Jamie Chadwick tales pole
During a hot Spanish evening, we had an incredibly exciting W Series qualifying session. It was a constant battle for the top 10 – the timesheet was changing so fast even the commentators couldn’t keep up.
Jamie Chadwick gained her ninth W Series pole on her birthday; her second of the season in a wide-open qualifying session where everything was to play for.
The real star of the show seemed to be Abbi Pulling as the 19-year-old sat at pole position for half of the qualifying session before she was challenged by Alice Powell and Jess Hawkins to eventually finish an impressive third.
The three Spanish drivers – Belén Garcia, Marta García and Nerea Martí – faced significant pressure at their home race from Hawkins, Pulling and Chadwick throughout the first half. They fell down the leaderboard to finish sixth, seventh and eleventh respectively.
Emma Kimilainen struggled heavily with deleted lap times as she, along with many other drivers, continued to exceed track limits on turn 9. The Finnish driver made her way back up from the very bottom to eventually finish fifth after a strong second-half performance.
Both Bristol Street Motors drivers Powell and Hawkins battled for first place for a while with some ferociously fast driving from the two British drivers.
With fuel loads falling and eight minutes left it was all to play for as an entirely new top five was formed but the fight was not over yet.
Out of nowhere, in a qualifying session that had hardly featured a mention of her, Chadwick launched a late attack to storm through and take pole position. Finding the perfect balance between fuel load and tyre wear, Chadwick played a perfect strategy to find the speed when she needed it at the last moment.
What ensued was a fight for pole as Powell and Pulling put in faster and faster lap times. Yet, as they rapidly lost tyre grip and were slowed down by other cars, neither could beat Chadwick’s time.
It’s all to play for tomorrow, and with Pulling and Powell eyeing up the top spot behind Chadwick the charge for the first corner is going to make for exciting viewing. We can’t wait!
W Series race is at 13.40 (BST) tomorrow.