After a post-qualifying penalty dropped Jamie Chadwick down to P3, she fought her way to seven consecutive wins in the W Series.
The W Series debut race at Le Castellet ended with Jamie Chadwick in P1, Belen Garcia in P2, and Nerea Marti in P3.
The W Series championship leader was demoted from pole position after receiving a two-place penalty for crossing the pit-lane exit line during qualifying. This costly mistake meant Beitske Visser was able to take her maiden series pole position.
When asked about the incident post-race Jamie Chadwick said the penalty was justified.
“It was my mistake, and I knew I’d done it straight away, so I was a bit nervous about it in the session,” Chadwick said.
“It wasn’t anything intentional, with the low light and the way the white lines are with the reflections, it was a bit hard to see. I was looking in my mirrors and made the correction but by that time the damage had been done.
“After that, I just tried to get my head down, do the lap and get pole, and I knew whatever will be will be afterwards. It’s a bit frustrating as usually, it’s just a reprimand, but they judge it on a case-by-case basis, and I’d crossed it by quite a bit.”
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Regardless of the penalty, Chadwick was still able to pull off a race-winning performance and extend her championship points lead even further.
After an eventful start to the race, a poor getaway for Nerea Marti meant Chadwick could fight Beitske Visser for the lead.
An early safety car was deployed on the first lap due to a collision between Abby Eaton, Marta Garcia, and Belen Garcia.
The Scuderia W driver, Eaton attempted to move through the inside of the two Spaniards causing the incident; ultimately a move that ended her race with a DNF.
Chadwick eventually overtook Visser in the nail-biting opening laps, holding off the Dutch drivers’ challenge and maintaining her perfect score this season.
Beitske Visser dropped four positions during the race, finishing P4 overall after a hard-fought battle against the reigning champion.
A second safety car was deployed 10 minutes into the 30-minute race as American Chloe Chambers collided with Emily De Heus at turns three and four.
The collision saw Chambers receive a 10-second stop-and-go penalty but due to damage to her car, she did not finish the race.
Chadwick had a 1.5-second lead by lap eight of 13, with Marti claiming third at turn 11 after Visser ran wide.
Belen Garcia finished with her best result yet in second place despite the collision earlier in the race.
The Spaniard finished on the podium for the first time, with her previous best finish being P4 and added the driver of the day to her resume.
Despite a stellar drive in Silverstone, the young gun Abbi Pulling was unable to convert the momentum into Circuit Paul Ricard qualifying in sixth position.
Chadwick’s closest rival in the championship Pulling, dropped three positions during the race merely entering the points and finishing the race in P9.
To round off the points was Britain’s Jess Hawkins in P10.
This was the W Series 15th race in Europe but the first in France, however, there were no French drivers in the mix.
The W Series will go racing in Hungary next week in support of the F1 Hungarian Grand Prix (29-30th July).
Will Chadwick continue to rule the series with an iron first or will we see someone new rise to the challenge?
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