A flawless performance at the Circuit of the Americas saw Jamie Chadwick (Veloce Racing, GBR) take her second consecutive race victory at the season-ending double-header and become a two-time W Series champion.
The 23-year-old Briton – who won the seventh race of the season in Texas on Saturday – completed a perfect weekend by leading from pole position to the chequered flag and recording the fastest lap in Sunday's race. Jamie beat Abbi Pulling (PUMA W Series Team, GBR) by five seconds to claim her fourth victory of the season, successfully defend the title she won in W Series' inaugural season in 2019 and scoop the $500,000 top prize and maximum 15 FIA Super Licence points on offer.
Alice Powell (Racing X, GBR) went into the season finale as the only driver who could deny Jamie the title, and the 28-year-old finished sixth on Sunday to end the season 27 points behind Jamie in the championship. Emma Kimiläinen (Ecurie W, FIN) scored her fourth straight podium finish to seal third place in the standings.
Abbi continued her run of improving in every W Series race she has competed in by getting her maiden podium finish on her fourth appearance. That result saw the youngest driver on the grid in Austin end the season in seventh place in the championship. The top eight drivers qualify automatically for the 2022 W Series season, and Beitske Visser (M. Forbes Motorsport, NED) claimed the eighth and final spot by coming home fifth on Sunday. Sarah Moore (Scuderia W, GBR) finished fourth in the race and fifth in the championship – one place behind Nerea Martí (W Series Academy Team, ESP) and one ahead of Fabienne Wohlwend (Bunker Racing, LIE).
Sixteen drivers started the final race of the season following the withdrawals of Abbie Eaton (Ecurie W, GBR) and Marta Garcia (PUMA W Series Team, ESP). Abbie suffered a T4 compression fracture during yesterday's race at COTA, while Marta was unwell. W Series wishes both drivers a speedy recovery.
On an overcast and damp morning in Austin, the front-row line-up was the same as it was for Saturday's opening race of the weekend but with roles reversed – Jamie starting from pole position and Abbi from second on the grid. In front of a capacity crowd of 140,000, Jamie got a great launch off the line to leave Abbi in her wake and establish a lead of 1.5 seconds over the rookie by the end of the first lap.
Behind the leaders, Emma made up three places on lap one – going from sixth to third – while Alice overtook team-mate Jessica Hawkins (Racing X, GBR) for seventh position. Fabienne dropped out of the top 10 after running over the kerbs on the exit of Turn One – a move which forced her to retire from the race due to suspension damage in the closing stages.
Jamie set the fastest lap after seven minutes to increase her advantage, which stood at 1.9 seconds with a third of the 30-minute race gone. Alice was 10 seconds off the lead and lapping one second per lap slower than Jamie, as she came under pressure from home favourite Sabré Cook (Bunker Racing, USA) who had made her way past Jessica for eighth position. With 17 minutes remaining, Sarah overtook Beitske for fourth on the inside at Turn One.
Jamie continued to post consistent lap times in the clean air and led Abbi by three seconds at the halfway stage with Emma a further second adrift in third. With 10 minutes to go, Alice attempted to pass Belen Garcia (Scuderia W, ESP) at Turn One, but was too late on the brakes and ran wide on the exit of the corner to hand the place straight back to the Spaniard.
Jessica went for an overtake on Sabré at Turn 12 with six minutes left on the clock, but the pair made contact and spun as the former tried to go up the inside. Two minutes later, Alice finally made a move on Belen stick at the first corner to take sixth place, and that was the last of the overtaking action among the front-runners as Jamie cruised to victory.
Jamie Chadwick, 23, UK, Veloce Racing, said:
"That was a mega end to a mega year. It feels so good to finish it off like that – what a win! Thank you to W Series, Veloce, Formula 1 and everyone who's supported me. It means so much to defend my title. It's been really hard work this year as I've been pushed all the way by Alice [Powell]. The stakes were higher this weekend with the double-header, but to seal it by winning both races makes it so much sweeter and I'm delighted to come out on top. Massive congratulations to Alice who's pushed me really hard, and it was a tough weekend for her with some issues which were out of her hands. I've got an amazing relationship with the Williams F1 team who have helped me win this championship so I'm really grateful to them. I don't know what's next for me, but I'll enjoy this moment and go from there."