The W Series opener took place during a weekend of glamour, celebrities and fake water at the first-ever Miami Grand Prix.
Reigning champion Jamie Chadwick took both wins of the doubleheader weekend that was fraught with crashes, safety cars and penalties.
After Miami, Chadwick is top of the driver standings followed by Nerea Martí, who achieved her first pole position in qualifying, with Beitske Visser third in the championship.
The Top Five
Chadwick had a very strong start to the season for the new Jenner racing team. She took the lead from Emma Kimiläinen in Race 1 after a restart, and led from the front in Race 2 with little trouble. Her consistency and authority in both races saw her emerge from Miami with a 27-point lead in the championship.
The Spanish driver had a disappointing start to Race 1 as the high temperatures of the track caused a very late start. Yet, she still managed to make her way up to 6th place, which was followed a career-best finish in 2nd place on Sunday. After a penalty for impeding a driver, she dropped to 3rd place but still left the weekend on 23 points.
Entering her third season with W Series, Visser finished in 3rd place in Race 1 only three seconds off the race leader, Chadwick, and took home a hard fought 7th place finish in Race 2.
The 19-year-old Briton had a spectacular weekend – finishing 4th and 6th consecutively and taking home the fastest lap of Race 2. Her overtaking skills and fierce driving style proving why the young driver returned for a second season in W Series.
Hawkins received her maiden W Series podium in Race 1 finishing third and was later promoted to second after García’s penalty. In Race 2, Hawkins suffered technical difficulties and was forced to retire the car after 19 laps.
Marta García, Jamie Chadwick and Jessica Hawkins
Making her W Series debut, Bustamante came 9th in her first-ever W Series race - a huge feat for the 17-year-old driver, and the highest race finish of all the rookies.
Also her first race and also seventeen, Chambers must also be mentioned for scoring her first point for coming 10th in Race 2. Racing for Jenner Racing and the lone American on the grid she managed to ignore the pressure that came with her home race to finish 13th overall.
Chloe Chambers with Jamie Chadwick
It was total devastation for Marta García who had just stood on the podium for a 2nd place finish in Race 1, to later have it stripped from her with a post-race 10-second penalty. A collision with Kimiläinen saw her demoted out of the points to 11th place.
She later posted on Instagram: “I'm very unhappy with the situation, since I like fair things and I think that the fact that they took second place from me and gave me 10 seconds is an injustice.”
But she's ready to come back fighting in Barcelona.
Marta García with Nerea Martí
ONTO THE NEXT
On a weekend that resembled more of a celebrity red carpet mixed with a corporate trade show than a Grand Prix, W Series was undeterred in making a name for itself in America. The weekend showcased the heavy amount of female talent on the grid, gained serious media coverage for the series and built up a strong momentum for Barcelona in two weeks time.
We can’t wait for Round 2.
Nerea Martí, Jamie Chadwick and Alice Powell
All images courtesy of W Series.