next year have been hampered by narrowly missing out on the F3 Cup title.
The Chipping Norton driver won five of the first eight races and led the championship for most of the season, but finished runner-up to Alex Craven after the final round at Snetterton.
Although the season only ended on Sunday, Powell is already looking ahead to raising the money this winter needed to get a drive for 2014.
The 20-year-old wants to move up to a higher profile, but much more expensive, form of motorsport and admitted not winning the F3 crown would have a negative impact on her immediate career prospects.
“I think it will, because people will look at who has won,” she said.
“For the winter, we have just got to see what can be done in terms of raising funds.
“I would like to be in the World Series by Renault, but it costs about £800,000 for the season.
“I need to try and find that. By comparision, F3 Cup was about £60-70,000, so the jump is a lot.
“You have just got to make the right connections. It’s quite tough to go out and write to anybody and hope for some money. We have built up contacts, but people are only just getting confidence to spend money.”
Heading to Snetterton, Powell trailed Craven by just three points.
Her Mark Bailey Racing car performed well in testing on Friday, but a braking issue emerged in qualifying and it went on to cause problems across both races.
A fifth place in class for the first race kept the title fight alive, but Craven stretched his lead by taking second.
Powell needed a victory in race two, plus her rival to finish fourth or lower, to clinch the trophy.
She finished third, just behind Craven, who ended the season 11 points clear.
“It was a very frustrating weekend and I have just had quite a few problems this year,” Powell said.
“Luck hasn’t been on our side and Alex has kept the pressure on us all year.
“It’s very disappointing. I was up the front all season and it was a long, quiet journey home from Snetterton.”
Although it was not what Powell wanted, there were highlights from this year which offered comfort.
She said: “There have been really good moments with some dominant wins.
“Coming second, it’s not like I finished fifth. It could have been a lot worse.”
1 A Craven 407pts, 2 A Powell 396, 3 T Cliffe 361, 4 M Harrison 286, 5 L Hamilton-Smith 273.
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