Beitske Visser won her first race of 2022 in Singapore and closed the gap to championship leader Jamie Chadwick, who crashed out in the final laps.
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The Jenner Racing driver, who arrived in Singapore hoping to clinch the title, made a lunge down the inside of Jessica Hawkins at turn seven with four minutes left on the clock. But Chadwick locked up at the apex of turn seven and hit the outside wall almost head on, causing her first ever retirement from a W Series race.
Chadwick was never in contention for the lead. Visser took the lead from pole-winner Marta Garcia heading into turn one on the opening lap.
Garcia soon lost another position to Alice Powell. After constant pressure from behind, Garcia went wide out of turn 16, lost traction and handed the advantage to Powell. Her rival made an inside overtake stick two corners later, nine minutes into the half-hour race.
From there Powell gradually cut the gap to Visser, who she hounded until the end. Her biggest opportunity came on the last lap restart which happened after the Safety Car ended following Chadwick's crash. However excellent defensive work from the race leader denied Powell the opportunity to take her second win in a row.
Behind the podium finishers was Belén Garcia in fourth ahead of Hawkins, Abbi Pulling, Sarah Moore, Fabienne Wohlwend and Emma Kimiläinen with Abbie Eaton rounding off the points in tenth.
This result means Chadwick will have to wait to seal her third consecutive W Series title. Her chances of clinching it this weekend seemed remote after a rain-curtailed session left her behind her two closest championship rivals. Chadwick lined up eighth on the grid, six positions behind Visser with Powell in third.
With three races now left in the season, 75 points are on offer and the win has cut Visser's deficit to 50 points. Powell is 57 behind Chadwick, while Pulling also has a mathematical chance of clinching the title, a distant 73 points off the lead.
However the championship arithmetic could be rendered moot by the series' widely-reported financial problems. The next race is due to take place at the Circuit of the Americas on October 22nd, followed by a double-header in Mexico a week later, but it remains to be seen whether the cars will reach North America.
W Series Qualifying race results
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Visser wins in last-lap sprint to the flag after Chadwick crashes out · RaceFans have 689 words, post on www.racefans.net at October 2, 2022. This is cached page on Auto News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.