W Series returned for part two of its double header this weekend in Zandvoort and Saturday’s race gave us plenty to talk about. Let’s not waste any time and dive straight in…
The Championship Battle is On
The title fight between the two Brits of Alice Powell and Jamie Chadwick is well and truly on. After Powell’s win this weekend, the dynamic duo sit even on points with Powell only ahead due to better overall results this season. Whilst Emma Kimilainen can still upset the order, it looks like it will be a two horse race as W Series heads to Mexico and the U.S for the final two rounds of the season. With some great overtaking by Powell this weekend, she’s showing that she’s well and truly giving it her all this year and wants to take the crown away from Chadwick. It’s great to see such a close Championship battle, mirroring Formula 1, and we hear at GP Grandstand can’t wait to see who ends up on top.
Marti – Best of the Rest
Nerea Marti is showing that whilst she may not have gotten much attention this weekend, she definitely deserves some. A rookie in W Series this year, Marti was easily the best of the rest at Zandvoort, staving off everyone behind her for the duration of the race. She also has her excellent qualifying ability to thank for putting her high up in fourth place to begin with. If this is what the Spaniard is like during her first season, I can’t wait to see what she’s going to be capable of in 2022. Watch out for her for the last two races, she might yet steal a cheeky podium.
Pulling a fast one
In just her second race this year as one of the rotating drivers, Alice Powell’s protégé Abbi Pulling is proving that she deserves to be on the grid full time next year. She qualified in an impressive fifth and finished the race in seventh – not a bad result at all for a driver with considerably less experience than many of those around her. Like Wood in Spa, Pulling is is showing that there is young female driving talent out there and that she should be given a full time race seat. Having Alice Powell as your mentor certainly seems to do the trick.
Bad weekend for Bunker Racing
Fabienne Wohlwend had an unfortunate crash during qualifying which put her down the back of the pack for the start of the race on Saturday. Zandvoort is known for being a difficult track to overtake at and unfortunately for Wohlwend, this proved to be true. Her teammate, Sabre Cook, also struggled over the entire weekend, only qualifying in seventeenth and not eighteenth because of Fabienne’s crash. Whilst Cook did improve in the race to fourteenth, the American is still the only driver without any points to her name this year. When the rookies of Wood and Pulling have more points than you in less races, that’s never a good sign. It was a weekend to forget then for the Bunker Racing team.
Abbie Eaton and Jessica Hawkins improved a lot this weekend with the latter qualifying in sixth and finishing in fifth – her best result of the season. Eaton did the same as she qualified seventh and finished sixth. It’s a great sign of improvement for the real life couple as they’ve struggled a bit so far this season on track. Hopefully this momentum carries them into the final two rounds where they can keep improving.
The other notable partnership from the weekend has to be Emma Kimilainen and her race engineer. A bet between the two to sing a Spice Girls song on karaoke after the race was great to see and was a perfect display of the family atmosphere present behind the scenes of W Series. Maybe it will also make the other engineers think twice before giving their drivers fun incentives to well over the weekend!
W Series returns in October when they travel to Mexico City for the penultimate round.