Jamie Chadwick completes perfect weekend in Miami

Defending champion Jamie Chadwick completed a perfect weekend at W Series Miami presented by Hard Rock by backing up her win in Saturday’s first race with a dominant lights-to-flag victory in race two of the 2022 season-opening double-header.

The reigning double champion took her fourth straight W Series race win, and eighth overall, courtesy of an expertly controlled drive from pole position. Jamie crossed the finish line three seconds ahead of Nerea Martí who secured her best finish and the second podium of her W Series career. Last season’s runner-up Alice Powell was a further six seconds back in third place to score her 10th W Series podium finish.

Nerea’s team-mate and compatriot Belen Garcia finished fourth to equal her best W Series finish. Emma Kimiläinen started third and retained that position for most of the race, but contact with Alice on the penultimate lap dropped her to fifth.

Some fine overtaking in the closing stages saw Abbi Pulling finish sixth, one place ahead of Beitske Visser. Sarah Moore and Marta Garcia were eighth and ninth. Chloe Chambers completed the top 10 to score her first W Series points and finish as the highest-placed of the five drivers making their W Series debuts this weekend in support of the inaugural Formula 1® Crypto.com Miami Grand Prix.

The drivers’ second-best time during qualifying on Saturday had set the grid for race two, and the front row from race one was reversed as Jamie started from pole position and Nerea from second. Fabienne Wohlwend started 10th after receiving a five-place grid penalty for causing a collision in race one.

The top two retained their starting positions as they exited Turn 1, but Nerea was under pressure from Emma who started third. The Finn went up to second with a move on the inside at the entry to Turn 11, but went deep on the exit allowing Nerea to instantly regain the place. Jamie led by just under a second at the end of lap one, by which time the only changes in the top 10 saw Sarah, Fabienne and Marta move up one place each as Abbi dropped from eighth on the grid to 11th.

With five minutes gone, Emma attempted the same move on Nerea and made it stick this time to go second. Three minutes later, Bruna Tomaselli pitted with a front-right puncture, relegating her to the rear of the field. With a third of the race gone, Nerea overtook Emma for second, but Emma fought back along the start-finish straight and re-took the position at Turn 1. Up ahead, Jamie set the fastest lap of the race to extend her lead to almost two seconds.

The battle for second continued on the next lap, and Nerea regained her starting position by overtaking Emma at Turn 11. With just under half of the 30-minutes plus one lap race gone, Alice briefly moved into the podium positions by going late on the brakes into Turn 1, but Emma dipped back under Alice on the exit to stay in third. That put Alice under pressure from Belen, but the former held on as the pair went wheel-to-wheel for several corners in the middle sector of the lap.

Behind that battle, Sarah passed Beitske for sixth place at Turn 1 with 14 minutes remaining. Jamie led by 1.6 seconds at the halfway stage, but Nerea set the fastest lap to halve the leader’s advantage as they entered the final 10 minutes of the race.

Abbi was the quickest driver on track and urged by her engineer over the radio to make a move on Beitske for seventh place, which she duly did at Turn 11 with seven minutes to go. Sarah was next up the road for Abbi and, five minutes later, she overtook her for sixth at Turn 17 before holding off a fightback from her compatriot at Turn 1 on the next lap, and Beitske followed Abbi past Sarah for seventh later a few corners later.

On the penultimate lap, Alice and Emma made contact at Turn 17, sending Emma spinning and down to fifth behind Belen. Alice suffered front-wing damage but nursed the car home in third, although the stewards were investigating that incident after the race.

Jamie upped her pace to regain a buffer of almost two seconds to Nerea going into the final lap, and the champion remained error-free to complete a perfect weekend.

Jamie Chadwick (Jenner Racing, 23, UK) said:
“I’m really happy with that win and happy to bounce back to be honest. I lacked confidence yesterday and didn’t feel like I deserved the win, whereas this was our first proper race under green-flag conditions and I’m happy to get that one under my belt. With the nature of the circuit and the heat, it was all about keeping it clean, making no mistakes and keeping the tyres in check. Nerea [Martí] kept the pressure on, but I responded when I needed to, stayed calm and managed the gap well which gave me some breathing space at the end.”

Nerea Martí (Quantfury Racing W Series Team, 20, ESP) said:
“Obviously I wanted to win the race, but I’m happy with second place. I did everything I could to get past Jamie [Chadwick], but the end of the race was difficult because I was nervous and couldn’t find the pace, but it’s still a great improvement on yesterday. I’m looking to carry this momentum to the next race in Barcelona, which is a circuit I like and I’m excited to race in front of my home fans.”

Alice Powell (Click2Drive Bristol Street Motors Racing W Series Team, 29, UK) said:
“The first thing was trying not to stall on the grid after my bad start yesterday. My start still wasn’t great, but it was better and I held my position. From there, it was about trying to learn the car because the practice and qualifying sessions were a bit messy. I was struggling in the first sector over the bumps and I couldn’t catch up on the straights. It was a good scrap with Belen [Garcia] and I worked hard to catch Emma [Kimilainen]. She lost it on the brakes and I couldn’t avoid her. The car was horrendous to drive after that because of the damage, but luckily I held on.

“It’s all about trying to catch Jamie [Chadwick] now. I should have been on pole position yesterday but the red flag hurt me in qualifying. I need to be consistent and avoid results like yesterday when I put it in the wall, which was completely my fault.”

Dave Ryan (Racing Director, W Series) said:
“Today was a great relief and it was a very good race with some really good driving. Jamie [Chadwick] obviously deserved to win as she did a great job and she’s had a great weekend. I’m very happy for Nerea [Marti] after yesterday. Alice [Powell] had a good result, and I’m not sure what happened to Emma [Kimiläinen]. It was good to see no red flags and a much better day overall. It has been a tough weekend, but everyone has worked very hard and great credit to all of my team who put the cars that were damaged back together so we had a full grid of 18 cars for each race.”

Race two results from W Series Miami presented by Hard Rock are below. For full W Series results from the 2022 season-opening double-header, check out our Miami race page.

Highlights of the second race in Miami will be on Channel 4 at 07.35 BST on Monday 9 May. The 2022 W Series season continues at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Spain, on 20-21 May.