W Series Spa: Kimilainen wins after sweeping past Chadwick in wet race

Emma Kimilainen took her second W Series win in a drenched race at Spa, sweeping past reigning champion Jamie Chadwick to win by over eight seconds.

W Series Spa: Kimilainen wins after sweeping past Chadwick in wet race

The Finnish driver started in fourth for Ecurie W before mastering the wet conditions to move through the field and take her first win since Assen 2019.

Chadwick finished in second for Veloce Racing, maintaining her championship lead, while Puma’s Marta Garcia came in third to take her first podium of the year.

Title challenger Alice Powell (Racing X) finished fourth, having started second, with Caitlin Wood finishing fifth in her second race of the year for Puma.

The race, which was delayed by an hour, started under the safety car, where it stayed for almost the entire first half of the race, before the drivers were released with 16 minutes plus one lap left to go.

Chadwick got a few car lengths on Powell as the race started properly, while further back, Wood, Kimilainen and Garcia went three wide along the Kemmel Straight.

Kimilainen moved into third in turn nine as Wood and Garcia continued to tussle, racing wheel-to-wheel.

Fabienne Wohlwend (Bunker Racing) went deep at La Source, losing the final points place to Sirin Racing’s Vicky Piria with 13 minutes to go.

Emma Kimilainen, 1st position, on the podium

Emma Kimilainen, 1st position, on the podium

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Chadwick had built up a 2.8s lead from Powell after 18 minutes, with 1.3 seconds between Powell and Kimilainen.

With 11 minutes to go, Garcia set a new fastest lap with a 2m47.664s, while Powell found herself being caught by Kimilainen.

Kimilainen swept past Powell with eight minutes to go, with the front-row starter, who said she had “no grip whatsoever”, forced to concede.

Garcia rapidly approached from fourth, applying pressure to Powell, while Kimilainen was three seconds a lap quicker than Chadwick with five minutes to go, chasing down the race leader.

Kimilainen swept past Chadwick on lap nine, making a late-braking move to squeeze around the outside and almost immediately build a 1.3s lead.

With 30s to go, Garcia took third from Powell, lining herself up to take her podium of the season.

On the last lap, Wohlwend managed to pass W Series Academy driver Nerea Marti for seventh place.

W Series  - Spa-Francorchamps race results

Cla Drivers Laps Time Gap
1 Finland Emma Kimilainen 12 35'21.478  
2 United Kingdom Jamie Chadwick 12 35'29.967 8.489
3 Spain Marta Garcia 12 35'33.427 11.949
4 United Kingdom Alice Powell 12 35'39.660 18.182
5 Australia Caitlin Wood 12 35'57.310 35.832
6 United Kingdom Jessica Hawkins 12 36'01.074 39.596
7 Liechtenstein Fabienne Wohlwend 12 36'01.573 40.095
8 Nerea Martí 12 36'02.358 40.880
9 Japan Miki Koyama 12 36'03.235 41.757
10 United Kingdom Abbie Eaton 12 36'04.467 42.989
11 United States Sabre Cook 12 36'05.179 43.701
12 Italy Vicky Piria 12 36'07.810 46.332
13 United Kingdom Sarah Moore 12 36'08.656 47.178
14 Belén García 12 36'09.258 47.780
15 Brazil Bruna Tomaselli 12 36'19.977 58.499
16 Poland Gosia Rdest 12 36'35.333 1'13.855
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