Derbyshire based Hillspeed Racing capped off a superb season by securing the Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship with driver Alice Powell, just a week after winning the Ginetta Junior Championship with Tom Ingram. The team capped off the single seater season with two excellent one-two finishes, as well as two pole positions at the Thruxton finale.
Chipping Norton based Powell headed into the weekend 16 points adrift of the championship leader. Her weekend started off well with a second place in race one, before converting pole position into a win in the last race of the season. In the process, the 17-year-old overturned the deficit to make history in becoming the first ever female champion in Formula Renault.
Commenting on her title win, Powell said: “I don't know what to say. It's been a cracking year and huge thanks go to the guys at Hillspeed and my race engineer Sarah (Shaw – Manor Competition) for doing such a great job. James has been a great team-mate too; we've worked together really well. I'm so happy to have won the championship – it was an incredible weekend and an amazing way to win it.”
Team mate James Theodore also ended his season on a high, finishing a brilliant third in the championship. The Telford based driver showed great pace in qualifying to take pole position for the weekend's first race, which he went on to win, before following home Powell for second in the final race.
Reflecting on his weekend, Theodore said: “It's been a fantastic weekend and great to end the season third in the championship with another win. I've had a brilliant two years with Hillspeed in Formula Renault BARC, I couldn't have asked for better. Our sponsorship deal with Liberty Properties has come to an end now though so we have to work really hard to try and secure the funds to keep racing in 2011.”
Powell's championship win sealed a perfect season for the Hillspeed team, who celebrated the 40th anniversary of their inauguration during the Thruxton weekend. Looking back at the 2010 season, team principal Richard Ollerenshaw said: “It all started at Thruxton back in April with our first win in the Ginetta Juniors and to come back to a circuit which has been reasonably good to us over the years and have such a successful run to win our second championship of 2010 is outstanding. Everyone at the team has done a superb job this year, they've all worked so hard and deserve the success.
“We couldn't have asked for anything more from our drivers, Alice and James did an exceptional job and Alice handled the pressure of the championship. It's a real credit to her and the way she's driven this year. James had to race equally hard though to try and finish third in the standings. To achieve that was tremendous and he supported Alice so well.”