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.
Chadwick 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 first W Series podium finish in only her second race — by six seconds as Emma Kimilainen (Ecurie W) completed the podium.
“I’m really happy. I knew I’d be pushed hard by Beitske 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,” related Chadwick. “I’m so happy to get my first win of the season after last weekend. There was so much to work on after last week, but I took the positives and went into this week with more fire in my belly to turn it around and I did just that.”
With six of this season’s eight W Series rounds remaining, Chadwick 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 1 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 July 17 in support of F1’s British Grand Prix.
What a start for Chadwick!
— Channel 4 Sport (@C4Sport) July 3, 2021
On the hottest day of the week in Austria, Visser, 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 Chadwick a healthy advantage at the end of the first lap when she led Sidorkova by almost two seconds. Bruna Tomaselli (Veloce Racing) was third at that stage before being overtaken by Emma at the start of lap two.
Powell and Abbie Eaton (Ecurie W) benefited from those early stallers, making up four places each to sit eighth and seventh respectively after 10 of the 30 minutes had elapsed. Moore 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 1 while attempting to pass.
Contact between PUMA teammates Gosia Rdest and Marta Garcia caused the former to spin as the race approached halfway, by which time Chadwick held a five-second lead over Sidorkova who had Kimilainen looming large in her mirrors. That pair were eight seconds clear of Tomaselli who was coming under increasing pressure from the train of cars behind her as the fight for fourth intensified. And, shortly after Eaton overtook Nerea for sixth, the pressure finally told as Moore passed Tomaselli at Turn 4 with less than two minutes left on the clock.
Powell, Belen Garcia (Scuderia W) and Fabienne Wohlwend (Bunker Racing) — who all finished in the top four a week ago — completed the top 10, as the latter just held off Visser, whose fine recovery drive gave the Dutch fans in the packed grandstands plenty to cheer.