All set for Austria after productive week in Wales

W Series concluded a productive week of pre-season testing at the Anglesey Circuit on Friday.

The 20 drivers who attended the test completed a total of 4,723 laps and 15,918 kilometres (9,891 miles) between them across the five days. The undulating 3.4km (2.1 miles) circuit, which features a blend of fast sections, technical mid-range corners and hairpin bends, has long been a favourite proving ground of several leading racing teams and series, including British F3 and F4.

Varied conditions in Wales provided the drivers with a rigorous test and ideal preparation for the challenges they will face during the 2021 W Series season, which begins in support of Formula 1’s Styrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Austria – 1,200 miles away from Anglesey – on 26 June.

After being fitted for seats in W Series’ Tatuus T-318 Formula 3 race cars and putting on their new race suits tailored by PUMA Motorsport, W Series’ Global Racewear Partner, the drivers enjoyed dry and bright weather over the first two days of running. David Richards, Chairman of Motorsport UK, visited the circuit on Tuesday and was given a tour of the W Series paddock and a chance to sample a W Series simulator.

The end of the week brought strong winds and rain which, while curtailing track time, allowed the drivers to get to grips with the full range of tyre options from Hankook, W Series’ Global Tyre Partner.

Dave Ryan (Racing Director, W Series) said:
“It’s been a great few days in Wales and we have achieved a lot in a relatively short space of time. The cars performed well and the few mechanical issues we had were all easily rectified – it’s good to experience those things now as they will help us prepare better for the start of the season which is what a test week is all about.

“The weather was so good at the start of the week that we did more mileage than we thought we would over the first two days. All the drivers were keen to make the most of the track time and pushed themselves hard as they have had limited track time since our last race in August 2019. There have been a few surprises in terms of individual performances and, while the extreme weather disrupted our running at the end of the week, all the drivers will travel to Austria feeling confident.”

“I’d also like to thank the support and race teams who have done a fantastic job, both in the lead up to the event and on site all week, and coped with everything that was thrown their way. I have nothing but praise for their professionalism. It is really nice to be amongst a great team of people who know what racing is all about and just get on with it.”

Emma Kimiläinen, 31, Finland (2019 W Series race-winner) said:
“It’s so cool to be back in the W Series paddock and this week in Wales has sent my excitement levels for the season through the roof. I haven’t been in a single seater since the last race of the 2019 W Series season, but I’m used to long breaks out of the car and I’ve got back up to speed quickly this week. I’ve enjoyed every second working with the engineers and mechanics and feel like I could race tomorrow, which shows how good the preparation has been.

“The Anglesey Circuit is elevating, narrow and technical, which are all things I like as they remind me of Nordic circuits, so I’ve felt at home and enjoyed looking at the amazing coastal scenery during my cooldown laps. 

“The goal this season is to win the W Series title. This week has shown how much strength in depth we have on the grid in 2021, so if I can come out on top when it is this competitive, victory would be even sweeter. I am sure this season will bring lots of tough, tight and exciting racing and I can’t wait for the season to start.”

Miki Koyama, 23, Japan (Finished seventh in 2019 W Series season) said:
“I’ve really enjoyed the last few days in Anglesey. The circuit is short, but it is a tough test with lots of undulations. I was nervous at the start of the week because I haven’t spent time in the F3 car since the last race of the 2019 season at Brands Hatch but, with the help of my engineers, I feel like I’ve learned how to get the best out of the car again. My pace has improved each day and I feel good for the season ahead.

“I will be nervous again when we go to Austria for the first race next month because I want to be the W Series champion. I am so excited and determined to do my best this year.”

Abbi Pulling, 18, UK (British F4 driver invited to attend 2021 W Series pre-season test) said:
“Being part of W Series this week has been amazing. I’ve been welcomed with open arms and everyone has been so helpful. It’s been great to see the other drivers’ data and setups and that helped me settle in quickly and get used to the increased power and weight of the F3 car.

“I know from the data that there are things I need to improve, but I’ve had encouraging feedback and I hope to be involved with W Series more in the future. Seeing the likes of my coach, Alice Powell, thriving in W Series inspired me to get into single seaters. Having a fully-female championship to aim for suddenly made that path clearer for me and to get the chance to be part of W Series this week, in only my second single-seater season, is incredible. I went to a kart track recently and saw so many female racers, so I think the W Series’ mission to inspire young girls is working and I can’t wait to see where it leads in 20 years’ time.”

For more information on W Series’ 2021 plans, visit the W HUB.