Jamie Chadwick capitalizes on his chance in Miami to get off to a perfect start in Game 1 of the W Series

Jamie Chadwick got his W Series title defense off to a perfect start by winning the opening race of the third series in Miami on Saturday.

The 23-year-old Briton, who won the first two editions of the all-women’s championship, had by her own admission hoped to have moved on by now. But she couldn’t land a competitive drive in F3 or F2, and therefore ended up in the W Series.

With a point to prove, Chadwick (Jenner Racing) won a scrappy race with two safety cars by overtaking rival Emma Kimilainen (Puma W Series) in a final lap shootout after the second safety car retired .

The race was largely frustrating from a viewers perspective. Nerea Martí (Quantfury Racing) had taken pole but the Spaniard was one of many drivers to stall on the grid. This allowed Chadwick, who started second, to take the lead. The Briton quickly came under pressure from Kimilainen.

Behind them, last season’s runner-up Alice Powell (Click2Drive Bristol Street Motors) suffered a disaster, dropping from third on the grid to 17th before crashing out on the first lap, no doubt frustrated by her sluggish start.

That incident brought out the first safety car, which took up much of the allotted time as marshals cleared the debris.

The race eventually restarted from the pit lane, with Kimilainen immediately invading Chadwick.

With seven minutes to go, the Finn managed to slip past her rival and Chadwick’s efforts to fight back looked doomed following the deployment of a second safety car, this one resulting from an accident between Abbie Eaton (Scuderia W) and Fabienne Wohlwend (CortDAO Racing) .

However, in scenes reminiscent of last year’s decisive F1 title in Abu Dhabi, this safety car was introduced with one remaining.

Showing good racing art, Chadwick managed to run Kimilainen down the straight before ducking under the Finn as she braked trying to regain her position in the first corner. Kimilainen ultimately missed out on the podium after a late contact, allowing Marta Garcia (CortDAO Racing) and Jess Hawkins (Click2Drive Bristol Street Motors) to take second and third place respectively.

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