Action-packed weekend for Alisha Palmowski at Snetterton
Despite a challenging weekend at Snetterton which left her battling technical issues, Alisha Palmowski showed excellent racecraft to collect crucial championship points and maximise results.
Alisha Palmowski experienced a challenging weekend of racing in the Ginetta Junior Championship at Snetterton, fighting through the field to claim a seventh place finish in race three. After starting outside the top-10 in the opening two races, Alisha showed excellent racecraft to collect crucial championship points and maximise results during a weekend where she battled ongoing technical issues that prevented her from fighting for podium positions.
Throughout the season to date, Alisha has shown impressive speed at every circuit on the calendar with bad luck preventing her from adding to her tally of five podium finishes heading into Snetterton. Times were close in pre-event testing with the Snetterton 300 layout only second to Silverstone GP in being the longest lap of the year. Palmowski set the ninth fastest time, with just 1.2 seconds covering the top-12 drivers.
Qualifying gave Alisha a chance to improve on her testing times and push towards the front. It was a challenging session for the Elite Motorsport driver who set the 13th fastest time to set the grid for race one and the 12th quickest second fastest time for race two. With the Ginetta Junior Championship known for its close-quarters racing, Palmowski knew that progress would be possible to recover valuable championship points.
Starting the first race of the weekend from 13th, Alisha fought through the opening lap traffic to gain two positions and move into 11th. Lap two saw Palmowski enter the top-10 while setting her fastest lap which was 1.3 seconds quicker than she managed in qualifying. Having lost touch with the leading group of drivers, it was tough for Alisha to make any further progress, however a series of consistent lap times in the closing stages allowed her to make inroads on Finn Harrison, cutting the gap from almost five seconds, to just 1.5 seconds at the checkered flag, ending the race in 10th position.
Lining up 12th for race two, Alisha was targeting further progress and elevated her Elite Motorsport machine into the top-10 after the opening lap. Passing Luca Hopkinson for ninth on lap two, her pace was extremely encouraging and this was highlighted by claiming the fastest lap of the race on lap three.
Palmowski did a superb job to maintain contact with the leading drivers as the race progressed and despite falling to 11th on lap six, she remained less than five seconds away from the race lead. An impressive late race charge saw Alisha take the checkered flag in 10th, promoted one position when post-race penalties were applied.
Beginning the third and final race of the weekend from ninth following the results of race two, it was another hotly contested opening lap with Alisha holding onto ninth position. After being shuffled back to 11th, a red flag brought the race to stop after five laps with the restarted race being scheduled to last just seven minutes. This brought three action-packed laps of racing with Palmowski gaining three positions on the first restarted lap, once again showing improved speed in her #21 Elite Motorsport Ginetta G40. Battling with her rivals right to the line, Alisha finished race three in seventh to end a challenging weekend on a high.
"Not our weekend at Snetterton for round 5 of the Ginetta Junior Championship", Palmowski commented. "We unfortunately suffered with ongoing performance issues throughout the weekend which resulted in a significant lack of pace."
"Not what we wanted but we did the best job we could under the circumstances and the team worked incredibly hard to try and resolve the issue!"
Alisha’s consistent performances, though, allowed her to maintain sixth place in the overall championship standings. Scoring good points on a weekend where she faced a number of challenges will stand her in good stead for the future, while showing great maturity in the process. Palmowski will be looking ahead to racing at a new venue when the Ginetta Junior Championship returns on the 22nd/23rd July as the young drivers visit Cadwell Park.