W Series: Chadwick penalized, Visser scores maiden pole
After a post-session investigation, stewards have handed Jamie Chadwick a two-place grid drop after crossing the white line at pit exit - demoting the British driver to P3; Beitske Visser therefore scores her maiden pole position in the series and will line up alongside Nerea Marti on the front row.
After one of the most exciting W Series qualifying to date, drama continued in race control, as the investigation that involved pole sitter Jamie Chadwick found the Briton guilty of having crossed the white line at pit exit. Chadwick has therefore been demoted to P3, following a two place grid drop.
The incident had been noted during the thrilling 30-minute qualifying session and the result remained provisional after the chequered flag.
"The penalty was justified, it was my mistake and I knew I'd done it straight away so I was a bit nervous about it in the session", said Chadwick. "It wasn't anything intentional, with the low light and the way the white lines are with the reflections it was a bit hard to see.
Chadwick had found an impressive final lap with 90 seconds left on the clock, marginally edging rivals Beitske Visser, Nerea Marti and Marta Garcia, who had all alternated on top of the timing screens throughout the session.
The penalty means that Dutchwoman Beitske Visser (Sirin Racing) scores her first pole position in W Series, and will share the front row tomorrow with Nerea Marti.
Visser, a race winner and runner-up in the 2019 W Series inaugural season, had a difficult 2021 campaign but is now back to her top form and currently sits third in the standings.
She has won her home race in Zolder in 2019, alongside 5 podiums across the seasons.
"I'm delighted to get pole position now, but it was a bit of a double feeling at the time!" - stated Visser.
"Yes, I'm back up there but it was only one hundredth to Jamie [Chadwick]. Practice was also good this morning, so the confidence we have in the race pace means we can fight for the win tomorrow."
"After practice, we looked at the data and a couple of points where I could improve as the track is very different to this morning when we were the first ones out. For qualifying, the track was fully rubbered-in and the temperature was higher, so it changes the balance and you have to adapt your driving a little bit. The race is going to be hotter so that will be tricky, but I’m starting from the best place."
With Visser-Marti on the front row, Chadwick will now line up alongside Marta Garcia on the second row, ahead of Belén Garcia and Abbie Eaton.
The race - fifth round of the 2022 W Series season - goes green tomorrow at 14:50 local time.