Defending W Series champion Jamie Chadwick (Veloce Racing) won the second race of the 2021 season at the Red Bull Ring to go to the top of the championship standings.
The 23-year-old Briton completed a perfect weekend – topping every session, leading every lap and setting the fastest lap of the race – to convert the fourth pole position of her W Series career into her third victory more than two years after her last win at Misano in June 2019.
Jamie took advantage of 2019 runner-up Beitske Visser (M. Forbes Motorsport) stalling from second on the grid to beat W Series rookie Irina Sidorkova (W Series Academy Team) – who claimed her maiden W Series podium finish in only her second race – by six seconds as Emma Kimiläinen (Ecurie W) completed the podium.
With six of this season’s eight W Series rounds remaining, Jamie holds a three-point lead over compatriot Sarah Moore (Scuderia W), who backed up her runner-up finish from a week ago at the same circuit with a fourth-placed finish on Saturday. Race-one winner Alice Powell (Racing X) is a further point behind after finishing eighth in round two, meaning British drivers hold the top three spots in the standings ahead of the third round of the season at Silverstone on 17 July in support of F1’s British Grand Prix.
On the hottest day of the week in Austria, Beitske, Marta Garcia (PUMA) and Ayla Agren (M. Forbes Motorsport) were all slow away from their top-10 grid slots, dropping the trio to the rear of the field. That gave Jamie a healthy advantage at the end of the first lap when she led Irina by almost two seconds. Bruna Tomaselli (Veloce Racing) was third at that stage before being overtaken by Emma at the start of lap two.
Alice and Abbie Eaton (Ecurie W) benefitted from those early stallers, making up four places each to sit eighth and seventh respectively after 10 of the 30 minutes had elapsed. Sarah and Nerea Marti (W Series Academy Team) were locked in a prolonged battle for fifth place, and the Spanish rookie suffered front-wing damage after running wide at turn one while attempting to pass.
Contact between PUMA team-mates Gosia Rdest and Marta caused the former to spin as the race approached halfway, by which time Jamie held a five-second lead over Irina who had Emma looming large in her mirrors. That pair were eight seconds clear of Bruna who was coming under increasing pressure from the train of cars behind her as the fight for fourth intensified. And, shortly after Abbie overtook Nerea for sixth, the pressure finally told as Sarah passed Bruna at turn four with less than two minutes left on the clock.
Alice, Belen Garcia (Scuderia W) and Fabienne Wohlwend (Bunker Racing) – who all finished in the top four in June– completed the top 10, as the latter just held off Beitske whose fine recovery drive gave the Dutch fans in the packed grandstands plenty to cheer.
Jamie Chadwick, 23, UK, Veloce Racing, said:
“I’m really happy. I knew I’d be pushed hard by Beitske [Visser] after the great battles we had together in 2019. I don’t know what happened to her at the start but that obviously helped me and allowed me to build a gap, maintain it and just control the race. I’m so happy to get my first win of the season. There was so much to work on, but I took the positives and went into this with more fire in my belly to turn it around and I did just that.”
Irina Sidorkova, 18, Russia, W Series Academy Team, said:
“I made a big step forward. I got a great start and made three overtakes straight away to go from fifth on the grid to second. I corrected all the mistakes, I was calm and didn’t feel nervous and that’s the reason why I finished second. I feel so comfortable with the car now and I think I was faster, not because of changes to the car, but because of my experience of driving the circuit from last race.”
Emma Kimiläinen, 31, Finland, Ecurie W, said:
“I got a good start and then just controlled my race so I could manage the tyres and catch Irina [Sidorkova] at the end of the race when her tyres were older, but I didn’t have enough laps to pass. It’s been a long time coming for me because I didn’t do any racing in 2020 and my last race was the last race of the 2019 season at Brands Hatch. It wasn’t great, but I had a good chat with the engineers to figure out the car and get it working better for me to match my driving style and that’s what we did.”
Rupert Svendsen-Cook (Team Manager, Veloce Racing) said:
“An excellent job by all. Jamie [Chadwick] had a point to prove after last race and the way she went about winning that race was utterly dominant from start to finish. Bruna [Tomaselli] also was the star rookie and they’ve certainly cemented Veloce as title contenders. We’ve got a short break before our home race at F1’s British Grand Prix weekend and we’ll be doing all we can to repeat this performance in front of the home crowd.”