Chadwick regains championship lead by a point from Powell after dominant display in Hungary

Defending W Series champion Jamie Chadwick gained the lead of the 2021 championship after a dominant pole to flag victory at the Hungaroring.

Chadwick had previously jumped to the top of the standings after winning Race 2 at the Red Bull Ring but then lost the lead of the championship to compatriot Alice Powell at Silverstone when she finished third.

“I said before the race that it was all going to be about the start so, after getting off the line really well, I could relax after turn one as I knew I had plenty of pace if I was ahead ,” said Powell after victory. “From there I could settle in and enjoy it as there were no safety car periods and I was able to just bring it home in first which was the aim coming into the weekend.”

It would turn out to be yet another battle between the British pair, but this time the 23-year-old champ got the perfect start off the line and never looked back, besting Powell by more than 10 seconds.

“This year, it’s difficult to be as consistent throughout the weekend with so many great drivers on the grid and the races coming thick and fast, so you have to be able to bounce back quickly from disappointment,” added Chadwick. “That’s the nature of this championship and when you have the chance to score big points you have to take it, so I’m super happy with today and really excited for the second half of the season.”

It was a dominant weekend for the title favourite, Chadwick topping all three sessions before completing the clean sweep on race day. Still, it couldn’t be much tighter at the top, her second victory of the campaign taking her just one point clear of Powell with half of the season’s eight races remaining.

“My start wasn’t great and, although I kept Jamie [Chadwick] honest for a while, she had the legs on me today,” commented Powell. “It was good to come home with some good points as the car was quite a handful at the end, but hopefully that will all be sorted for the next race at Spa. We didn’t do any racing last year, so to come back and be fighting at the sharp end of the field is great. There’s a bit of a break now and I’ll come back stronger in the second half of the year.”

Behind the leading protagonists, it was Nerea Martí who grabbed her first W Series podium to move into third place in the championship battle. The 19-year-old was followed home by her team-mate and fellow rookie Irina Sidorkova and the experienced Beitske Visser.

“I’m super happy with my first W Series podium as I have worked really hard for it and now I have to push for more as I feel like I am improving all the time,” commented a delighted Martí. “I haven’t driven here before, but I’ve really enjoyed this weekend as the track has suited my driving style. The race was fun – I managed to keep Irina [Sidorkova] and Beitske [Visser] behind me at the start and could just control my pace from there.”

Following the long four-week break summer break, W Series battle will resume at the famous Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium on 28 August.

READ ALSO: Chadwick wins W Series Race 2 to top drivers’ standings

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