Palmowski powers to maiden victory in Oulton Park season opener

Published on Sunday, March 31, 2024

Palmowski powers to maiden victory in Oulton Park season opener

Elite Motorsport’s Alisha Palmowski fought her way to victory in the first GB4 Championship race of the season at Oulton Park. From second on the grid, she blasted into the lead on the run to turn one, and then led from there, taking the flag over three seconds clear of her opposition. 

Qualifying
GB4 Shootout winner Brandon McCaughan claimed two pole positions in qualifying earlier this afternoon, in his first slicks and wings racing event.

The Irish racer’s best lap put him 0.070s clear of Palmowski, having trimmed a few tenths off his best each time he circulated the Cheshire venue. His final lap of 1m34.419s proved the time to beat, with Palmowski coming closest, and the pair enjoying a healthy margin to the rest of the field, headed by McCaughan’s teammate Harry Burgoyne. 

Palmowski’s fellow Elite runner Finn Harrison was fourth fastest ahead of Graham Brunton Racing’s Callum Baxter, with Fortec’s Linus Granfors completing the top six. 

Showing excellent consistency, McCaughan’s second-best lap was just half a tenth away from his outright best, ensuring he took pole for race two also, again ahead of Palmowski and Burgoyne. 


Race one
With minimal seat time ahead of his debut, McCaughan was understandably slightly slower away at the start, and Palmowski capitalised to take the lead approaching Old Hall. 

While she moved into a three-second lead after a couple of laps, Burgoyne moved up the order too at the expense of McCaughan, who fell to fourth, but found his way back up to third, and would run close to Burgoyne throughout.

The top three all demonstrated remarkable consistency, evenly matched on lap times, while Palmowski was metronomic at the front, with her final seven laps all within a tenth of a second of each other.

She ultimately won with a 3.674s margin to Burgoyne, with McCaughan just over a second further back. With Graham Brunton Racing’s Callum Baxter fourth, the lead quartet all set best laps within 0.070s of each other, indicating that a gripping GB4 title fight should be in store this year. 

Racing newcomers Branden Templeton (Fox Motorsport) and Leon Wilson (Arden) proved they have the potential to join the fight too, finishing fifth and sixth on their racing debuts, while Fortec’s Linus Granfors powered through from the back of the pack after a slow getaway to take seventh. 

Not only does Palmowski currently lead the charge for the €30,000 fund for this year's lead female driver in the series, but she has also marked herself out as a likely outright championship contender, and the £50,000 prize that comes with it. 


Race one winner Palmowski said: I’m just absolutely over the moon. I’m a bit speechless, to be honest, it’s the first race win I’ve had in a while, so I’m absolutely over the moon. 

“I was really nervous about the start, to be honest, I’ve only done two practice starts so I was aware that could be the weakness that could catch me out and make or break the race. So to get the lead off the line, it was then keep my head down and being as consistent as I could with the lap times. 

“I was monitoring the gap from behind, I was quite lucky because I think they started battling behind, Harry and Finn, my teammate. I just kept my head down. The adrenaline is just coming down now, I’m quite relieved.”


GB4 Championship, partnered by the BRDC, Oulton Park qualifying top-six:
1. Brandon McCaughan, KMR Sport, 1m35.419s
2. Alisha Palmowski, Elite Motorsport, +0.070s
3. Harry Burgoyne, KMR Sport, +0.467s
4. Finn Harrison, Elite Motorsport, +0.571s
5. Callum Baxter, Graham Brunton Racing, +0.590s
6. Linus Granfors, Fortec Motorsports, +0.635s

Click here for full result.


GB4 Championship, partnered by the BRDC, Oulton Park race one top-six:
1. Alisha Palmowski, Elite Motorsport, 12 laps
2. Harry Burgoyne, KMR Sport, +3.674s
3. Brandon McCaughan, KMR Sport, +5.324s
4. Callum Baxter, Graham Brunton Racing, +11.512s
5. Branden Templeton, Fox Motorsport, +19.991s
6. Leon Wilson, Arden Motorsport, +21.311s

Click here for full result. 


GB4 Championship, partnered by the BRDC, Championship standings after race one of 21:
1. Alisha Palmowski, Elite Motorsport, 35pts
2. Harry Burgoyne, KMR Sport, 29pts
3. Brandon McCaughan, KMR Sport, 24pts
4. Callum Baxter, Graham Brunton Racing, 21pts
5. Branden Templeton, Fox Motorsport, 19pts
6. Leon Wilson, Arden Motorsport, 17pts

Click here for full standings

 

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