This week we caught up with Alisha Palmowski, who is the Ginetta Junior Scholarship Winner for 2022. With race season well on its way, it was great to speak with Alisha to find out more about her passion for racing, life outside of Motorsport and her inspirations for the sport.
Here’s how it went…
1. What is the best advice you can give to some young wanting to get into Motorsport?
The best advice I can give to a young aspiring racing driver would just simply be to never give up. Keep persevering when things aren’t going your way – if you put the hard work in, your time will come. And in races, it’s never over until it’s over, so keep going no matter what!
2. Where did your passion for racing stem from?
My great grandad, Marian Palmowski, was a BriSCA F1 stock-car driver during the 50s-70s and as a result, I’ve grown up with the influence of motorsport all around me! Just before my 9th birthday, my grandad took me on an Arrive and Drive indoor corporate karting session and I was absolutely hooked straight away… even if I wasn’t that quick at the time!
3. Controversial… but do you feel more pressure being a young female on the track?
I think being a female in a male-dominated environment does put the limelight on us more and more eyes are watching us so in that respect there is more pressure. However, I don’t view it as a disadvantage and if anything, it makes me more determined to prove myself!
4. What do you do to calm your nerves before a race?
Who says I get nervous haha!? I like to listen to music before a race to help me get in the zone and I have some other rituals I like to do but will remain private! 🙂
5. What do you like to do outside of racing?
If I’m not out on the race track, I’m either sim racing or watching racing! Other than racing, I like to work hard on my training / fitness as well as studying hard to keep on top of my schoolwork as best as possible.
6. If you weren’t to follow a career down the motorsport route – what would your dream job be and why?
I am currently studying computer science GCSE and coding at school which I find really interesting and I’d like to continue studying it at A-Level. If a career in motorsport wasn’t available to me, I would like to go into the computing industry in some way or another!
7. Who is your biggest inspiration?
It may seem the obvious answer, but my biggest inspiration has to be Lewis Hamilton. Not only his incredible on-track ability, but also how he conducts himself off track and his ‘never give up’ mentality. The way he comes back from tough races and low moments is hugely inspiring as well!
8. What is your favourite circuit to race on?
I’m looking forward to racing at Croft and Snetterton this year! I really enjoyed testing at the two tracks earlier in the year with some competitive lap-times so I believe we can hopefully be up for some good results!
9. How do you balance school life and racing?
It’s tough trying to stay on top of school work, since racing is a huge commitment and a lot of dedication is needed. I do my best to catch up on any school work missed due to racing as soon as possible and unfortunately a lot of revision is required which I’m never a fan of but it has to be done!
10. Biggest challenge you have faced so far?
The biggest challenge for me was probably my very first race in Ginetta Juniors at Donington in April. During pre-season testing, I had time to get used to the car and learn the tracks etc. But once you line up on the grid for the first time, amongst the atmosphere of a BTCC meeting, alongside all the other drivers with fans everywhere was a totally new experience that you simply cannot prepare for until you are there!