W Series: Reflections from Austria

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W Series returned for round two in Austria this weekend. Whilst it was not as exciting a race as last time, we still got three different drivers on the podium, some stellar drives, and just enough spice to keep things interesting throughout. Here are the key takeaways from W Series in Austria…

Championship Material from Chadwick

Jamie Chadwick (GBR)

After a difficult race last weekend, defending W Series Champion bounced back in style this weekend. Chadwick took pole position and then dominated the race from start to finish to clinch her first victory of 2021 – and the top of the Drivers’ Standings. It was a perfect drive from the British racer that she’ll surely be looking to repeat next time out at her home race in Silverstone.

Superb Sidorkova

W Series’ youngest driver, Ira Sidorkova just turned 18 last week but her youth was not something to be underestimated this weekend. She qualified in sixth on Friday and then had a blistering start to Saturday’s race.

Whilst she was unable to catch Chadwick out in front, she drove confidently and calmly for the entire race, keeping Emma Kimilainen at bay throughout.

Irina Sidorkova (RUS)

As a result, the rookie driver was able to claim her first W Series podium, beating one of the most experienced drivers on the grid in the process.

Sidorkova is now definitely one to watch as the rest of the season unfolds.

Disaster for Visser

Beitske Visser needed the second round in Austria to go well after clashing with Kimilainen last weekend, but luck was not on her side.

It looked good for the Dutch driver initially as she qualified in second place next to 2019 Championship rival, Jamie Chadwick. But come race day, she stalled as the lights went out and rapidly dropped down the order.

For the entirety of the race, Visser than found it difficult to make progress, having to settle for 11th place in the end. This means that for two races in a row, the 2019 championship hopeful misses out on getting any points at all.

It doesn’t look good for her going forwards to be a title contender in 2021.

Improvements for Eaton and Marti

Abbie Eaton (GBR)

The Grand Tour’s Abbie Eaton didn’t have a brilliant start to the W Series season last weekend. But she’s a quick learner this proved to be the case once again this weekend. The British driver finished in sixth place, earning herself some nice points in the process.

Nerea Marti missed out on a podium last time out after an unfortunate error so it was important for her to get a good result time around. P7 in the end was the best she could do, but this is still a respectable place to finish for the rookie.

Back down to Earth

Following the outstanding drivers from Alice Powell, Sarah Moore and Fabienne Wohlwend at the Styrian round, there were high hopes for the three of them come Round 2.

Alice Powell (GBR)

But technical issues and bad luck thwarted each of them this time around, making for a character building weekend. Moore qualified the highest of the three in eighth place on Friday which gives you an idea of how well it went for the other two.

By the end of the race though, Moore had managed to find some pace and got past Bruna Tomaselli to steal fourth place from her. Powell had to settle for eighth, with Wohlwend in tenth. That’s definitely one way to spice the Drivers’ Championship up, though.

Special shout out to Anne Bradshaw

W Series, and motorsport’s behind the scenes superstar, Anne Bradshaw, was invited up with the podium celebrations to mark 50 years of her working in motor racing.

It was a great tribute that also happened to fall on Anne’s birthday. You’ve got to love the real sense of community in the W Series paddock.

Championship Standings

After two rounds, the top five looks like:

  1. Jamie Chadwick – 33 Points
  2. Sarah Moore – 30 Points
  3. Alice Powell – 29 Points
  4. Irina Sidorkova – 22 Points
  5. Fabienne Wohlwend – 16 Points

Images: W Series

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