By Alan Baldwin
HOCKENHEIM, Germany (Reuters) – British racer Jamie Chadwick looked the early favorite as the new all-female W Series held its first official practice sessions at a rainy Hockenheim on Friday.
The Two-year-old, one of five Britons in the field, was the only driver to lap inside one minute 39 seconds in the first session and also led the wetter second practice with a time of one minute 56.007.
Finland’s Emma Militiamen, 29, was the only other of the 20 on track, two of them reserves, to crack the 1:57 mark with a time of 1:56.081.
Chadwick is one of the fledgling motor racing series’ more accomplished and better known racers, in 2015 becoming the first woman to win a British GOT championship, in the GT4 category at the wheel of an Aston Martin V8 Vantage.
A British Racing Drivers’ Club ‘Rising Star’, she became the first woman to win a British Formula Three race last year and is also now active in the virtual world as a competitor for an escorts team.
Last month she was announced as an Aston Martin factory junior driver and is due to compete in the Nuremburg 24 Hour race in June.
W Series racers compete in identical 1.8 liter Formula Three cars with a $1.5 million prize fund for the six race championship, with plenty of media interest in a concept aimed at helping women up the motorsport ladder.
The series winner will collect $500,000, with prize money down to 18th place.
Only two women have ever raced in Formula One, considered the pinnacle of motorsport, with Italian Lella Lombardi the last to do so in 1976.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Christian Radnedge)