Following on from a year lost to the COVID-19 pandemic devastating the world at large, the W Series heads to Austin, Texas for a gripping finale.
In 2021, the first single seat racing series for women drivers only has proven a spectacular hit not only because it has shared race weekends with Formula One, but also because the season has provided such thrilling racing.
The upshot, after six rounds of intense racing, is that Brits Alice Powell (Racing X, GBR) and Jamie Chadwick (Veloce Racing, GBR) are level on 109 points at the top of the W Series championship standings.
Yet it’s not only the British duo that are in contention for the title, Finland’s Emma Kimiläinen (Ecurie W) also in with a chance of winning the title and the $500,000 and 15 FIA Super Licence points.
It all comes down to this. One mighty double header to crown the W Series 2021 Champion. 👑
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“I’m happy to be going into the last weekend in the position I’m in because, after the first race of the season in Austria, I wasn’t sure that was going to be the case,” commented Chadwick in the official W Series race preview. “Alice [Powell] and I are going toe-to-toe, so I need to up my performance level this weekend. The last few weeks have been spent working out how best to do that to make sure I go to COTA with best chance of winning.
“This is the first time I’ve been in this position, level on points going into the final round, but I kind of like the fact that I’m neither ahead or chasing because, mathematically, there’s nothing to think about. The focus for me is simply to outscore Alice and the easiest way for me to do that is to win both races.”
For rival Powell, the scenario is just as simple. Outscore Chadwick and it will be she who takes home the championship glory and all that goes with it.
“I’ve known Jamie [Chadwick] for a long time,” added Powell. “I knew her when she was in Ginetta Juniors, and we played hockey together when we were younger because her family home is not far from mine. We get on well and have respect for each other. I know how talented and fast Jamie is and I’m looking forward to a good fight at COTA.
“Whatever happens, my journey won’t end at W Series. W Series exists to create opportunities for talented female racing drivers and it’s done that for me. I’d like to think that winning the title would propel me into a good career in motorsport which, after running out of funding a few years ago, I didn’t think I would have.
“I owe W Series a lot and to become the champion, on a huge weekend when we will support F1’s United States Grand Prix, would be very special.”
Making the season finale that much more special is the fact that the Circuit of the Americas racetrack is one of the most challenging and exciting on the calendar, cars sweeping up a steep gradient into Turn 1 before tackling a series of fast, sweeping bends and a 1.00km straight that offers overtaking opportunities before the final sector.
“COTA only opened in 2012 but it has quickly become a favourite among drivers and fans,” explains Dave Ryan (Racing Director, W Series). “It is an anti-clockwise track with 20 corners and there are none better than the opener – a sharp hairpin after a very steep uphill start-finish straight – where I’m sure there will be plenty of action as the drivers give it everything.”
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