Alisha Palmowski has been crowned the winner of the 2022 Ginetta Junior Scholarship, becoming the second ever female winner of the contest and with it securing a fully-funded season in the championship next year.
A hotly contested three day event (05-07 November) at Ginetta’s own circuit, Blyton Park, saw more than 60 young drivers complete a number of driving, fitness and media assessments as they battled it out for one of the biggest prizes in UK motorsport.
Leading teams from the Ginetta Junior paddock supplied Ginetta G40’s for the event – Elite Motorsport, Assetto Motorsport, Breakell Racing, Race Car Consultants, Richardson Racing and Preptech UK – with an elite group of judges sitting in the passenger seats.
Led by Ginetta factory drivers Mike Simpson and Charlie Robertson, the driving panel included two former winners of the Scholarship, Adam Smalley and Sennan Fielding, fellow Junior alumni Max Coates and Ben Green, plus experienced racers James Littlejohn and James Gornall.
Off-track, Ginetta’s in-house personal trainer Richard Chessman tested the teenage entrants’ fitness and determination with a range of physical challenges, while Richard John Neil, the lead Ginetta commentator for ITV, evaluated their media and communication skills.
A talented group of 23 drivers made it through to the final day of competition. They all faced more evaluations before the field was narrowed down to a top 10 and then a top five, who tackled a final shootout behind the wheel of a Ginetta G40.
Palmowski’s talent and potential shone through for the judges, who named her the 13th different winner of the Ginetta Junior Scholarship. She’s the first female recipient of the prize since now two-time W Series champion Jamie Chadwick back in 2013.
The 15 year old from Manchester will make her car-racing debut next season following a successful six year karting career, which included being crowned the 2020 Daniel Ricciardo Series’ DRS100 junior vice-champion and 2018 BirelART junior rookie champion.
Her full prize package include all entry fees, use of a G40 Junior race car for the whole season including consumables, insurance and a season supply of race tyres and fuel, and professional car preparation from an experienced team for the duration of the season.
Alisha Palmowski – 2022 Ginetta Junior Scholar: “I’m absolutely speechless. What an amazing weekend that I’ll never forget. Thank you so much to everyone at Ginetta who have given me this incredible opportunity. I’ve learnt so much and progressed a lot over these last few days, so I cannot wait to get started for what will hopefully be an awesome 2022 season!”
Ashley Gallagher, Ginetta Motorsport Manager: “Once again, this year’s Ginetta Junior Scholarship was incredibly competitive. We were all hugely impressed by the standard set across all the assessment areas, and narrowing the field down to 23 finalists was very tough.
“The competition stepped up a level on the final day and there were a number of drivers who could have won. In the end, Alisha produced fantastic performances across the board and is a hugely deserving winner. We can’t wait to welcome her to the grid next season.”
The 2021 Ginetta race season comes to an end this weekend with the return of the Ginetta Junior Winter Series at Brands Hatch in Kent (13/14 November). The event will be streamed live on the BARC’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZf3wEugCbSW3GX9HvjPmRQ
Final 5: Joe Cheek, Jack James, William Macintyre, Alisha Palmowski, Jez Williams
Final 10: Alfie Briggs, Mckenzie Douglass, William Fallon, Sam Gornall, James Wyres
Final 23: Brea Angliss, Nathan Clifford, Jamie Handyside, Lucas Hayden, Macie Hitter, Marcel Kowalski, Jenson de Leeuw, Leo Licastro, Matthew McCord, Flynn McHardy, Lucas Remnant, Thomas Spragg, Spike Vincent