Chadwick clinches first ever W Series championship

W Series

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Jamie Chadwick has become the first winner of the W Series championship following a tense title-deciding race at Brands Hatch, won by Alice Powell.

Despite taking the chequered flag behind title rival Beitske Visser, and failing to finish on the podium for the first time this year, Chadwick’s fourth place was enough to secure the title by 10 points.

Chadwick started the race from her third pole position of the season and held off fellow front row occupant Powell on the run to Paddock Hill Bend. However over the pair remained in close contention over the opening laps, hotly pursued by Assen winner Emma Kimilainen, and Visser following a few lengths behind.

While Kimilainen initially looked like taking a pop at Powell, Chadwick’s pace meant she was soon the one under pressure. Eventually Powell divided down the inside at Paddock Hill, and Kimilainen was close enough to follow her through, relegating Chadwick to third.

Visser took a look at passing her title rival but Chadwick held firm, despite knowing fourth behind Visser would deliver the championship. However a Safety Car period in the final minutes brought renewed pressure.

When the race resumed with just over five minutes left on the clock, Visser was all over Chadwick once again. Eventually Chadwick decided the risk of containing Visser was too great, and left her rival room as they headed to Sheene curve.

Fabienne Wohlwend sustained the pressure on Chadwick until the flag, but to no avail. Chadwick’s fourth place delivered her second single-seater title, following on from her MRF Challenge title win earlier this year.

Kimilainen pressured Powell hard, the pair crossing the line separated by half a second, Powell clinching her first win in the category. Despite the late Safety Car period, Visser was over five seconds behind in third place.

Vicky Piria took sixth ahead of Jessica Hawkins, Marta Garcia, Caitlin Wood and Sarah Moore. Esmee Hawkey was fortunate to avoid being hit at the start when she stalled from third on the grid, and Miki Koyama was given a drive-through penalty for being out of position on the grid at the start, then caused the late-race Safety Car period by spinning at Sheene.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 33 comments on “Chadwick clinches first ever W Series championship”

    1. Chadwick should have gotten a penalty for pushing Visser off the track, so her championship is tainted imho.

      1. This sounds like sour grapes to me…

        By that logic, Alice Powell, who pushed Jamie Chadwick onto the Gravel in her passing manoeuvre, even though Chadwick was still ahead.

        Chadwicks defence of Visser was just a hard defence, whilst the banged wheels, Chadwick was still in the lead and had right to the line and lost (possibly yielded) her position by the next corner anyway…

        1. Sour grapes is when you pretend you didn’t want something you actually did want but couldn’t get.
          How’s that sour grapes?

          1. It’s not. It’s a good example of whinging, though.

    2. That was a great race. Chadwick could have easily got a puncture in that battle with Visser.

      As for the comment above, Chadwick was ahead of Visser and just took the racing line. Visser got through next corner. No one called for a penalty, Visser included.

    3. Deserved win of the series. It’s too bad Visser had these technical troubles in Hockenheim qualy that made her start from P8. She could have given Chadwick an even better run for her money.

      1. Was it. I think few observers didn’t think EK wasn’t the best driver in the series but events…

    4. Would be good to see her in F3 next year. There’s 30 spots on the grid, I’d also like to see Floersch (who surely would’ve been there if VAR were given a spot as a team) and Visser too.

      1. agree

        W Series is a first step, but surely the question is, what now? This should be a platform that enables them to climb the ladder, F3 should be the next step and I hope they reach, otherwise this is pointless

      2. The WSeries currently drives with F3 cars…. moving to F3 would be a bit of a latteral move. Why not give her a chance (and a budget) in F2?

        1. @jeffreyj: We’ve already seen what happens when you promote to F2 a female driver who hasn’t proven anything in F3. Let’s spare everybody the embarrassment and wait til they’ve proven their mettle in F3 until we talk about F2.

    5. I know this is a race report, but I’m curious as to what lies in the future for her.

      As the champion, does the W series intend to sponsor her (partially, conditionally or fully) in a seat in F3 or F2?

