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  • Writer's pictureRACERS

Emma Kimilainen leads the first practice session on a wet Brands Hatch

Finnish Emma Kimilainen kept her momentum after winning in Assen and dominated the whole FP1 session on a rainy Brands Hatch.

Emma Kimilainen started her British weekend where she left in Assen: on top of the classify.

The first practice session of the last 2019 W-Series round in Brands Hatch saw the 20 drivers measuring themselves with very tricky conditions following the rain downpour that occurred a few minutes before the green flag was waved.

The Finnish driver brought herself up to the top of the timesheets in the opening minutes of the session and she kept the position for the whole duration of FP1.

"I've been here 10 years ago and I could remember that I liked it but I couldn't remember anything else to be honest. But it's an amazing track, it's awesome." - told us Kimilainen. "The wet conditions also suit my driving style, I love when it's wet. I was fastest by far and I stayed out for the whole practice, I didn't come in to check the pressure or anything, I just wanted to enjoy it. Tomorrow it's gonna be dry but I still think I've got what it takes to win."

Home soil revealed to be productive for all the five British drivers on the grid, who

all maximized their experience of the track in low grip conditions.

Title contender Jamie Chadwick completed the first session in second place, as she was the only driver to briefly make an appearance at the top of the standings, but ultimately finished almost half a second off Kimilainen's pace.

"It was an ok session, I stayed on the dry setup, but a good start to the weekend" - said championship leader Chadwick.

Sarah Moore, Jessica Hawkins, Alice Powell and Esmee Hawkey monopolized the top 6, all over one second from the leader.

Italian Vicky Piria enjoyed a very competitive session, as she ran for most of the session in the top-5 before finishing P8 at the chequered flag.

"I was super-excited to be here in Brands Hatch, yesterday I also had a hard time sleeping" - told us Piria. "Probably this is the track where I have the biggest disadvantage as I have no prior experience of this circuit. I have everything to lose here, as I have to keep my top 10 in the standings. All I have to do is to stay around sixth and seventh, but it's perfectly doable. Now I hope the track will dry out for the second session, so that I can have more references for tomorrow."

It was also a positive morning for Gosia Rdest (10th) and reserve driver Sarah Bovy (11th). The Belgian will be allowed to take the start of the race together with her colleague Vivien Keszthelyi, who was so far 17th fastest.

Despite the very difficult condistions, the only incident occurred to American Sabré Cook, who spun at Druids with 6 minutes left on the clock but rejoined soon after.

The weekend kicked off in the worst possible way for Dutchwoman Beitske Visser instead. The title contender spent most of the session in the pitlane with her engine cover off, as engineers tried to fix some possible electronic failures on her #95 Tatuus.

"They're still trying to figure out the problem. Very unfortunate for me, but it happens and hopefully they'll fix it for FP2 and I can do some laps there" - commented a disappointed Beitske Visser. She will have to close a 13-points disadvantage from Jamie Chadwick.

The second practice session will start at 15:40 local time, probably under drier track conditions.

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