W Series Hungary: Chadwick dominates to retake title lead

Jamie Chadwick took her second win of the W Series season, beating title rival Alice Powell by some margin to reclaim the lead of the championship standings.

Chadwick lost the title lead to Powell following the latter’s victory at Silverstone two weeks ago, but Chadwick struck back this weekend with pole position. She then got a much better launch off the line than Powell on race day to hold the lead into Turn 1.

Powell briefly had to go on the defensive to stay in second ahead of Nerea Marti, who got away quickly from third. Meanwhile, Marti’s Academy teammate Ira Sidorkova jumped forward from fifth position to challenge Beitske Visser, and claim fourth place at Turn 4 on the opening lap.

Further back in the pack, Chadwick’s Veloce teammate Bruna Tomaselli dropped back from sixth on the grid to ninth behind Marta Garcia, Emma Kimilainen and Belen Garcia. At Turn 1, Fabienne Wohlwend got caught up in the jostling for position and lost her front wing, forcing her into a pit stop at the end of lap 1, and retirement shortly after.

 

Over the opening few tours, Chadwick set a series of fastest laps in clean air to stretch clear of Powell. The gap was already over a second by the end of lap 2, and that continued to grow with each following lap. As Chadwick drove away, Powell and Marti also began opening up a gap on the rest of the field.

Chadwick continued to lead for the remainder of the race, and opened a gap of over seven seconds after consistently setting fastest lap times and lapping within a second of her pole time from Friday. She crossed the line to take the win at the end of lap 19 with Powell a distant second, and Marti further back in third and taking her first podium in the series.

Behind the top three, Sidorkova and Visser remained locked in a tight battle over fourth place. Sidorkova made an error at Turn 11 on lap 3 which allowed Visser to close to within half a second, although Sidorkova responded well in the following laps to keep ahead of the Forbes car.

 

Visser continued to put the pressure on the 18-year-old ahead and was consistently a tenth quicker per lap. But with the Hungaroring being such a difficult circuit to overtake on, Visser had to follow Sidorkova home over the line in fifth place.

Kimilainen took sixth place, having pounced on a late wide moment by Marta Garcia through Turn 11 to take the position on lap 16. Marta Garcia was seventh ahead of Belen Garcia, Tomaselli and Jess Hawkins.

Chadwick’s win puts her back at the top of the championship standings with 73 points, although Powell is just one point behind in second place. Marti’s podium moves her up into third in the standings on 37 points, with former third-place driver Sarah Moore one point behind her after finishing the Hungary race in 15th.

W Series returns after the summer break on 28th August at Spa-Francorchamps, in support of the Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix.

W Series Austria: Chadwick dominates at the Red Bull Ring

Reigning W Series champion Jamie Chadwick kickstarted her title defence with a dominant win from pole position in the second Red Bull Ring round.

Chadwick got a dream start from pole as Beitske Visser stalled off the line from second position. She was then given another advantage as her Veloce teammate Bruna Tomaselli and Academy’s Irina Sidorkova tussled for second, allowing Chadwick to arrive at Turn 1 with a healthy lead already.

Sidorkova came out on top in the battle with Tomaselli and pulled clear of the Brazilian over the opening lap. That left Tomaselli under pressure from Emma Kimilainen, who had jumped up from sixth on the grid to join the podium fight.

 

Kimilainen passed Tomaselli for second on lap 2 and stuck close to the back of Sidorkova. As Chadwick pulled clear of the pair, Kimilainen kept her car consistently within a second of Sidorkova and tried to find a way past the Russian.

But despite the pressure from Kimilainen throughout the race, Sidorkova managed to close off any opportunity and finish second behind Chadwick for her first W Series podium. Kimilainen ran out of laps to make a move happen, but finished half a second behind Sidorkova in third.

As the podium trio bolted down the road, Tomaselli led a tight battle for fourth place. The Veloce driver soon had a train behind her with Sarah Moore, Nerea Marti and Abbie Eaton. Moore in particular had great pace, and had already got herself up to fifth from eighth on the grid.

