ALICE Powell was thrilled to return to the W Series podium when finishing second in the penultimate round at Assen, Netherlands.

After enduring races to forget in Italy and Germany, the Chipping Norton driver produced an impressive performance.

With her championship hopes already over, Powell, who sits fourth in the standings, still has a mathematical chance of finishing third, but trails Marta Garcia by 11 points ahead of the final race at Brands Hatch on August 11.

Starting second on the grid, the 26-year-old fought hard to take the lead, but was passed by race-winner Emma Kimilainen.

But Powell was still pleased to bring home 18 points.

She said: “I got a really good start and managed to get ahead of Emma at turn one.

“Then we had a safety car, but I got a good restart afterwards.

“I then ran wide at turn one and Emma got past me and I tried hard for a couple of laps to regain the lead, but she just had great pace.

“From then on it was just a case of managing the gap between the two white cars behind me, Jamie (Chadwick) and Beitske (Visser).

“Ultimately, it was good to put a few more points on the board and great to finish a race again – which I hadn’t done since Zolder.”

The W Series also experimented with a non-championship reverse-grid race at Assen, with Powell finishing second again.