Home Formula 4GB4 Alisha Palmowski: Debut GB4 win “a great confidence boost”

Alisha Palmowski: Debut GB4 win “a great confidence boost”

by Steve Whitfield

Photo: Mat Acton

Alisha Palmowski said that single-seater racing “feels like where I’m meant to be” after winning on her GB4 debut in the season-opening race at Oulton Park on Saturday.

The Elite Motorsport driver backed up some strong pre-season testing form by qualifying second for her maiden single-seater race, and after taking the lead at the start won by a comfortable 3.7 seconds ahead of KMR Sport’s Harry Burgoyne Jr.

It was her first victory in car racing, having made the podium 10 times with Elite last year en route to fifth in the standings of the entry-level sportscar series Ginetta Junior.

“It’s such a great start to the year, my first race in single-seaters,” the 17-year-old told Formula Scout. “I’ve not had a race win for a long time so it’s a great confidence boost.

“I was quite nervous about the start because I hadn’t done many practice starts. It was a little bit into the unknown and it was going to make or break my race, so to get off the line well was the perfect start.”

Palmowski built most of her winning margin in the first three laps while her team-mate Finn Harrison battled Burgoyne behind, and then maintained that advantage with an impressively consistent run of six consecutive laps within a tenth of a second of each other.

“I could see behind that there were quite a lot of battles going on, so I knew that was my opportunity and I really had to make that gap,” she explained. “I really focused on getting my head down and being as consistent as I could, delivering the lap times. I was monitoring the gap to the guys behind via the pit board and I could see that it remained constant.

“Obviously the tyres are cold at the start of the race, that’s something I haven’t experienced before so I tried to push as much as I could but within the limits and I managed to judge that quite well.”

The BRDC Rising Star credits her time in Ginettas, as well as simulator racing, for adapting so quickly to a Formula 4 car in GB4.

“I joined Elite Motorsport last year, they are a massive help and I’ve progressed as a driver so much throughout my time with them. The Ginetta Junior car itself is on road tyres so it’s naturally a very loose car, the car control that’s equipped me with has directly translated over.

“I’ve been racing single-seaters on a sim since I was eight years old on a Formula 1 game, it sounds silly but I feel like my whole life I’ve been racing single-seaters online. Although I’m new to it, it does feel like my home and where I’m meant to be, so I’m very glad this is the route we’ve taken.”