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GB4 announces prize money for top female driver towards a F1 Academy drive

Updated: Mar 14

GB4 Championship's organiser MSV has announced a €30,000 prize fund for the top-finishing female driver in the championship towards a F1 Academy seat in 2025.


Alisha Palmowski, Flame Airikkala, Megan Bruce
Photo by: Jakob Ebrey Photography

The MSV-promoted GB4 Championship has become one of the most interesting and affordable junior single seater series over the last two years, as it established itself on the British and European racing scene, producing some exciting talents that went on to move up the formula ladder. Among them, since the inaugural season in 2022, there have been many female drivers, who chose GB4 as their stepping stone for F4 as well as the all-female F1 Academy championship.


And, since the launch of F1 Academy in 2023, GB4 has witnessed increasing interest from young female drivers, especially graduating from karting or stepping up to single seaters, with the ambition of collecting valuable experience ahead of a potential move to F1 Academy.


At least 10 female drivers have recently tested GB4 machinery or expressed interest in joining the grid for the upcoming season. Among them, Alisha Palmoswski - a podium finisher and front runner in the highly competitive Ginetta Junior Championship - and Megan Bruce have already confirmed their 2024 entries. Palmowski has topped several collective test sessions.


With these premises, championship organiser MotorSport Vision has announced the launch of a €30,000 prize fund for the highest finishing female driver in the GB4 Championship, towards a drive in the following year's F1 Academy season.


“It is really exciting to have so many more females taking part in motor racing and particularly in single seaters", explained MSV Chief Executive Jonathan Palmer. "There is real momentum gathering now, as witnessed by the commitment F1 has made with F1 Academy and the support Motorsport UK is giving to generate female participation."


"Our GB4 Championship has proved a great value series in which to learn, gain experience and showcase talent, and we are proud to be attracting more females than most junior single seater championships."


Two female drivers have won races in GB4 - Megan Gilkes and Logan Hannah, in the 2022 inaugural season - which also saw Chloe Grant and Jessica Edgar competing at the front. Three of them moved to F1 Academy in 2023, with Edgar claiming a pole position and a race win. Lexie Belk was the only female GB4 entry in 2023, when she raced at Donington Park as a privateer.


The € 30,000 is a significant contribution, as currently F1 Academy drivers are required to secure a €100,000 budget.

"Of course career progression for the most successful is vital, and what is key to that is funding, so that’s what we are now boosting", Palmer continued. "I would love the top placed female racer in GB4 this year to not only be in F1 Academy next year but winning it, and MSV will give her all the support we can to achieve that.”

 

The prize adds to the £50,000 scholarship for the series champion towards a GB3 or British F4 drive, as well as the £4,000 George Russell Pole Position Award and the Omologato Oro timepiece “One to Watch Award”.


While MSV cannot ultimately guarantee the prize winner a drive in F1 Academy, the promoter is nevertheless aiming to assist with funding so that female drivers have the best possible opportunity to graduate. Similarly to other prizes, once the winner will secure the drive, the prize will be provided to their budget for the season.


More female drivers are believed to be announcing their 2024 entry in the GB4 Championship in the coming days.

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