Jamie Chadwick too good for W Series field in France despite grid penalty

  • Briton makes it five wins from five for 70-point title-race lead
  • Spain’s Belén García and Nerea Martí second and third

Another meeting and almost with an air of inevitability, another win for Britain’s Jamie Chadwick as she continued her unbeaten run in W Series. Her victory in the fifth race of the season at Paul Ricard before qualifying for Sunday’s French Grand Prix, was another demonstration of Chadwick being in a class of her own.

Such has been the 24-year-old’s dominance this season she is in position to potentially seal the championship with three races to go after the seventh round at Suzuka.

“I’m really happy. Beitske [Visser] kept me honest initially and I moved back after the safety car, so I’m happy that I got my head down after that. It feels great to get another win,” she said.

Chadwick beat Spain’s Belén García and Nerea Martí into second and third with some decisive driving. The champion in the first two W Series, she has now won seven races in succession, including all five this season.

She has a 70-point lead in the championship over her compatriot Abbi Pulling, with five races remaining. The next round is in Budapest next weekend but if Chadwick is 75 points clear of second place after the following meeting at Suzuka she will clinch the title there.

Thus far this year Chadwick, a development driver for the Williams F1 team, has won in dominant fashion from pole to flag but, much as she enjoyed similar control at the front, she had to work slightly harder this time out at Paul Ricard. She was quickest in qualifying but took a two-place grid penalty for crossing the white line at the pit lane exit and started from third.

She did not allow it to hinder her for long. Chadwick enjoyed a fast start and, having moved up to second, made a decisive move for the lead round the outside of Visser at turn three. She would not relinquish it through two safety-car interventions but on the first restart Visser made a spirited charge. The pair went wheel to wheel through the first three corners but Chadwick once more held her lead. The control and precision under pressure was exemplary and her rivals Her rivals must be wondering how she can be beaten.

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She never again looked threatened once in clean air at the front and was two seconds up by the flag as she continues what appears to be an inexorable march to her third title.

The W Series once more reported strong interest at Paul Ricard from girls and families as the championship, which attracted a record of more than one million viewers to the last round at Silverstone, continues to build a strong profile.


Giles Richards at Paul Ricard

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