W SERIES: Chadwick wins opening Austin race as title rival Powell takes P3 from 10th
Defending champion Jamie Chadwick inched closer to a second W Series title with victory in the first of two races at the Circuit of the Americas, with Emma Kimilainen finishing second – and Chadwick's title rival Alice Powell third from 10th.
Powell and Chadwick entered the first of two United States races level on 109 points but the former started race one in P10, while the latter started second and took the lead as the lights went out into Turn 1. Maiden pole-sitter Abbi Pulling dropped down the order in that scrap, Kimilainen sweeping past.
Meanwhile, Powell picked off three drivers at the start and was up to fourth by minute eight of 30. She would eventually take the final podium spot with a flurry of late fastest laps, leaving Pulling fourth on the last tour.
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Kimilainen took second, 1.257s behind Chadwick, having challenged for the lead early on as Pulling went off at Turn 1. But she couldn't keep pace with Chadwick and ultimately settled for a podium plus what will be third place in the W Series standings.
Chadwick, who is on 134 points in the lead of the standings, qualified second for race one and took pole for race two while Pulling took pole for race one and starts second for race two.
The starting grid for race one was determined by the drivers' fastest qualifying time; their second-fastest qualifying time set the grid for race two on Sunday.
Powell, second in the standings on 124 points, starts ninth for race two as she still has a chance to deny Chadwick a sophomore title tomorrow.
Video highlights of the race are below. Note: the video is not available to view in the UK.