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  • Writer's pictureLIAM REDFORD

Sherrie-Ann Powell makes Junior Saloon Car Championship debut at Brands Hatch

Sherrie-Ann Powell made an encouraging start to her circuit racing career with a weekend of improvement at Brands Hatch, where she competed in the highly competitive Junior Saloon Car Championship, and made progress in both wet and dry conditions.

Sherrie-Ann Powell,  Junior Saloon Car Championship, 2024 Brands Hatch
Photo credits: Sherrie Ann Powell Racing

Sherrie-Ann Powell made an encouraging start to her circuit racing career with a weekend of improvement at Brands Hatch. Competing in the highly competitive Junior Saloon Car Championship, Powell showed fantastic improvement in both wet and dry conditions. After qualifying 21st, Sherrie-Ann finished 21st in a dry race one, before making superb progress to finish a wet race two in 16th position.

Sherrie-Ann arrived at Brands Hatch eager to make a good start to her circuit racing career. Competing with experienced team Orex Competition, Powell enjoyed a number of productive test days prior to the start to the season and was looking to carry this momentum forward in what was to be a weekend of development for the young driver.

Making the step up from karting, Powell finished third in the Daniel Ricciardo Series during an excellent 2023 campaign which saw her claim a number of podium finishes, including a final win at Shenington.

Powell’s debut race weekend began with pre-event testing which was held in mixed conditions, before Sunday afternoon saw dry conditions for qualifying. The session was disrupted by two red flag periods which prevented Sherrie-Ann from getting into a rhythm and thus her theoretical best time was quicker than her best lap. At the end of the scheduled fifteen-minute session, which was cut slightly due to the delays, Powell ended qualifying 21st fastest.

Sherrie-Ann began her debut race in the Junior Saloon Car Championship from 21st position and made a clean start to hold her position. Immediately lapping faster than she did in qualifying, Powell was holding nicely with the midfield runners while closing in on Will Crewdson. Despite falling to 22nd on lap four behind Ben Smiles, another personal best time followed and she remained in a competitive train of cars.

Continuing to improve in the closing stages, Powell took the checkered flag in 21st position to complete an encouraging debut race. Her fastest lap in race one was almost two seconds faster than her best qualifying effort, underlining the improvement made.

Powell’s debut race weekend became even trickier in race two as she would experience her first wet race. Starting from 20th on the grid with the line-up set by the driver’s second fastest time from qualifying, Sherrie-Ann made a composed start and dropped to 22nd. Immediately, Powell’s lap times were fastest than those ahead of her and this allowed her to pass Will Crewdson on-track, while two other rivals hit problems.

By lap four, Powell was catching fellow female driver Caitlin Scharfegger and made the move on her rival on lap six. Despite a gap to bridge ahead of her, Sherrie-Ann’s times continued to improve as her confidence built. The race was then brought to an early conclusion following an incident at Paddock Hill bend, with Powell classified in a respectable 16th.

Sherrie-Ann’s debut in the Junior Saloon Car Championship was promising as she battled a range of conditions in her maiden circuit racing weekend. Making sizeable improvements from session to session, Powell’s race pace was comparable to those with a higher experience level and this will be a further point of encouragement to carry into the next round. The challenging Cadwell Park circuit will host the second round of the Junior Saloon Car Championship, with the action set to get underway on the weekend of 27th/28th April.



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