top of page

GB4’s bid to elevate women: Leading female competitor to receive cash prize towards F1 Academy campaign

Written by Sophie Harvey, Edited by Meghana Sree

GB4’s championship organiser, MotorSport Vision (MSV) has announced that the highest-placed female competitor in this year’s GB4 season will receive an incredible €30,000 prize contribution towards funding a drive in next year’s F1 Academy series.

Although last year’s grid didn’t have much female representation, GB4’s latest initiative will be a huge incentive; Image Credit - Jakob Ebrey via GB4

Newly formed, GB4 is an F4 championship that visits five of the UK’s most renowned circuits – Oulton Park, Snetterton, Donington Park, Brands Hatch, and of course, Silverstone. As a spec series, each driver pilots an identical Tatuus F4-T014, powered by Abarth engines and running on Pirelli tyres.

In its ambition to be a low-cost alternative to popular FIA F4 championships, each individual is operated by a team or entered as a privateer, proving a popular method of progression for those graduating from karts of club level motorsport.

Whilst its two previous Drivers’ Champions – Nikolas Taylor and Tom Mills – have both been male, the series has already seen a flurry of female participants since its inaugural round in April, 2022.

In 2022, we saw both Logan Hannah and former F1 Academy competitor, Megan Gilkes, snag their respective victories in Donington Park. Rodin driver, Jessica Edgar, also stepped onto the podium whilst privateer, Lexie Belk, joined the grid for the final race of 2023.

GB4’s teams continue to report a strong interest in the championship from female drivers, only evidenced further by the fact that at least ten have driven in this years’ season testing. Hence, the confirmation that the leading female competitor will receive a €30,000 prize contribution towards funding an F1 Academy campaign next year will be a huge incentive — for both drivers in GB4, and those striving towards it. 

The total entry fee to compete in F1 Academy is capped at €100,000, so GB4’s contribution will be incredibly useful in securing the coveted seats — as usual, there is also a €50,000 prize pot to be received by the championship’s overall winner too.

Who is in with a chance of winning this prize?

So far, three female participants are confirmed to be on this year’s grid — Alisha Palmoski, Megan Bruce, and returnee Chloe Grant.

Alisha Palmoski, Flame Airikkala (who will be competing at later rounds), and Megan Bruce; Image Credit - GB4

Palmoski has already impressed during GB4’s opening round at Oulton Park, leading from the first lap to clinch an utterly dominant win on debut. The 17-year-old from Glossop remains with Elite Motorsport as she transitions from Ginetta Junior to single-seaters.

After winning the Ginetta Junior Scholarship, the Derbyshire teenager finished P5 in the championship last year, scoring an incredible sum of ten podiums.

Bruce joins Fox Motorsport, having already shown impressive progress during testing. The 19-year old from West Sussex made her racing debut only a year prior, competing in the Caterham Academy.

Despite having no experience, the young hopeful qualified on the front row in what was only her third race and likewise, soon became a podium finisher.

Scottish racer, Grant, has made her GB4 return after spending a year in F1 Academy where she achieved a best result of P4, in Valencia. The 18-year-old from Perth will now partner with last season’s champions, KMR Sport, having already earned herself 12 top-ten finishes in 2022.

Prior to this, Grant graduated from the Junior Saloon Car Championship, where she went on to become a scholarship winner.

With an additional year of experience under her belt, Chloe Grant will be setting her sights on the title; Image Credit - GB4

It’s worth noting that although Grant has already competed in F1 Academy, she would still be able to return to the series should she win the prize fund. This is because she has not reached the two-season maximum that the championship announced earlier this year.

Flame Airikkala also deserves a mention, entering the season’s later rounds off the back of contending in the BRSCC Fiesta Junior Championship. The 17-year-old descends from a rich motorsport pedigree — as the granddaughter of Pentti Airikkala, one of the numerous Finnish drivers to collectively dominate the World Rally Championship scene in the 70s and 80s, Airikkala definitely has racing in her blood.

Of course, drivers only competing at select rounds is not unheard of in GB4 — hence, this list could easily expand once the season is already underway.

What does this mean for women in motorsport?

Whilst GB4’s most common progression is GB3, the decision to support promising female driver’s into F1 Academy is a huge step in the right direction. Each participant of this year’s grid is sponsored by Formula 1 or its partners, utilises physical and mental coaching, and are now recognisable by a global audience — the benefits to this reward are immense.

Funding still proves to be the reason that many women don’t even contemplate competing in motorsport, let alone progressing up the ladder. With more initiatives like this surfacing, there’s growing hope we’ll see more females reaching the upper echelons of racing in the not so distant future.

Alisha Palmoski (pictured above) seems to already be a firm favourite to secure the aforementioned prize fund and possibly, win the championship; Image Credit - Alisha Palmoski via X

If you’re interested in following the GB4 action or passionate about supporting these promising young talents, every round is broadcast LIVE on the MSV TV YouTube channel, free of charge.

To also see where and when the championship is competing, you can follow this link for a complete rundown of the GB4 calendar:


bottom of page