W Series: Commanding Win for Garcia at Norisring

Source: autosport.com

Marta Garcia won round four of the W Series after a strong drive ahead of Beitske Visser and championship leader Jamie Chadwick.

Garcia took Pole Position ahead of Chadwick and Fabienne Wohlwend. Britain’s Alice Powell lined up in 18th place after her car suffered a gearbox failure mid-way qualifying.

After a shoot-out for the last spot on the grid, Hungarian Vivan Keszthelyi started 17th, while the returning Emma Kimilanen was an impressive eighth. The Finn had missed the last two rounds due to injury.

The lights went out and it was a great start by Garcia to hold onto the lead. Behind, Chadwick had a sluggish getaaway and dropped to third behind Beitske Visser.

After the opening lap, Garcia had managed to pull out a 1.4 second gap over Visser.

Powell Powers up the Field

It had been a very good opening lap from Powell who moved up into 14th, while Poland’s Gosia Rdest suffered front wing damage.

On Lap 3, Sarah Moore and Shea Holebrook made contact at Turn 1 with both drivers escaping without major damage. The replay showed Moore lose the rear of the car under-braking, with Holebrook pitting at the end of that lap.

By Lap 6, Powell continued her charge and was in tenth place, as Moore retired with right-front suspension failure. Despite this, the Safety Car didn’t come out as Moore’s car was well out of the way.

Come Lap 7, Rdest had been shown the black and orange flag for the damage to her front wing and re-joined in 16th place after her stop. After battling with Kimilainen for fifth position, Jessica Hawkins ran wide and conceded the position.

Elsewhere, Rdest was given a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pit-lane during her front wing change. Holebrook was also given a drive-through for the same offence.

After 18 laps, Garcia led Visser by nearly four seconds, with Chadwick a further 1.2 seconds back.

Garcia Holds On, Powell and Hawkins Miss Out

By Lap 26, Kimilainen was right up behind Wohlwend for fourth place and on the following lap, the gap between the top 3 drivers was down to 3.6 seconds with Garcia holding onto the lead.

There was late heartbreak for Powell and Hawkins as both drivers pulled into the pits and retired from the race. Both drivers were in very strong positions and in contention for points.

However, everything up-front was smooth for Garcia who claimed her first win in the series.

Visser held onto second, with Chadwick joining them on the podium.

Wohlwend took 4th ahead of Kimilainen, while Miki Koyama claimed sixth place, with ahead of Sabre Cook, Tasmin Pepper, Vickuy Pira and Esmee Hawkey rounding up the top ten.

The win has moved Marta Garcia to third in the W Series Drivers’ Championship. The Spaniard is now only 23 points behind championship leader Jamie Chadwick. Meanwhile, Beitske Visser is sandwiched between them on 73 points, with two rounds to go.