Chadwick passes Kimilainen after last-lap restart to win W Series opener

W Series

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Reigning W Series champion Jamie Chadwick claimed victory in the first Miami race by passing Emma Kimilainen after a final-lap restart.

Nerea Marti had started from pole ahead of Chadwick, Alice Powell and Kimilainen. Surrounded by drivers in their third year of W Series, the less experienced Marti got away poorly, falling to 12th. Chadwick took the lead off the line with Kimilainen snatching second

But Alice Powell’s start was even more disastrous than Marti’s. Her race end in the wall at turn eight, damaging the TecPro barrier there, spraying polystyrene across the track.

Powell was able to leave her car unaided but a Safety Car was called while it was recovered, neutralising the race before Chadwick and Kimilainen had crossed the start/finish line. Powell’s car had initially failed to get away from the grid prior to her crash as she closed on the tail of the pack.

Her wrecked car was picked up by a recovery vehicle. This had to travel along the track in order to exit, stopping under a bridge on the short straight from turn nine while cars continued to circulate behind the Safety Car. As the process dragged on and race time dwindled away, a red flag was thrown with 18 and a half minutes 29 remaining.

The race resumed at 14:55 local, with a rolling start. Chadwick got away in the lead, Kimilianen and Fabienne Wohlwend behind her.

Marta Garcia took third from Wohlwend through turns five and six, their battle allowing Chadwick, with Kimilainen on her rear wing, to draw a short lead. Kimilainen made an attempt at a pass through turn 17 but was repelled by Chadwick, although they crossed the line almost side-by-side to start the third racing lap.

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Wohlwend suffered a lock-up into turn five which gave Jessica Hawkins the opportunity to make a serious attempt at taking fourth, a line of cars beginning to form behind Wohlwend while the leaders drew away. Abbie Eaton, meanwhile, had moved up to sixth and into a position to threaten Hawkins, before Beitske Visser passed Eaton through turn six at the same time as Hawkins passed Wohlwend, feeding the CortDAO driver back into the pack behind.

With eight minutes to go, Kimilainen managed to pass Chadwick for the lead through turn 11 and make it stick. The Puma driver was able to pull a small lead, Chadwick not as close behind her as they had been before but still within dangerous distance when a second safety car period was called.

Both Eaton and Wohlwend were out of the race after colliding at the entrance of turn six, their cars ending in the run-off after a sequence of corners where both had repeatedly gone off-track and over kerbs in a multi-car battle for fifth place.

The Safety Car was summoned again but this incident was cleared more quickly, allowing for a final lap of racing. Kimilainen lost the lead on the restart, running wide and handing the lead back to Chadwick, while Garcia took second.

Kimilainen harassed Garcia through the tight mid-lap corners and onto the straight, then made a bold move around the outside of turn 17. There was contact, and the former leader was sent spinning finishing the race last.

Chadwick was able to come home cleanly ahead of Garcia behind while Hawkins was promoted to her first W Series podium in third after defending from Visser for the final lap. Kimilainen’s demise also promoted Abbi Pulling into the top five.

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W Series race one results

1Jamie ChadwickJenner
2Marta GarciaCortDAO
3Jessica HawkinsClick2Drive
4Beitske VisserSirin
5Abbi PullingRacing X
6Bruna TomaselliRacing X
7Chloe ChambersJenner
8Nerea MartiQuantfury
9Belen GarciaQuantfury
10Sarah MooreScuderia W
11Bianca BustamanteW Series Academy
12Emely de HeusSirin
13Juju NodaW Series Academy
14Tereza BabickovaPuma
15Emma KimilainenPuma
DNFAbbie EatonScuderia W
DNFFabienne WohlwendCortDAO
DNFAlice PowellClick2Drive

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Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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10 comments on “Chadwick passes Kimilainen after last-lap restart to win W Series opener”

  1. Powell crashed on her own at the back looked really amateurish. Other than that is was ok-ish… camera work was terrible btw. No real clue what happened with Wohlwend

  2. They couldn’t fit the JCB under the pedestrian bridge when carrying the car. Amateur hour.

  3. Bit of a joke how many racing laps they actually had, what was it…5 laps maybe? Rest of the time under safety car.

    1. RandomMallard
      8th May 2022, 15:25

      @t1redmonkey It’s not a completely uncommon occurrence in lower formula series with short (>30 minute) races. One incident can easily take up a third of the racing time, and another after that can make the actual green flag race very, very short. I’ve seen it many times in regional F3, FRECA etc. and now W Series as well. I definitely think they made the right decision throwing the red flag, maybe they could have done it a bit earlier but I can give them the benefit of the doubt that they didn’t expect the JCB to take quite so long recovering the car (although barrier repairs were still needed).

  4. I luv chicken
    7th May 2022, 22:17

    Generally speaking, Wseries is a waste of time. If any of these drivers were worth their salt, they should be racing their fellow competitors, no matter, which team they play for. How can this series be promoted along with F1? If this is supposed to impress Formula 1 teams, how many were watching this crapfest?
    The only time F1 was interested in on track activities was when vintage F1 cars ran, and then the whole garage stopped work to get to the pit wall to watch a CanAm demo race.

  5. If anything this series plays to the stereotype that women are bad drivers. There is not a single thing stopping an excellent girl kart driver climbing the ranks and making it to f1. They would have unlimited sponsorship backing supporting them.

    What this series does is segregate then further and expose their lack of talent.

    1. I must admit I’m still unsure which way I lean on this topic. On the one hand I believe most forms of motorsport are (to lesser or greater degrees) a physical sport. In that regard the common approach adopted in other sports is to have gender based categories, so that would seem appropriate here.

      On the other hand I would love to see a women F1 driver (or drivers) successfully taking on the guys. That said I feel superman’s comments are a little over simplistic. It rather implies equal (or in some aspects favourable) opportunity, which at the very least the physical aspect does not support. I would not be surprised if there were other hurdles as well.

      With regard to the article, a couple more pictures would be nice.

  6. It was concerning to see how long it took to not even clear Alice Powell’s car. I really hope this isn’t a sign of things to come for the F1 race. I suspect we’ll have at least 1 red flag. It feels like one of those circuits where clumsy contact is largely inevitable, a bit like Jeddah.

  7. We should appeal to mutli millionaires and billionaires with an interest in Motorsport to encourage their daughters to put the smartphones down and pick up a steering wheel like their brothers. Even if they are skeptical at first. Just tell them “It’s a father-daughter bonding moment”.

  8. Chris Horton
    8th May 2022, 13:14

    Great result for Jamie, Safety cars should stop the clock in such short races though, not good.

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