Jamie Chadwick poised to earn W Series crown at Brands Hatch08/09/2019
Williams F1 reserve driver Jamie Chadwick will likely claim the W Series title this weekend.
The inaugural W Series season will come to a close at Brands Hatch in the United Kingdom on Sunday with Jamie Chadwick poised to take the title.
Beitske Visser is the only driver who stands a mathematical shot at the crown but there is also interest in the race to be inside the top-12 championship positions as it warrants an automatic invite to return to the 2020 season.
On the face of it, Brands Hatch should be a formality for Chadwick.
She has stood on the podium in every race, is looking to seal the deal on her home circuit and not too long ago, won at the venue to become the first female driver to win a British Formula 3 race. With a 14-point margin, Chadwick could endure a season worst performance by finishing fourth, yet still take home the hardware.
As much as Chadwick knows this, Visser will also be completely aware of what needs to happen. Unfortunately, the difficulty doesn’t end with that simple scenario.
For most rounds of the championship, drivers have been going into the weekends without previously having driven the track. At most, one or two drivers have raced at a circuit previously but never more than that.
Brands Hatch is slightly different.
Chadwick, Sarah Moore, Alice Powell and Esmee Hawkey have all raced several times on the Grand Prix layout while Jessica Hawkins has competed on the shorter Indy version.
Away from the British drivers, Emma Kimilainen has also successfully competed on the track, previously taking a podium in a Formula Palmer Audi race which took place on the same weekend that Henry Surtees tragically lost his life during an F2 race.
Kimilainen became the first driver to achieve a perfect weekend last time out in Assen. Taking pole, the fastest lap and the win, it really couldn’t have been better for the 30-year-old Finn who was forced to sit out rounds two and three after sustaining a back injury in a round one crash.
Alice Powell complicates things yet further.
Three second places and one third, Powell has been making no secret of the fact that she would love to move up to the top step in the final attempt of the year. The most experienced driver in the pack, do not count her out.
Moving focus onto the battle for the top 12 places, all drivers from seventh in the standings to last place are in the fight. Realistically, it would be a surprise if Miki Koyama, Sarah Moore or Tasmin Pepper – currently seventh, eighth and ninth in the standings – were dragged into danger, but Vicky Piria in 10th is just six-points safe of the line.
Currently, Esmee Hawkey and Jessica Hawkins are well below the mark and it would take a top six performance from each for them to qualifying for 2020, but their previous experience at Brands could make this possible.
U.S. driver Sabre Cook is one point off making the cut. A complete rookie at the circuit, she may appear to be at a disadvantage, but reaching the podium in the reverse grid race in Assen will have given her no end of confidence.
The recipe for the weekend is one of complete unpredictability. Several drivers have a good chance of winning, most of the field are fighting to gain entry for 2020 and the narrow layout at Brands will test drivers to the limit. The only thing that is certain; this will be a highly entertaining weekend.
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