W Series: Circuit Paul Ricard Preview, Predictions and How To Watch

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After a postponement in 2021, the W Series debuts in France at the Circuit Paul Ricard with Jamie Chadwick in clear control.

Can anyone halt the march to a third straight Championship for Jamie Chadwick? After dominating at Silverstone Chadwick already has more points (100) in four rounds than all but drivers managed last season. She’s already matched her win total from 2021 (4) and looks more than ready to move on from the W Series at the end of the season. But the field is full of experience (Kimilainen & Powell), as well as race-winning talent (Abbi Pulling), who will be looking to pressure Chadwick into a mistake this weekend at Circuit Paul Ricard.

While there are no French drivers in the current W Series lineup, there should be plenty of support for a pair of British drivers. Both Alice Powell and Abbi Pulling are part of the Alpine driver academy, owned by Formula 1 and Motorsport staple Renault. Beyond the obvious Chadwick, and the Alpine-affiliated pair, keep an eye on the Spanish duo of Nerea Marti and Belen Garcia. Both have finished in the points in all four rounds thus far, with Marti landing on the podium in the second race in Miami.

The Circuit – Circuit Paul Ricard:

This will be the W Series debut at the French circuit after last year’s event was replaced by the Red Bull Ring due to COVID-19 restrictions. The circuit runs 5.84-km (3.63-mile) and features 15 turns, several long straights, sweeping high-speed corners as well as tight turns. With it being the first time the drivers will visit the track in the current W Series cars, the more experienced drivers should have the early advantage in Friday’s practice.

Current Standings:

Four races into the ten-race season and Chadwick has nearly doubled the points of her closest rival. It’s hard to see anything stopping her this season and thus the battle will shift to those just behind her. Back-to-back podiums have Abbi Pulling in 2nd place with a 12-point cushion over Beiske Visser. Kimilainen climbs into 4th with her results improving week over week (15th-5th-4th-2nd).

  1. Jamie Chadwick – 100 points
  2. Abbi Pulling – 53 points
  3. Beiske Visser – 41 points
  4. Emma Kimilainen – 40 points
  5. Alice Powell – 33 points

Race Predictions:

Last time out, I got too creative with my Silverstone predictions when the safe answer was the obvious answer. It’s Jamie Chadwick on the top line until anyone can knock her off. Look for a big response by Alice Powell after seeing her home race undone before it had even begun.

  1. Jamie Chadwick
  2. Alice Powell
  3. Emma Kimilainen

How to Watch the W Series (EDT):

For viewers outside of the US, visit the W Series’ Where to Watch page for local coverage.

Featured Image Credit: The W Series

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