Jamie Chadwick closes in on title with crucial pole at Brands Hatch
Home hero Jamie Chadwick claimed an important pole position for the last W-Series championship race in Brands Hatch
British superstar Jamie Chadwick claimed a crucial pole position in the very last seconds of today's qualifying session in Brands Hatch, UK, when the 21-year old outpaced compatriot Alice Powell by three tenths of a second.
In the closing stages, in fact, Powell and Chadwick switched positions but it was ultimately Jamie Chadwick to improve her lap time, as the English public stood all on their feet at the historic venue.
Title contender Beitske Visser, after a difficult day yesterday due to an electric issue, wasn't able to finish higher than fifth. She will need to win and hope that Jamie doesn't finish on the podium (for the first time this season) to put her hands on the coveted trophy.
Yesterday free practice pacesetter, the dominant Emma Kimilainen, brought herself up to the top of the timesheets in the early stints, but wasn't able to improve on her last sets of tyres, as she incurred in traffic first and then went sideways clipping the gravel on her last flying lap attempt and was only fourth fastest.
The Finnish driver could not therefore become the first driver i the short history of W-Series to claim back-to-back pole positions.
Other Brit Esmee Hawkey enjoyed a very competitive session and finished third, merely four tenths from polesitter. It would be the best result for Hawkey in the series so far.
After yesterday session-ending excursion in the gravel, Liechtenstein's Fabienne Wohlwend finished sixth, while Miki Koyama will start alongside other British driver Sarah Moore from the fourth row.
Vicky Piria was once again in the top-10, as she remains confident for a P6 or P7 finish that would be vital for her chances of top-12 in the final classify.
Young winner of the Norisring round Marta Garcia has not seemed to find her usual pace here at Brands Hatch and she will have to start from the eleventh grid slot.
Another contender to the top-12 is the talented Tasmin Pepper (P15), who will have to recover some positions on a notoriously difficult track to pass in order to keep her consistency in the top-8 so far this season and finish in the higher half of the standings.
Reserve drivers Sarah Bovy and Vivien Keszthelyi completed the qualifying session respectively in 16th and 17th position, with Sarah Bovy that previously said to prefer the rainy conditions. The rain did not come, as forecasted, despite a very light shower in the minutes before the green flag.
American Shea Holbrook briefly spun in her last attempt, but was able to quickly rejoin the track. She will start from 19th, alongside Naomi Schiff that rounds out today's grid.
Even if we can clearly breathe the typical nostalgic atmosphere of the last day of the championship, all the eyes will be on the track action as soon as the lights will go out. It's not going to be all about the title chase though, as all the drivers will be battling hard throughout the grid for the top-12 which will result in their automatic confirmation for next year's W-Series edition and for the cash prizes (1.5 mil $ total).
You won't want to miss the title-awarding race that will start at 15:10 local time.
Ph credits: Racers-BehindTheHelmet.com