W Series returned after its summer break this weekend – and the weekend proved to be an unforgettable one. Between the massive incident in qualifying and the awesome battles during the race itself, there’s plenty to sink your teeth into. Let’s take a look back at the key takeaways from Spa.
As you may have noticed if you watched any of the motorsport action from Spa this weekend, it rained at the track. A lot. As a result, during Friday’s qualifying session, there was a nasty crash at Eau Rouge which saw a six car pile up. All the drivers involved – Abbie Eaton, Sarah Moore, Belen Garcia, Fabienne Wohlwend, Ayla Agren and Beitske Visser – emerged with only a few minor injuries between them. Whilst the crash was the worst in W Series history, some comfort can be taken from the fact that the safety features of the cars did their job and protected the drivers. However, questions were raised about the safety – and possible improvements that could be made – of Eau Rouge and what can be done to prevent a big crash from happening there in the future.
“It’s one of the scariest accidents I’ve been involved in because I was sitting there waiting for someone to hit me. I’m just happy that everyone’s okay.” – Ayla Agren
If you want to win – get the Finn
After the first half of the season, it appeared that only Alice Powell could challenge Jamie Chadwick come race day. Emma Kimalinen proved this not to be the case this weekend with an absolutely dominant drive. Qualifying in fifth, she stormed her way through the pack and duelled with Chadwick in parts of the track where we very rarely, if ever, see overtaking. It was edge of your seat stuff that was a joy to watch and demolished any notions that only the younger drivers can be competitive. It was Emma’s first win in W Series since Assen last season and needless to say, she was over the moon about it. The win also keeps her in title contention with three rounds to go. Kimilainen 2021 Champion?
“It hasn’t been the easiest start to the year for me, but anything can happen from here and I’m still aiming for the title…” – Emma Kimilainen
Marta Garcia has had a difficult season so far. But Spa appears to have been a turning point for the Spaniard. She qualified in sixth before mastering the wet conditions to move past Alice Powell and others during the race. Garcia then proceeded to claim her first podium of the year by finishing in an impressive third place. This podium is exactly the kind of thing we expect to see from Marta so it was great to see her claim her rightful place up there. Hopefully this is the first of many more to come this season.
“I hope this is the first of a few more podium finishes this season.” – Marta Garcia
Best of the Rest
One of the breakout stars of the 2021 W Series season has to be Caitlin Wood. In only her second race, she qualified in fourth place, ahead of many other more experienced drivers. Whilst she then wasn’t to keep them all at bay, she still finished in a very respectable sixth place, ahead of drivers like Wohlwend and Marti. With rumours going around about who’s staying and who’s going in W Series for 2022, Wood is proving that she deserves to be promoted to racing in the car at every weekend. Watch this space.