Styria W Series: Powell takes maiden pole ahead of Moore

Alice Powell took her maiden W Series pole in qualifying at the first round of the season in Austria.

Styria W Series: Powell takes maiden pole ahead of Moore

The Brit, who finished third in the championship in 2019, set a 1m28.964s in her Racing X sponsored machine to top the timesheet at the Red Bull Ring.

It was her first pole in the series, which took 2020 off amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Powell took podiums at each of the four races she finished last season, with her maiden win coming at the season finale at Brands Hatch.

Fellow Brit Sarah Moore (Scuderia W) will start in second, finishing less than two-tenths behind her compatriot, with teammate rookie Belen Garcia taking third place in the 30-minute qualifying session.

Last year’s runner-up Beitske Visser (M Forbes Motorsport) will start fourth, with Emma Kimilainen of Ecurie W in fifth, and Jessica Hawkins in her Racing X car in sixth.

Reigning champion Jamie Chadwick, driving for Veloce Racing, had been near the top of the grid and was first to break into the 1m29s, setting a 1m29.938 around halfway through the session, but finds herself eighth on the grid for tomorrow’s race.

Kimilainen set a quick lap within the first five minutes of the session, putting in a 1m32.603s, but Powell went quicker by almost four-tenths on her second attempt.

Powell then broke into the 1m30s, but Williams F1 development driver Chadwick soon went quickest by six-hundredths with a 1m30.602s, opting for a clean track run rather than trying for a slipstream.

By the ten-minute mark, rookie Ayla Agren (M Forbes Motorsport) had gone quickest, setting a 1m30.374, although she was quickly overtaken by Chadwick, who was almost two-tenths quicker.

Garcia took the top spot around the halfway mark, setting a 1m29.740 to knock the reigning champion off the top of the timesheet.

Fellow rookie Irina Sidorkova, driving for the W Series Academy team, also put in some impressive lap times, sitting in fourth position with ten minutes to go just one-hundredth behind Chadwick.

Later in the session, Visser managed a 1m29.446s to put her second quickest, with the top 14 separated by just one second.

Powell took the top spot with seven minutes to go, with Moore in second and Visser in third in an order reminiscent of 2019.

Qualifying results:

Cla   Nº   Driver   Entrant   Time   Gap 
27  Alice Powell Racing X 1'28.964  
26  Sarah Moore Scuderia W 1'29.141 0.177
22  Belén García Scuderia W 1'29.171 0.207
95  Beitske Visser M. Forbes Motorsport 1'29.212 0.248
Emma Kimiläinen Ecurie W 1'29.305 0.341
21  Jessica Hawkins Racing X 1'29.309 0.345
19  Marta Garcia Puma W Series Team 1'29.329 0.365
55  Jamie Chadwick Veloce Racing 1'29.333 0.369
F.Wohlwend Bunker Racing 1'29.428 0.464
10  17  Ayla Agren M. Forbes Motorsport 1'29.459 0.495
11  97  Bruna Tomaselli Veloce Racing 1'29.517 0.553
12  44  Abbie Eaton Ecurie W 1'29.602 0.638
13  54  Miki Koyama Sirin Racing 1'29.616 0.652
14  51  Irina Sidorkova W Series Academy 1'29.674 0.710
15  11  Vicky Piria Sirin Racing 1'29.679 0.715
16  32  Nerea Martí W Series Academy 1'29.711 0.747
17  37  Sabré Cook Bunker Racing 1'30.032 1.068
18  Gosia Rdest Puma W Series Team 1'30.337 1.373
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Styria W Series: Powell tops practice ahead of Visser

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