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Kimilainen takes W Series pole after Zandvoort timing confusion

by Ida Wood

Photo: W Series

Emma Kimilainen emerged as the fastest driver in W Series qualifying at Zandvoort, although timing issues left the order of the grid in some doubt.

Title rivals Jamie Chadwick and Alice Powell had been fighting for pole through the session, and there was a late red flag stoppage caused by Sabre Cook needlessly letting her car reverse into the gravel and it then getting beached.

There was time for just a handful of laps after the second restart, with an earlier one having occurred after Fabienne Wohlwend failed to turn in time at the exit of the banked third corner and was launched over the exit kerbs and into the barriers.

Miki Koyama and Abbie Eaton were able to jump up the order to seventh and fifth in the brief running at the end of the session, and then after the chequered flag was waved Kimilainen rose from third to first and took pole by 0.074 seconds.

Not long after that the whole top 10 started to change shape with faster laptimes appearing, after Powell initially being shown as in first place by several seconds, and there was a closely matched gaggle of cars in fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh.

Powell was classified as second fastest ahead of Chadwick, having posted her fastest lap moments before the red flag to pip Chadwick to what was pole, and Nerea Marti was fourth.

Pushed up to fifth after the finish of the session was Abbi Pulling, contesting her second W Series race, then Jessica Hawkins and Eaton.

Less than a tenth of a second covered eighth to 11th, with Sarah Moore leading Belen Garcia, Miki Koyama and Vicky Piria. Like Koyama, Beitske Visser had also been higher up at the end of qualifying but she will start her home race from 12th.

Qualifying results
Pos Driver Time Gap Laps
1 Emma Kimilainen 1m34.326s 14
2 Alice Powell 1m34.400s +0.074s 15
3 Jamie Chadwick 1m34.583s +0.257s 14
4 Nerea Marti 1m35.058s +0.732s 15
5 Abbi Pulling 1m35.178s +0.852s 13
6 Jessica Hawkins 1m35.195s +0.869s 15
7 Abbie Eaton 1m35.322s +0.996s 14
8 Sarah Moore 1m35.538s +1.212s 16
9 Belen Garcia 1m35.551s +1.225s 14
10 Miki Koyama 1m35.572s +1.246s 16
11 Vicky Piria 1m35.602s +1.276s 15
12 Beitske Visser 1m35.650s +1.324s 17
13 Marta Garcia 1m35.787s +1.461s 15
14 Bruna Tomaselli 1m35.881s +1.555s 15
15 Irina Sidorkova 1m36.155s +1.829s 15
16 Ayla Agren 1m36.642s +2.316s 15
17 Sabre Cook 1m36.981s +2.655s 11
18 Fabienne Wohlwend 1m37.636s +3.310s 3