British starlet Jamie Chadwick dominated the inaugural weekend of the W Series and raced herself to a historic first ever victory in Hockenheim.Chadwick had led from the front throughout the weekend, having set the fastest time in both free practice sessions on Friday.
And her Saturday followed in the same vein as she thundered through in a very wet qualifying to snatch pole position by almost two seconds.
Despite her strong performance behind the wheel in the practice sessions and qualifying, Chadwick’s race didn’t get off to a flying start.
As she sped into the hairpin fourth turn on the opening lap at the German circuit, Chadwick ran wide and left the door open for Brit Sarah Moore to take the lead.However, the drama of the first lap didn’t end there as the W Series first ever safety car was deployed before the opening exchanges were over.
Canadian driver Megan Gilkes and Finnish racer Emma Kimilainen collided forcing a safety car to enter the track.
The safety car allowed Chadwick to regain her composure and she ensured she was ready for the restart and passed Moore to take the lead once more.
Further back on the grid, British driver Alice Powell climbed from sixth position all the way to second which resulted in a gripping on-track battle between Powell and Chadwick.
Chadwick ultimately stood up to the test Powell provided and, as the flag waved down she raced over the line after building up a 1.3 second lead over her rival.
Speedy Spanish driver Marta Garcia also fought her way to the top of the pack having started out the day in fifth.But, after some impressive overtaking moves she battled through to finish the opening race of the season in third.
The W Series provided plenty of action on track with Russian racer Tasmin Pepper climbing from sixteenth to eighth and Japanese racer Miki Koyama picking off her rivals to climb from a lowly seventeenth position all the way through to seventh.
Koyama also set the fastest lap of the day and also went second fastest too, impressing plenty of fans as she worked her way through the grid.
However, it was perhaps fitting that Chadwick won the first-ever W Series race, having so far had a career littered with firsts.
In 2015 Chadwick became the first woman to win a British GT Championship and followed that up by becoming the first female to win a British Formula 3 race in 2018.
Next up in the six race series is Zolder, Belgium where Chadwick will be hoping to continue her dominant performance.
However, there’s 17 other racers determined to put their stamp on the W Series and, with a $500,000 cash prize up for grabs and attention on the series growing by the week, Zolder is set up to be a scorcher of a race.