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Woman Spotlight Wednesday: Alisha Palmowski

Written by Sophie Harvey, Edited by Vyas Ponnuri

Women have played an influential role throughout the history of motor racing. Many have taken to the wheels of motorsport machines, while numerous figures have worked tirelessly on the sidelines in various roles, shaping the racing world to the present day. Woman Spotlight Wednesday aims to take a look at the tales of these superwomen, who have surpassed various hurdles to reach where they are today.

As GB4’s latest female race-winner, it’s probably unsurprising that the centre of attention in this week’s article is Alisha Palmowski. After an impressive stint in Ginetta Junior, this 17-year-old has just made the switch to ‘slicks and wings’ as she begins the next chapter of her career. 

Alisha Palmowski has already made a name for herself in Ginetta Junior; Image Credit - Ginetta Cars

Born in Glossop, Manchester, Palmowski began her karting career in 2015. Instantly hooked, she went on to compete in both Manchester and Tamworth’s Daytona Junior InKart Championship during the years that followed.

After becoming Manchester’s Vice Champion, she made the switch to the Birel ART Series’ UK National Championship, going on to clinch the title of Rookie Champion before swapping to the Daniel Ricciardo Series UK’s National Championship in 2019. In true Palmowski fashion, the teenager was soon crowned Junior Vice Champion once again.

In 2020, Palmowski began to test the Ginetta Junior G40. After being unsuccessful the first time around, she sailed through the competition to win the Ginetta Junior Scholarship in 2021, earning herself a spot on the 2022 grid as a result.

Competing in a series that has seen the likes of McLaren’s Lando Norris and W Series star, Jamie Chadwick, the pressure was most definitely on for the girl from Glossop. 

Although it was a steep learning curve, Palmowski soon became a popular name in the series. As the first female driver to stand on the Ginetta Junior podium in seven years, she could take great satisfaction in the two top-three finishes and two pole positions that earned her the title of Winter Series’ Vice Champion.

Ginetta Junior is a popular step-up for young karters looking to switch to cars; Image Credit - Alisha Palmowski via X

In 2023, she joined reigning champions Elite Motorsport to contend in her second Ginetta Junior campaign. Palmowski experienced great success, finishing the year fifth after amassing an incredible total of 10 podium-finishes — making her the highest-placed female driver since the series made the switch to G40’s.

Fast-forward to 2024, Palmowski has just made the transition to single-seaters. Sticking with Elite Motorsport for another consecutive season, the Derbyshire teenager made her GB4 debut last weekend at Oulton Park.

After topping the timing sheets in practice and qualifying second, onlookers were confident that Race one would see Palmowski finish on the podium. However, she did one better, going above and beyond to secure a historic win on debut.

Palmowski secured the win with a mighty lead; Image Credit - Jakob Ebrey via GB4

Reflecting on her dominant display, 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.”

"It’s absolutely incredible, I joined Elite Motorsport this time last year for my last season in Ginetta Juniors, they’re incredible, they’ve helped me so much, I’ve progressed as a driver immensely. The environment is great to work in, everybody has got my back, you can see how many people are over there, I can’t believe it, there’s like 20 or 30 of them!"

Palmowski accompanies the likes of Megan Gilkes and Logan Hannah, making her the third female driver to clinch a race win in GB4. This year, the leading female driver will take home a €30,000 prize contribution towards a spot on next year’s F1 Academy grid, so every point is vital. 

As a firm contender for this prize, she has already proven to be the standout driver against her current female competition, Chloe Grant and Megan Bruce. With plenty of rounds yet to come, absolutely anything could happen — if one thing is for certain, this definitely won’t be the last time you hear the name Alisha Palmowski.

Palmowski has plenty to be proud of after such an incredible display; Image Credit - Jakob Ebrey via GB4

The GB4 action continues at Silverstone later this month, commencing on the 27th of April alongside the British GT. If you’re interested in following along, you can watch the series free of charge on the MSV TV YouTube channel.

For a complete rundown on GB4’s calendar, follow the link below:


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