Rdest ends Norisring friday on top
Polish Gosia Rdest was fastest in the W-Series second practice session at the Norisring, in a incredibly close session throughout the field.
An impressive performance from Polish upcoming star Gosia Rdest put an end to Saturday's free practice sessions for the all-female championship W-Series, this weekend racing for the for time on a street circuit.
Rdest went on top of the standings when she posted a 0:50.983 lap time in the very closing moments of the 40-minutes session. The 26-year old had previously switched positions with Wohlwend, who ultimately finished third after topping the morning session.
"I'm very happy because it's actually my first big result in WSeries." - said Rdest.
"I now hope to stay in the same mood, keep the concentration level high, and the motivation as well, and to be able to repeat that tomorrow in the morning for qualifying."
Championship contender Beitske Visser improved on her last set of new tyres and finished second by just 16 thousands of a second. The session was one of the most competitive the series has experienced so far, with six drivers finishing within one tenth. As the season progresses, gaps are in fact seemingly getting closer and closer throughout the field, which is a testament to the W-Series working approach.
Popular Dutch racer Beitske Visser commented: "the track was much better than this morning obviously, because it's been rubbered in a bit and we ended up P2. Pretty happy with that. Everything is very close, so a small mistake and you can lose four or five places with that, so for qualifying tomorrow I really have to put it together and see if we can be up front."
Wohlwend, one of the few drivers (together with Rdest and Keszthelyi) to have prior experience of the Norisring, had another convincing session, as her 0:51.073 best time was only 0.090 seconds off from the lead.
"The second practice is done and another P3 finish, I felt very confident with the car, we did light setup changes and it was better. A great feeling from the beginning on, and I did two practice start so I hopefully nail the start tomorrow." - said and hopeful Wohlwend. "Until two minutes to the end I was still in P1 until some girls put new tyres on and overtook me in the last couple of minutes, but I'm very confident and motivated for tomorrow, it should be a good race."
Jessica Hawkins continued to deliver solid runs in free practice sessions, ending P4, in front of series returnee Emma Kimilainen, who displayed another strong performance after her morning run.
British superstar Jamie Chadwick finished P6; it's the first time this year she ends a W-Series session outside the top 5.
Reserve driver Vivien Keszthelyi was P7, leading an impressive Megan Gilkes.
"I had a lot of fun out there in free practice 2, it's my first time on a street circuit so it's a great new experience for me, I really enjoyed it and I really pushed hard and ended up P8 and I'm fairly pleased with that." - commented the young Canadian.
As the track day had come to an end though, W-Series announced that only the fastest driver between Keszthelyi, Bovy and Gilkes would have taken the start of tomorrow's race, with the Hungarian 18-year old thus making the cut.
It certainly was be a disappointing outcome for Gilkes, who had enjoyed her best result so far this season.
"Motor racing can be tough sometimes, but tomorrow was always going to involve only 18 drivers and, although Vivien, Megan and Sarah all performed well today, only the quickest could progress." - read the W-Series statement.
Alice Powell was able to rejoin the on-track action after the morning accident and finished P10, having been in the top 5 for most of the session and without attempting one last flying lap on fresh tyres. Her wrist, visibly bandaged, was nonetheless fit enough to control the Tatuus T-3128 car around the historic street circuit.
The session was briefly red-flagged around its half-way point, when Japanese driver Miki Koyama spun at turn 3 and stopped on track.
Home driver Naomi Schiff was again P19, having suffered mechanical gremlins in the first session and thus missed valuable track time.
Esmee Hawkey did not take part in second practice after her car sustained significant damage following her morning crash with compatriot Alice Powell.
Tomorrow's qualifying will see the green light at 08:50 local time.
In Gosia's words:
“I now hope to stay in the same mood, keep the concentration level high and the motivation as well, and to be able to repeat that tomorrow in the morning for qualifying.”
Ph credits: Racers-BehindTheHelmet.com