Megan Gilkes wins reversed grid Assen W Series race from pole

Megan Gilkes narrowly took her maiden W Series victory over Alice Powell in a photo-finish to the non-championship race at Assen, leading the whole race from reverse-grid pole

Megan Gilkes wins reversed grid Assen W Series race from pole

The one-off experimental race one day after the points-paying Assen race on Saturday was run with a reverse grid based on the championship standings, with Gilkes starting from pole ahead of reserve driver Sarah Bovy.

Gilkes led the race from the start, but by the end of the 30-minute sprint race was under pressure in an eight car battle for the lead on the final lap of the race.

Gilkes, who at 17 is the youngest driver on the grid, crossed the finish line side-by-side with Saturday podium finisher Powell, who had started the race from 17th place but had climbed to sixth by the end of the first two laps.

Next in the eight car battle and completing the podium positions was Sabre Cook.

Cook had managed to just fend off the attack of the Saturday race winner Emma Kimilainen who had cut through the field from 15th on the grid to finish fourth.

Jessica Hawkins was fifth, having also challenged Gilkes for the lead for a time, but she had lost out at a restart after a safety car period, which was caused when Gosia Rdest spun into the gravel, along with Fabienne Wohlwend.

Rdest had been pitched into the gravel by contact with Bovy, who had maintained her second place for much of the race, but began to slip back through the order after an attempted battle with Gilkes for the lead meant she ran wide off-track.

Tasmin Pepper was sixth, ahead of Naomi Schiff and championship points' leader Jamie Chadwick who was the last in that eight car lead battle despite having occupied the very last grid slot due to her 15 point lead in the inaugural title race.

Chadwick's only mathematical rival for the championship, Beitske Visser, had been the higher placed driver of the pair for the early stages of the race, having climbed to 14th from 19th on the first lap alone - but ultimately did not make it any further forward.

Chadwick and Visser had also duelled side-by-side in the early stages of the race, as the championship leaders attempted to cut through the field.

Vicky Piria and Sarah Moore completed the top 10, for which no championship points will be awarded.

Shea Holbrook was the only other retirement recorded after Rdest, with Holbrook also spinning into the gravel and causing the first of the safety car periods around the midway point of the race.

Race result

Pos Driver Team Car Laps Gap
1 Megan Gilkes Tatuus/Alfa Romeo 18 32m21.283s
2 Alice Powell Tatuus/Alfa Romeo 18 0.003s
3 Sabre Cook Tatuus/Alfa Romeo 18 0.347s
4 Emma Kimilainen Tatuus/Alfa Romeo 18 0.537s
5 Jessica Hawkins Tatuus/Alfa Romeo 18 0.715s
6 Tasmin Pepper Tatuus/Alfa Romeo 18 1.817s
7 Naomi Schiff Tatuus/Alfa Romeo 18 1.966s
8 Jamie Chadwick Tatuus/Alfa Romeo 18 2.324s
9 Vicky Piria Tatuus/Alfa Romeo 18 2.704s
10 Sarah Moore Tatuus/Alfa Romeo 18 3.101s
11 Sarah Bovy Tatuus/Alfa Romeo 18 5.241s
12 Caitlin Wood Tatuus/Alfa Romeo 18 5.510s
13 Marta Garcia Tatuus/Alfa Romeo 18 5.695s
14 Beitske Visser Tatuus/Alfa Romeo 18 6.085s
15 Miki Koyama Tatuus/Alfa Romeo 18 6.530s
16 Esmee Hawkey Tatuus/Alfa Romeo 18 6.879s
17 Vivien Keszthelyi Tatuus/Alfa Romeo 18 8.051s
18 Fabienne Wohlwend Tatuus/Alfa Romeo 18 8.168s
- Gosia Rdest Tatuus/Alfa Romeo 13 Retirement
- Shea Holbrook Tatuus/Alfa Romeo 8 Retirement


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Kimilainen takes crucial W Series win at Assen, closes on 2020 return
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