Spa W Series: Kimilainen passes Chadwick to win wet race

Emma Kimilainen took her second W Series win in a drenched race at Spa, sweeping past reigning champion Jamie Chadwick to win by over eight seconds. 

The Finnish driver started in fourth for Ecurie W before mastering the wet conditions to move through the field and take her first win since Assen 2019. 

Chadwick finished in second for Veloce Racing, maintaining her championship lead, while Puma’s Marta Garcia came in third to take her first podium of the year. 

Title challenger Alice Powell (Racing X) finished fourth, having started second, with Caitlin Wood finishing fifth in her second race of the year for Puma. 

After an hour-long delay the race began under a safety car, which stayed out for almost half the duration, before the drivers were released with 16 minutes left on the clock.

Chadwick got a few car lengths on Powell as the race started properly, while further back, Wood, Kimilainen and Garcia went three wide along the Kemmel Straight. 

Kimilainen moved into third in turn nine as Wood and Garcia continued to tussle, racing wheel-to-wheel. 

Fabienne Wohlwend (Bunker Racing) went deep at La Source, losing the final points place to Sirin Racing’s Vicky Piria with 13 minutes to go 

Chadwick had built up a 2.8s lead from Powell after 18 minutes, with 1.3 seconds between Powell and Kimilainen. 

With 11 minutes to go, Garcia set a new fastest lap with a 2m47.664s, while Powell found herself being caught by Kimilainen. 

Kimilainen swept past Powell with eight minutes to go, with the front-row starter, who said she had “no grip whatsoever”, forced to concede. 

Garcia rapidly approached from fourth, applying pressure to Powell, while Kimilainen was three seconds a lap quicker than Chadwick with five minutes to go, chasing down the race leader. 

Kimilainen swept past Chadwick on lap nine, making a late-braking move to squeeze around the outside and almost immediately build a 1.3s lead. 

With 30s to go, Garcia took third from Powell, lining herself up to take her podium of the season. 

On the last lap, Wohlwend managed to pass W Series Academy driver Nerea Marti for seventh place. 

Race results:

Cla # Drivers Gap
1 7 Finland Emma Kimilainen
2 55 United Kingdom Jamie Chadwick
8.489
3 19 Spain Marta Garcia
11.949
4 27 United Kingdom Alice Powell
18.182
5 20 Australia Caitlin Wood
35.832
6 21 United Kingdom Jessica Hawkins
39.596
7 5 Liechtenstein Fabienne Wohlwend
40.095
8 32 Nerea Martí
40.880
9 54 Japan Miki Koyama
41.757
10 44 United Kingdom Abbie Eaton
42.989
11 37 United States Sabre Cook
43.701
12 11 Italy Vicky Piria
46.332
13 26 United Kingdom Sarah Moore
47.178
14 22 Belén García
47.780
15 97 Brazil Bruna Tomaselli
58.499
16 3 Poland Gosia Rdest
1'13.855
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