How the first W Series title can be won - Chadwick versus Visser

Time flies when you're having fun, or at least it definitely does if you're racing in W Series

How the first W Series title can be won - Chadwick versus Visser

Over the course of just three months, W Series has contested five rounds alongside the DTM calendar and is set to draw to its dramatic conclusion this weekend at Brands Hatch.

Two drivers remain in title contention and will battle it out for the inaugural W Series crown in just one 30-minute sprint race on Sunday afternoon - rather than than the usual Saturday slot due to the two-day Brands schedule.

Winning the title ensures a place in motorsport history books and - more tantalisingly - $500,000 in prize money for the champion to further her single-seater career.

The points permutations

Jamie Chadwick leads Beitske Visser into Brands with a margin of just 13 points, having emphatically begun her bid for the championship with a dominant performance in the opening round at Hockenheim - where she topped every session, claimed pole and took victory.

Visser responded with her own storming display at the following round at Zolder, where Chadwick was third, with Alice Powell in second.

Visser has not won a race since Zolder, but consistent points finishes throughout the remaining rounds have kept her in close contention.

Chadwick, who has also become a development driver for the Williams Formula 1 team since beginning the W Series season, took her last win at Misano at the midway point of the season.

Although she has not taken victory since, her continued podium presence and pace means she has maintained a lead over Visser all season and it would be difficult to bet against her lifting the championship trophy come Sunday afternoon.

But W Series is by no means an 'ordinary' championship, with no teams, rotating cars and engineers and therefore no real 'underdog' choice - so Visser still very much remains in with a chance in a race where anything could happen, with a tight pack and wet weather forecast.

Leading standings before Brands

Pos Driver Points
1 Jamie Chadwick 98
2 Beitske Visser 85
3 Marta Garcia 62
4 Alice Powell 51
5 Fabienne Wohlwend 41
6 Emma Kimilainen 35
7 Miki Koyama 30
8 Sarah Moore 23
9 Tasmin Pepper 22

The title fight is not the only contest ongoing, as Visser is also in a battle with Norisring winner and break-out star Marta Garcia, who lies third in the championship currently but could edge ahead if she wins and it's a particularly messy race for Visser.

Closer still is the fight for fourth place, which has taken another twist after Powell's resurgence at Assen.

Having endured a miserable mid-season around Misano and Norisring that was blighted with on-track clashes and technical concerns, Powell took second place at the last round and jumped ahead of Fabienne Wohlwend - who finished on the podium at Misano - as the pair do battle for a $100,000 share of the prize money.

The lead 12 drivers in the pack are automatically set to advance to W Series' 2020 season, where superlicence points are due to be awarded.

Chadwick, Visser, Garcia, Powell, Wohlwend, Assen winner Emma Kimilainen and Miki Koyama are all safely guaranteed a place on next year's grid if they want one.

The battle to make the 2020 cut

Pos Driver Points
10 Vicky Piria 16
11 Caitlin Wood 11
12 Gosia Rdest 10
13 Sabre Cook 10
14 Jessica Hawkins 6

But further down the field around the 12th place cut-off mark, five drivers - Vicky Piria, Caitlin Wood, Gosia Rdest, Sabre Cook, Jessica Hawkins - are in an ongoing fight for the final guaranteed place.

Dropping outside of the top 12 would mean drivers must re-qualify for the series as part of a yet to be announced new selection process.

Hawkins, who currently has six points and lies outside the top 12 in 14th, is out with a particular point to prove after suffering a disappointing car failure at the Norisring round when she was set for her best finish of fifth, which would have leap-frogged her safely within the top 12. She managed a seventh place at Assen, but needs a considerable haul at Brands Hatch to assure her safety.

Meanwhile, current 12th place-sitter Rdest will be using the same chassis she used at Assen, rather than rotating, as she crashed out of the non-championship reversed grid race and sustained damage.

The series' chassis rotation rule is suspended when a car is damaged at one round, to avoid any suggestion of a driver being compromised by lingering after-effects of someone else's shunt.

Points-scorers Esmee Hawkey, Naomi Schiff and Vivien Keszthelyi all have a mathematical shot at making the top 12 still but would each require at least a fifth-place finish and mayhem elsewhere - and Keszthelyi goes into the weekend as only a reserve, as does Sarah Bovy.

Shea Holbrook and Megan Gilkes are the only regulars who haven't scored at all this season, so would need fourth or higher at Brands to reach the top 12. That would be a major step from their form so far, though Gilkes showed what she could be capable of with more experience when she held on under huge pressure from Powell to win the experimental reversed-grid race at Assen.

shares
comments
Ulster GP SBK winner Hickman: Record lap testament to new BMW bike
Previous article

Ulster GP SBK winner Hickman: Record lap testament to new BMW bike

Next article

The F1 expertise accelerating W Series' driver development

The F1 expertise accelerating W Series' driver development
Porsche’s hopeful Le Mans future meets its illustrious past Plus

Porsche’s hopeful Le Mans future meets its illustrious past

Rising sportscar star Adam Smalley had to pinch himself when offered the chance to drive the car that won the world’s most famous enduro in 1987

Historics
Sep 6, 2022
Why romanticism isn't the key factor in Lola’s racing return Plus

Why romanticism isn't the key factor in Lola’s racing return

The iconic Lola name is being relaunched after it was taken over by new ownership. Part of that reboot is a planned return to racing, though the exact details of this are still to be finalised - though its new owner does have a desire to bring the brand back to the Le Mans 24 Hours. But romanticism doesn't appear to be the driving force behind this renewed project...

General
Jul 14, 2022
Rating the best drivers of the century so far Plus

Rating the best drivers of the century so far

Autosport's Top 50 feature has been a staple of the magazine for the past two decades since its first appearance in 2002. Here are the drivers that have featured most prevalently during that time

General
Jan 7, 2022
The best motorsport moments of 2021 Plus

The best motorsport moments of 2021

Motorsport produced one of its greatest years of all-time in 2021 despite a backdrop of ongoing COVID-19 challenges and an ever-changing racing landscape. Through the non-stop action Autosport has collected the finest moments from the past 12 months to highlight the incredible drama and joy motorsport generates

General
Dec 31, 2021
The racing comeback artists who resurrected long-dormant careers Plus

The racing comeback artists who resurrected long-dormant careers

Making it in motorsport can be tough, and sometimes drivers move elsewhere before their best chance arrives. Here are some of those who made it back

General
Dec 26, 2021
The hidden racing gem attracting ex-F1 heroes Plus

The hidden racing gem attracting ex-F1 heroes

It’s rarely mentioned when it comes to assessing the best national contests, but the Brazilian Stock Car series that reaches its climax this weekend has an ever-growing appeal. Its expanding roster of ex-Formula 1 names has helped to draw in new fans, but it's the closeness of competition that keeps them watching

General
Dec 10, 2021
The one-time Schumacher rival rebooting his career Down Under Plus

The one-time Schumacher rival rebooting his career Down Under

Joey Mawson made waves in the middle of the last decade, beating future Haas Formula 1 driver Mick Schumacher - among other highly-rated talents - to the 2016 German F4 title. A run in F1's feeder GP3 category only caused his career to stall, but now back in Australia Mawson's S5000 title success has set that to rights

General
May 8, 2021
The lesson football’s would-be wreckers could learn from racing Plus

The lesson football’s would-be wreckers could learn from racing

OPINION: The greed-driven push for a European Super League that threatened to tear football apart is collapsing at the seams. Motor racing's equivalent, the football-themed Superleague Formula series of 2008-11, was everything that the proposed ESL never could be

General
Apr 21, 2021