      I’d like to see W series establish a firmer “feeder” link to regular motorsport series, now that they have a season completed. It would help legitimize the series, and will cut down on the accusations of it being a sandbox/safe space.

      1. Not sure about guaranteed future seats, but prize money is $500k for winner with prizes distributed in even steps downwards. A significant amount for the top 5 drivers at least considering it was only 6 or 7 races.

        1. Thank you, very good to know that.

        2. I’d say a fair few f2 or f3 drivers will have the noses seriously out of joint on the prize money

    6. Hoping there will be an analysis of the championship and how it met the various pre-season predictions.

    7. Can the drivers from the current season apply for places in the series for next season or does it have to be twenty ‘new’ faces?

      1. The 12 first are automatic in, if they want.
        Them the Organization do a shoot out com more other 10 or 15 drivers.

        1. Interesting. I’d have preferred if the champion or top 3 were actually prevented from re-entering for season that immediately followed. More of a “you’ve topped this series, now go onwards and upwards”.

          1. I don’t think there are enough woman drivers yet to do that. Karting is very much a male-dominated scene with a rather conservative and patriachal culture. That has to change in order for girls to be able to feel ‘safe´ in that environment. Then, as we see as large a number of girls starting karting as there are boys, there will be top quality talent coming out of the top of the pyramid.

    8. Great race!

      Great championship!

      Can’t wait for next season, with more Races e news tracks!

      Go girls!!!

    9. Great championship, the racing has been great, there was top drawer wheel to wheel racing the whole season. Hopefully the money can be used to accelerate some of them towards F1

    10. Really enjoyed this series! Hope a few of the drivers can have decent careers off the back of it. Maybe not Formula 1, but surely first female Le Mans winner is a pretty realistic target?

    11. I know there’s been a lot of positives for the top drivers but I do worry for the drivers who have struggled this year. Some drivers had very little single seater experience coming into the series, and after 6 rounds still don’t have much experience. Hope this doesn’t close the door on future chances for drivers like Shea Holbrook, Schiff, Hawkey, who would benefit with another year in the series but may have this door closed to them after not finishing in the top 12 in points. I personally rate Holbrook very highly.

    12. Looking at previous comments, it looks like the organisers were right. Quite positive feedback, it is more about tweaking the formula and ways forward then question it.
      It put women reaching under the spot light and it worked (Magnussen and Grosjean might have learned something on the Powell overtake, how to have three cars very close but not touching/damaging).

      The main downside is that with so little reaching, one or two races off and you are way down the championship. Quite sad for Emma for instance which was coming strong at the end of the season.

    13. Over the moon for Jamie. Been following her for a few years now, so really hope the prize money (and exposure) helps her with a good budget for a decent drive in a worthwhile category next year.
      What does £400,000 buy you these days?

      Great racing from Alex Powell too. Really pleased she got a win. I remember seeing her in the MSVR F3 cup the year after her GP3 exploits and she absolutely demolished the opposition that day. Was a shame that she couldn’t sustain a budget to stay in GP3.

    14. Congratulations to all of them!

      Breaking new ground is always hard, and I believe twice as hard for Women (only because of our mostly Male-dominated Women-disregarding World).
      Hope FIA (or whoever runs this Championship) helps it to grow.

      Personally I didn’t follow it, but I really wish they become part of F1 support package – the reach and popularity will expand enormously.

    15. Whether you think the series should exist or not, I think you have to say the first season of W Series has been a success. The racing has been generally good and there have been a few standout drivers who have come to the fore, notably Chadwick, Powell, Visser, Kimilainen, Garcia and Wohlwend. Hopefully this series will give their respective careers a bit of a push.

    16. Eventually Powell divided down the inside at Paddock Hill,

      that sounds messy

    17. so the series only lasted 6 races. I can only imagine how bad the viewer numbers were…. who can say they watched even 1 race from this series…

      1. I was at two of the races and the other four online. Was some of the most entertaining racing I’ve seen all year.

        1. watched*

    18. Is this series sustainable? Where is the money coming from? Motorsport in general is dying.

    Comments are closed.