W Series at Assen: Clean sweep for Kimilainen, fifth podium for Chadwick
Emma Kimilainen is the winner of the fifth round of the season of the all-female W Series single-seater championship at TT Circuit Assen in the Netherlands. The 30-year-old girl from Finland dominated at 4.545 km long track, taking the pole position with the fastest lap in qualifying, then setting the fastest lap in the race and converting his performance into the first victory in the championship.
Kimilainen shared a podium with two British drivers – Alice Powell and Jamie Chadwick. Second place for Powell is her third podium of the season while Jamie Chadwick climbed to the podium for the fifth time in five races, including two victories.
Chadwick retains the championship lead ahead of season’s finale at Brands Hatch on August 11. She has 98 points on her account, thirteen more than Beitske Visser, who finished fourth today. Marta Garcia, who finished ninth today at Dutch circuit, is third in the championship with 62 points.
Twenty-five points are still in the game for the winner of the last race, so the first champion in the inaugural season of the W Series could be only Jamie Chadwick or Beitske Visser. The winner will take a US$500,000 prize.
Other points-scorers at Assen are Caitlin Wood, Gosia Rdest, Jessica Hawkins, Vicky Piria, Marta Garcia and Sarah Moore. Wood, Rdest and Hawkins scored their best results of the season.
It was a frustrating race for Miki Koyama and Tasmin Pepper, who were both forced to retire early after a red flag incident within the first seconds of the race. Equally frustrated will be Fabienne Wohlwend, who was forced into the pits after suffering front wing damage early in the race, the result of an incident that cost her seven places in the race and forces her down to fifth place in the championship.
For the first time this season, W Series will have a second race of the weekend on Sunday, in which drivers wouldn’t eligible to score points. It would be an experimental race with a reversed-grid start.
The grid line-up will be determined by a full reversal of the current championship points standings, which means that Megan Gilkes will start from pole position, Sarah Bovy alongside her on the front row. Shea Holbrook and Vivien Keszthelyi will be in the second row. Sharing the back row will be the two W Series championship contenders, Beitske Visser and Jamie Chadwick.
Photos: W Series,