Jamie Chadwick continues dominance to win inaugural W Series opener

first_imgShare on Twitter Share on WhatsApp Support The Guardian The 20-year-old from Bath was quickest in both practice sessions and in the very difficult conditions was untouchable. She took pole in the morning with a marvellous lap in heavy rain, almost two seconds clear of her nearest competitor.With the rain having finally abated for the race, she led from pole but locked up and went wide at the hairpin on the opening lap and lost the place to Sarah Moore. Chadwick was not to be denied, however, and on the restart after a safety car triggered by an incident on the first lap, shot up the inside and braked late at turn two to retake the lead.Chadwick held her place with aplomb, seeing off a determined chase by Britain’s Alice Powell, who finished second. Behind them, the racing was frenetic. The series uses single-make F3 cars and there was cut and thrust and no shortage of skilful and aggressive passing moves.The final podium illustrated what an opportunity the series presents. The careers of Powell and Spain’s Marta García, who was third, had stalled before they were given this chance to race again.It was a positive show for the series, which takes place at meetings of the German touring car championship, the DTM, and is trying to address the sport’s fundamental gender imbalance. The 18 drivers have been selected on merit and do not have to bring funding.Gerhard Berger, the former Ferrari and McLaren driver who is now chairman of DTM, was positive about the championship and believes it will fulfil its goal of bringing more women through to the top levels. “After two or three races you will see from this field four or five girls with a clear strong potential to move on,” he said.“I really think we are going to see somebody coming out of this school in the next two or three years and the goal is to bring somebody into F1 and that would be great. In F1 they will face boys and then finally the question of whether they can compete with them in F1 will be answered.”For now, the day belonged to Chadwick and she was revelling in it but the W Series is hopeful she will be just the first winner in a new era for motor racing. Share on Pinterest … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many new organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. 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Share on Messenger Topics Read more Spirits undampened by the barrage of cold wind and rain battering the Hockenheim ring, there was delight for Britain’s Jamie Chadwick, who won the first race of the new all-female W Series.Chadwick’s joy reflected the buoyant optimism that has surrounded the inaugural meeting of the championship, while her mastery of the wet all weekend suggests the W Series has a star driver more than ready to continue her ascent of motor racing’s ladder. The organisers, too, will take heart now their attempt to change the landscape of the sport is off to a successful start. Their task is to build on this.Chadwick is no stranger to success. In 2015 she was first woman to win the British GT championship, last year she was the first to win a British F3 race and, in February, to win the MRF Challenge championship. She has grand ambitions to advance in the sport and proved her credentials to do so emphatically here.“It feels great. I had been hoping to get out front for an easy race but it was nothing like that, conditions were tricky,” she said. “I was particularly happy. I felt a little pressure going into it, mainly I had put it on myself. The nerves did build up so the win was more of a relief.”Chadwick would like to make it to F1 and believes a good showing in the championship could only help. “The W Series is offering time for development to give us track time, to develop as drivers,” she said. “I am going to keep chipping away and I feel the potential is there to push on to race in the top levels of motor sport.”She added: “I see it as a huge, huge moment. As a driver a win is a win but as a person, and as a female in motor sport, I think it’s incredible.” Share on LinkedIn Share on Facebook Motor sport Since you’re here… The Recap: sign up for the best of the Guardian’s sport coverage The Observer news Reuse this content Share via Emaillast_img

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