A dominant display from Jamie Chadwick sees the Brit retake the lead of the W Series championship as we enter the summer break.
A dominant weekend display from Jamie Chadwick started with Friday’s running, topping the time sheet for both practice and qualifying as the Brit beat fellow countryman Alice Powell to pole position. A 10-minute delay to the start of the race due to a red flag during the Formula 1 qualifying only added to the excitement and Chadwick made the perfect start leading Powell by more than one second at the end of lap one. Irina Sidorkova overtook Dutch driver Beitske Visser for fourth in an early exchange that at the same corner saw Fabienne Wohlwend lose her front wing after contact, the resulting pitstop relegating her to the back of the field.
As Chadwick set a series of fastest laps, Powell began to fall behind the pace and was more then two seconds off as the race settled down. It was a good first half of the race for the American Sabré Cook who made up five places, going from 18th to 13th by the halfway stage despite an issue with her mirrors. Wohlwend however could carry on no more and retired from the race with 12 minutes to go.
Miki Koyama overtook Abbie Eaton for 12th position as the race entered its final stages. This was the culmination of a long battle which saw the pair make contact. With three minutes left, an error by Marta Garcia at turn 11 gave Emma Kimilainen a sniff of a chance of an overtake and the Finn took sixth place two corners later.
A scorching track of more than 50 degrees Celsius, predictably tyre management became an issue, but Chadwick kept her cool at the front as she took the fourth victory of her W Series career to lead the championship as we go into the summer break. Powell held off a great effort from W Series Academy driver Nerea Marti to finish second with the latter taking third.
On her race win Chadwick said; I said before the race that it was all going to be about the start so, after getting off the line really well, I could relax after turn one as I knew I had plenty of pace if I was ahead. From there I could settle in and enjoy it as there were no safety car periods and I was able to just bring it home in first which was the aim coming into the weekend. This year, it’s difficult to be as consistent throughout the weekend with so many great drivers on the grid and the races coming thick and fast, so you have to be able to bounce back quickly from disappointment. That’s the nature of this championship and when you have the chance to score big points you have to take it, so I’m super happy with today and really excited for the second half of the season.”
Third place Marti was delighted with her first W Series podium; “I’m super happy with my first W Series podium as I have worked really hard for it and now I have to push for more as I feel like I am improving all the time. I haven’t driven here before, but I’ve really enjoyed this weekend as the track has suited my driving style. The race was fun – I managed to keep Irina [Sidorkova] and Beitske [Visser] behind me at the start and could just control my pace from there.”
W Series will return at Spa on the 27th and 28th of August.
|18||Fabienne Wohlwend||9||17’44.846||10 Laps|