W-Series: The final countdown
All the information you'll need to follow the race that will reward the first W-Series title
Everything is set in Brands Hatch for the last awaited round of the W-Series season, the inaugural all-female championship.
The two free practice sessions are scheduled for today (Saturday 10th), while tomorrow (Sunday 11th) things will get serious starting from the morning qualifying session that will start at 10:30 local time. Despite the forecasted scattered showers, a big crowd is expected to attend the race: lights will go out at 16:10 local time and at the end of the 30 minutes + 1 lap the first historical W-Series title will be awarded.
The 20 Tatuus T318 will compete on the legendary Brands Hatch racetrack, one of the most iconic in the history of motorsport. This circuit has hosted several British Formula 1 GPs between 1964 and 1986 (alternating in odd-numbered years with Silverstone), plus two European GPs.
Many of this racetrack's corners have in fact remained imprinted in the memory of motorsport enthusiasts as few other venues have; among them there is certainly the mythical and dreaded "Paddock Hill Bend", the "British Eau Rouge", as we might define it.
Forget about the aseptic numbered-curves of recent fashion: every bend of the strip of tarmac here carries a piece of motorsport history. Also the grandstands carry important (and prophetic) names: on the short main-straight, we can find the "Desiré Wilson tribune", dedicated to the only woman to have won so far in a Formula 1 car (in a non-world championship race). It happened here in Brands Hatch, in 1980.
Let's now dive into the mathematical combinations that will reward the title on Sunday.
Championship leader Jamie Chadwick comes to her home race with a 13 points advantage over her friend-rival, Beitske Visser.
Chadwick also returns to this friendly track after she won here her first British Formula 3 race in 2018. The 21-year-old will win the coveted title (and the $500,000 prize money) if:
- Chadwick finishes in front of Visser;
- Chadwick finishes on the podium;
- Visser finishes outside the podium positions.
On the other hand, the Dutchwoman will have the chance to raise the winner's trophy in front of the British public if:
- Visser wins and Chadwick finishes outside the podium positions;
- Visser finishes second and Chadwick is eighth or lower;
- Visser finishes third and Chadwick is tenth or lower.
On the last round's eve, seven driver already have the mathematical certainty of finishing in the standing's top-12, which will guarantee them automatic access to the 2020 W-Series edition: Jamie Chadwick, Beitske Visser, Marta Garcia, Alice Powell, Fabienne Wohlwend, Emma Kimilainen and Miki Koyama. It will be a tight and fierce battle for the remaining 5 places.
The two reserve drivers, the Belgian Sarah Bovy and the 18-year-old Hungarian Vivien Keszthelyi, will also be allowed to take part in the race on Sunday.
"I’ve led the championship since the first race at Hockenheim and I’ve no intention of giving up that lead now." - said a fully focused Chadwick. "I know that it’s not going to be easy and that Beitske will do everything she can to beat me. The strange thing is that she’s a really good friend as well as a really tough rival.", she added. "But the most important thing is winning the title.”
“It’s just Jamie and me going for the championship and all I can do is go flat-out for the win at Brands Hatch and hope I get a little luck on the way." - Visser replied. "For sure, Jamie and I get on really well but on track she’s just another rival I have to beat."
Ph credits: Racers-BehindTheHelmet.com