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MOTORSPORT: Alice Powell's column
6:00pm Saturday 31st August 2013 in Sport
One of the most common questions that I get asked is, “What is your favourite track?”
It’s a tricky one as there are several I have driven on that fight for the No 1 spot! But I think nipping to first place would be Monaco.
I was very fortunate to race there last year and it is an extremely special place, maybe not so for spectators, but from a driver’s point of view, it is incredible.
Monaco is not a normal track, as of course, it is a street circuit.
Racing through the tunnel at more than 140mph, millimetres from the metal barriers, with the added pressure of absolutely no room for error, is amazing.
It is a circuit where you have very, very little time to think and a split second to make judgements, as everything springs up on you so quickly.
The downside to the circuit, is that it is extremely hard to overtake.
However, it is still a brilliant circuit and one that I dream to drive on again.
Rolling up in second place has to be the 7km, Spa.
It’s quite a different circuit from Monaco, but its range of corners are immense, which is probably why I rank it so highly.
Flat out through the steep and blind Eau Rouge, which leads onto a long straight ideal for making a move on the competitors in front, adds excitement every lap you drive it. Then you have a varied section of corners, adding flow and speed, keeping the adrenaline pumping.
It is a very undulating track, rising and falling at some of the trickiest corners.
Adding to this, Spa has its own weather climate, where it can be raining at one end, but sunshine at the other! Finally, in third place is Thruxton.
It was at the Hampshire circuit that I won the 2010 Formula Renault BARC Championship.
However, it is not the success which makes it my favourite.
Thruxton has to be one of the fastest circuits in the UK and in Europe, as you only brake twice.
In most single seaters you are full throttle for 80-90 per cent of the lap.
The section at the back of the circuit is extremely fast and quite bumpy, but you have to carry the speed as the run out of Segrave and through the next three corners, is where you have to be brave.
As the car dances underneath you, you must try and keep the throttle pined to the floor for as long as possible, as well as keeping the car as controlled as you can.
If you don’t, you can lose a significant amount of time up the long hill to the final corner.
This circuit also makes for fantastic racing, as it is very easy to get into the tow of another car. There are many fantastic circuits that I have driven on like, Silverstone, Barcelona, Monza… But those are my top three.
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