Eighth overall at the iconic Norisring near Nurember, Germany at the weekend, Tasmin Pepper now lies eighth on the W Series points log – having notched up a safe finish considering the incidents ahead of her during the fourth round of the series.
Eighteen-year-old Marta Garcia (ESP) was crowned champion of the fourth W Series race 3,619 sec ahead of Beitske Visser (NDL), who finished P2 for the second race in a row. Bagging pole position in qualifying and clocking the second-fastest lap of the race (51,049 sec), the Spanish teenager drove superbly to earn 25 points, elevating herself to third position in the title chase.
Beitske made a stunning start, climbing from P5 to P2 by Turn One, forcing championship leader Jamie Chadwick (GBR) into third place. That formation (Garcia-Visser-Chadwick) endured for the duration of the race, Jamie putting intense pressure on Beitske at the end. However, it was Beitske who came out on top, finishing just under half a second ahead of her main championship rival.
In fourth position was Fabienne Wohlwend (LIE) who, after another strong drive, finished 2,135 sec behind Jamie. But hot on her heels was Emma Kimilainen (FIN), who made an outstanding comeback after being forced to miss the past two races through injury.
Qualifying in P8, Emma fought her way through the field, gaining three places and ultimately finishing in P5, clocking the fastest lap of the race on her way.
Sadly, it was a race weekend to forget for Alice Powell (GBR) who, after being T-boned during FP1 on Friday, was forced to start today’s race from P18 following a gearbox problem during qualifying. They say that bad luck comes in threes and that was certainly the case for Alice who, despite putting in an extraordinary race drive, climbing from P18 to P8, had to retire early for the third time this weekend, blighted by a fuel pump issue with less than five minutes to go.
Falling victim to the challenge of the notorious Turn One was Sarah Moore (GBR), who collided with Shea Holbrook (USA), causing damage to the front of her car. Although she managed to get going again, her suspension eventually gave way, causing her to pull over and retire.
Completing a sad trio of British DNFs was Jessica Hawkins (GBR) who, despite qualifying and therefore starting from P6, a position she retained for almost the entirety of the race, suffered a terminal power loss minutes before the end, which caused a premature finish to what had been a very impressive weekend for the 24-year-old from Hampshire.
Catherine Bond Muir, W Series Chief Executive Officer said: “The maturity of Marta’s very impressive victory at Norisring belied her very young age – she’s just 18 – and the 25 points she scored lifted her total to 60. That’s just 13 behind Beitske and 23 behind Jamie.
“The title chase is hotting up therefore, only 10 points separating Jamie from Beitske, with a respective home race for each of them ahead. W Series’ next race will be run at super-fast Assen, in Beitske’s native Netherlands, and she knows the circuit well; by contrast Jamie has never raced there. After that, the season finale will be held at Brands Hatch, in the UK, which Jamie not only knows very well but on which she’s already won a race in a Formula 3 car.”
Marta Garcia (ESP) commented: “First of all, qualifying was really good. Yesterday’s practice sessions were not so good so there were a few things I needed to improve – which happily I managed to do during qualifying.
“I therefore started the race from P1 – and I stayed there! I had a really good start actually, probably one of the best I’ve ever done, and after that I managed to maintain good pace throughout the race.
“I think the fact that Beitske and Jamie were fighting each other a bit gave me a chance to get a bit further ahead. “I’m really, really happy.”
Position Driver Number Driver Laps Time Points
1 19 Marta Garcia 36 30:59.755 25
2 95 Beitske Visser 36 31:03.374 18
3 55 Jamie Chadwick 36 31:03.796 15
4 5 Fabienne Wohlwend 36 31:05.931 12
5 7 Emma Kimilainen 36 31:06.347 10
6 85 Miki Koyama 36 31:18.055 8
7 37 Sabré Cook 36 31:19.784 6
8 31 Tasmin Pepper 36 31:25.490 4
9 2 Esmee Hawkey 36 31:38.036 2
10 99 Naomi Schiff 36 31:41.221 1