Home News Chadwick tops W Series Spa practice as Rdest steps in for Sidorkova

Chadwick tops W Series Spa practice as Rdest steps in for Sidorkova

by Peter Allen

Photo: W Series

Jamie Chadwick topped a wet free practice session for the W Series round at Spa-Francorchamps, where the championship organiser has been forced into a last-minute driver change.

Rookie Irina Sidorkova tested positive for COVID-19, with the championship calling on one of its reserve drivers, Gosia Rdest, to take her place.

In a tweet, Sidorkova said she tested negative in her home country Russia last Sunday and again in Belgium on Tuesday before returning a positive test on Friday. It means her participation in next weekend’s race at Zandvoort could also be in question.

Championship leader Chadwick spent much of the practice session in the pits, deciding not to set a time when the track was at its wettest in the early stages.

Once on track, she initially inherited the top spot inside the final five minutes of the half-hour session when Fabienne Wohlwend had a fastest time deleted for exceeding track limits at Raidillon.

Wohlwend returned to first place inside the final minute, displacing Jessica Hawkins, before Chadwick recorded a 2m31.966s lap on her final attempt.

Her final margin over Wohlwend was 0.111s, with the driver from Liechtenstein improving on her last lap despite encountering traffic.

Sarah Moore topped the times in the middle of the session and finished up third with a late improvement. Hawkins was fourth ahead of Emma Kimilainen, who set the early pace before a spin at Fagnes.

Sabre Cook was sixth in front of the championship’s three Spanish drivers, Nerea Marti, Marta Garcia and Belen Garcia, with Abbie Eaton rounding out the top 10.

Bruna Tomaselli recovered to 12th after locking up and sliding into the runoff area at the start of the session, while Rdest took 16th to begin her third appearance of the season.

Both of those drivers missed the pit entrance at the end of the session, with Tomaselli opting to reverse to get into the support pitlane. The pair are under investigation for not following the race directors instructions.

One point behind Chadwick in the championship, Alice Powell ended up 17th of the 18 drivers despite being among the early pacesetters.

Free practice results
Pos Driver Time Gap Laps
1 Jamie Chadwick 2m31.966s 9
2 Fabienne Wohlwend 2m32.077s +0.111s 11
3 Sarah Moore 2m33.423s +1.457s 12
4 Jessica Hawkins 2m33.489s +1.523s 12
5 Emma Kimilainen 2m33.495s +1.529s 12
6 Sabre Cook 2m33.694s +1.728s 12
7 Nerea Marti 2m33.984s +2.018s 12
8 Marta Garcia 2m34.238s +2.272s 11
9 Belen Garcia 2m34.414s +2.448s 12
10 Abbie Eaton 2m34.469s +2.503s 11
11 Beitske Visser 2m34.742s +2.776s 12
12 Bruna Tomaselli 2m34.820s +2.854s 10
13 Caitlin Wood 2m34.903s +2.937s 11
14 Vicky Piria 2m34.943s +2.977s 11
15 Ayla Agren 2m35.277s +3.311s 12
16 Gosia Rdest 2m35.299s +3.333s 11
17 Alice Powell 2m35.710s +3.744s 11
18 Miki Koyama 2m38.370s +6.404s 11