Jamie Chadwick and Alice Powell to join WEC rookie test
W Series stars Jamie Chadwick and Alice Powell are set to join the WEC rookie test in Bahrain, at the wheel of the Richard Mille Racing LMP2 car.
A few days after the 2021 W Series season finale, two-time champion and runner-up Jamie Chadwick and Alice Powell have been invited to the upcoming FIA World Endurance Championship rookie test in Bahrain.
The two drivers went head to head into the final round at COTA, having shared victories during the second season of all-female championship. Chadwick was crowned again after her inaugural title in 2019, taking two wins in Austin. Powell, third in 2019, led the championship standings for most of the 2021 season, but was met by a challenging weekend at the US GP and had to overcome a few technical issues. She finished runner-up and will be granted automatic entry on the 2022 grid if she decides to come back.
Chadwick and Powell will get behind the wheel of the Richard Mille Racing LMP2 Oreca - which is normally driven by Sophia Floersch, fellow W Series racer Beitske Visser and Tatiana Calderon. At the Bahrain final double header, Floersch will share the car with Visser only, as Calderon has a clashing commitment in Japan's Super Formula.
Jamie Chadwick, 21, is also part of Williams F1 Driver Academy and is not completely new to endurance racing. Prior to switching to single-seaters, she became the first female champion in British GT (2015), and has ongoing links with Aston Martin. She raced in the ADAC 24H of Nürburgring in 2019, claiming class victory.
As part of the 2019 Autosport BRDC Award selections, she tested a Ligier LMP3 car at Silverstone, but it will be her first outing in LMP2 machinery.
Alice Powell, 28, was the first female champion in a Formula Renault championship (2010). She went on to compete in GP3 Series in 2012, securing a point in Monza and becoming the first woman to do so in the F1 support series' history.
After a few years' hiatus due to lack of funding, Powell returned to racing in 2019 with the launch of W Series and became a race winner at the 2019 season finale in Brand Hatch. The British racer carried momentum into 2021 and took 3 victories and two more podiums to finish runner up.
Powell is also no stranger to endurance competitions, having raced in a one-off appearance in American's premier sportscar championship IMSA in 2019, partnering Katherine Legge in the all-female team Heinricher Racing at VIRginia International Raceway.
It will be her first time in a LM Prototype car.
Richard Mille Racing, founded by Swiss watchmaker and FIA endurance commission chairman Richard Mille, launched the program in 2019 with the aim of providing top equipment to top female talents in endurance racing. The program is run in partnership with top-French team Signatech Racing and brought for the first time an all-female crew in a prototype class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2020.
After a season in ELMS, the team stepped up to WEC in 2021 with the same drivers' line up. They are currently 9th in the team's standings, after 3 top-ten results and an unfortunate DNF at Le Mans.
The Bahrain rookie test takes place on Sunday 7 November, one day after the championship ending 8H race at Sakhir. A two-hour morning session will be followed by three more hours of running in the afternoon.