Emma Kimilainen qualified on top for the W Series race in the Netherlands.
Emma Kimilainen scored pole position at Assen in the W Series on as championship rivals Jamie Chadwick and Beitske Visser will line up alongside each other on row 2 for Saturday’s race in the Netherlands.
Had she not been wiped out at the start of the opening race of the season at Hockenheim, Kimilainen likely would have been one of the championship contenders this week. Out for two races with a neck injury, the Finn returned to action last time out at the Norisring and was immediately back on the pace.
Topping practice 1 on Friday in Assen was a strong indication that she meant business this weekend, and Kimilainen delivered on that promise when it counted.
Alice Powell qualified second. Another who can be counted as unlucky not to be vying for the outright crown, Powell will be looking to establish herself as a threat for glory in 2020 with a maiden series win.
Emma Kimilainen entered the weekend 11th in the season points standings. A top-10 finish in the points guarantees a driver a spot in next season’s field.
The real interest comes from row 2, however. Championship leader Chadwick lines up alongside hometown favorite Visser. Although Fabienne Wohlwend (P8) and Marta Garcia (P9) are still mathematically in the hunt, it would take something strange to happen to Chadwick and Visser for either of these to claim the title.
Qualifying was interrupted by two red flags. The first caused when American Shea Holbrook went into the gravel, and the second due to an engine failure in Vicky Piria’s car. Both of these caught out the championship fighters.
“It’s just frustrating more than anything,” said Chadwick. “I think there was a tenth to pole but we just got caught out both times with red flags but that’s the way it goes.
“I think the focus is just to get the best result we can. If the door is open (for a move) then the door is open. Without taking any stupid risks, I think — we’re going to push anyway. The main thing is I want to beat Beitske in this race.”
Visser also felt that she could have been on pole had the red flags not caught her out.
“I’m a little bit frustrated because I felt we should have been on pole,” said Visser. “We went out for the second run and I did one flying lap where I even went off track and it was my quickest lap. I went for a second lap and did a purple sector one but then it was red flagged, so that was really unfortunate.
“Obviously, Jamie will be my main competitor. She’s only one place in front of me but still I am here to fight for the win so I also want to get in front of Emma and Alice.”
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