 

Moore initially got past Tomaselli on lap 7, but was repassed and had to fend off Marti on the following lap. Moore then regrouped in the closing laps to try around the outside of Tomaselli at Turn 3 on lap 18, before finally making a move stick at Turn 4 on lap 22.

Moore and Tomaselli finished fourth and fifth, with Eaton getting ahead of Marti for sixth and her first W Series points. Alice Powell finished a disappointed eighth between Marti and Belen Garcia, after saying on the radio that she had no straight line speed.

Sabré Cook had held the final point in tenth for much of the race after recovering from a spin in qualifying that put her at the back of the grid. But her Bunker Racing teammate Fabienne Wohlwend grabbed the position in the closing laps to round out the top ten.

Chadwick’s win moves her to the top of the standings by three points from Moore, with Round 1 winner Powell another point behind in third. W Series returns in two weeks’ time at Silverstone, in support of the British Grand Prix.

Mazda Road to Indy: Bruna Tomaselli

As one of only two women in the Mazda Road to Indy programme, Bruna Tomaselli may be in the minority, but she doesn’t let that faze her. Bruna’s been in and around the top 10 all season in USF2000, the lowest category on the ladder, and has high hopes beyond that with her sights set on IndyCar in the years to come.

Emily Inganni – How is this season of USF2000 going for you so far? Is it what you expected or not?

Bruna Tomaselli – The season is very competitive, since the first race there have always been little differences between the first and last, I have been constant during the season, we had good results, we added good points, and now there are 2 stages to the end and I hope to continue fighting between the top 10.

Image courtesy of Bruna Tomaselli

EI – What are your hopes for the remainder of the season?

BT – I hope to keep constant and competitive and I will fight for podium.

EI – What do you think of the Mazda Road to Indy programme? Is it a good platform for young drivers to progress?

BT – Yes, the Mazda Road to Indy is very good, I believe it to be one of the most competitive and well organized there is. Here the drivers have a chance to win cash prizes and a good amount also to make the next category, which is very important.

Image courtesy of Bruna Tomaselli

EI – What is your aim for your career? Do you want to get to IndyCar, go over the Europe or something else?

BT – My dream since childhood has always been to reach Formula 1, as we are now trying in the United States, I hope to get IndyCar one day, and be racing and compete because that’s what I like to do.

EI – Do you feel like you are treated differently as a woman in motorsport? Does it provide any different opportunities or challenges?

BT – In go-karting it is more visible, because the cars move closer, but in the open wheels I don’t waste so much, of course the boys don’t like to lose to a girl, the same way I don’t like to lose to anyone, but inside the track we are all drivers, and everyone wants to win and I’m there to win too.

Image courtesy of Bruna Tomaselli

EI – Thinking back to when you started racing, who were your idols and where did you dream of racing? Has any of that changed over time?

BT – My idol has always been Ayrton Senna, because he is Brazilian and because he is a legend, but as I could not watch his races, I always cheered for Felipe Massa and Bia Figueiredo who was an IndyCar driver.

I always liked cars and races, since I was kid, I used to play with little cars, and asked my father to drive his car. He noticed that I liked it and one day he took me to see a go-kart race. A few days later he said he was going to give me a kart as a gift, in the beginning it was more for fun, small races, in the region of my city, Caibi, Santa Catarina, Brazil, later I started to compete in bigger races and with 15 years started competing in open wheels. Now I’m 20 and this year is my second year in USF2000 and in every race I feel the adrenaline and how much I love to compete.

EI – Finally, what advice would you have for anyone starting racing or looking at racing in the Mazda Road to Indy programme?

BT – What I can say is that it is a very competitive programme, the races are all full of adrenaline and that is a good programme for anyone who wants to get to IndyCar one day, because you run in the same Indy weekend, know the track, the activities.

A massive thank you to Bruna for answering my questions! Another interview is coming up tomorrow so keep an eye out for that!

(Featured image courtesy of Bruna Tomaselli)