Bruna Tomaselli shines in second W Series qualifying
The rise of the rookies: Bruna Tomaselli turned heads on Friday and impressed with a third place in the second Austrian qualifying. "To be fighting for the top times in only my second W Series race is just a fantastic feeling."
If Belén García turned heads last time out, at the second qualifying of the W Series season it was time for Bruna Tomaselli to shine.
The 23-year old from Brazil entered the series with a big task: matching her champion teammate's pace. So far, Tomaselli has certainly not been put in the shadow, with an almost point-scoring performance at the Styrian Grand Prix and today's remarkable fourth place in qualifying - then translated into a third grid slot after Emma Kimilainen's penalty.
At her championship debut, the young Brazilian was left disappointed to miss out on points after a contact at the Safety Car restart, but her fierce midfield battles certainly proved that she could aim for points on a consistent basis. This allowed Bruna to enter the second round with confidence: "I knew we could be further ahead and we took advantage of today's practice to make some adjustments" – she said after the 30-minute practice session of the second round on the same circuit.
A red flag interrupted the qualifying efforts early on, forcing the drivers to reconsider their strategies: "Usually, we do a few laps on old tyres and then put on new tyres. With the red flag, everyone changed the strategy and we already went out on new tyres", she explained.
Tomaselli also had to fight a wheel nut issue in the early stages of the qualifying that forced the Veloce Racing's driver to a long stop in the pitlane.
"I was stationary for three laps in the pits, because there was a problem with the front wheel. So I knew I would have fewer laps and more fuel weight than the other drivers," she continued.
“When I went out on track, I kept my focus on getting everything right, from the first lap, because I knew that it was the only way I would be able to be among the front pack”. Tomaselli briefly led the session and traded the top of the timing screen with her teammate Jamie Chadwick, before finishing fourth fastest – then converted into third place on the grid.
“What an amazing qualifying." – rounded out Tomaselli at the end of Friday's on-track action. "To be fighting for the top times in only my second W Series race is just a fantastic feeling. I’m really pleased with how quickly I’ve got up to speed with the car, the track and the series itself."
Chadwick took pole position – her fourth time in the series – and will thus continue to provide Tomaselli with a top reference for her rookie season.
“Jamie has set the benchmark today and as the reigning champion you’d expect her to be that fast." – commented the lady from Caibi. "I think it’s going to be a really exciting race tomorrow and I can’t wait for those lights to go out!”
The W Series sophomore season has so far highlighted the extraordinary quality of the new entries: Belén García marginally missed out on a podium at her debut; Irina Sidorkova and Nerea Martí scored points and were on par with the leading drivers' pace, with the Russian teenager also managing to finish as Jamie Chadwick's closest pursuer in practice; Ayla Agren was often in the top-five on single-lap pace. Bruna Tomaselli proved today that she has all it takes to compete in the highest spheres of the all-female championship, in front of the prestigious stage of F1.