W Series prepares for its two-race finale at COTA with two drivers tied in points

W Series COTA
W Series
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As the second season of the W Series heads into its final weekend with a doubleheader at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA), two racers, Jamie Chadwick and Alice Powell, are tied in points after six rounds – setting up an exciting head-to-head matchup. This will be the first time in the series’ two-year history that it has raced outside of Europe.

“This is the first time I’ve been in this position, level on points going into the final round, but I kind of like the fact that I’m neither ahead or chasing because, mathematically, there’s nothing to think about,” Chadwick said in a press release. “The focus for me is simply to outscore Alice and the easiest way for me to do that is to win both races.”

Chadwick was the 2019 champion on the strength of two wins in the six-race schedule. Powell won once in the season finale.

Powell and Chadwick have been the class of the field in 2021 with the two drivers alternating wins in the first four races. Powell is currently ranked first after winning the most recent race in Zandvoort, Netherlands, to give her three victories to two.

The path to the championship is clear.

With 25 points on the line for each race, a total of 50 for the weekend, Emma Kimilainen is the other driver with a mathematical shot at winning. She is the only other driver to win in 2021, beating second-place Chadwick and third-place Marta Garcia in a crash-marred race at Spa Francorchamps in August. Powell finished fourth in that event.

“I’m happy to be going into the last weekend in the position I’m in because, after the first race of the season in Austria, I wasn’t sure that was going to be the case,” Chadwick said. “Alice and I are going toe-to-toe, so I need to up my performance level this weekend. The last few weeks have been spent working out how best to do that to make sure I go to COTA with best chance of winning.”

Chadwick finished sixth in the season-opener, but has stood on the podium in every race since.

Powell’s three wins offset an eight-place finish in Round 2 at Red Bull Ring and her fourth at Spa.

“Before the 2019 season, I’d had a few years without racing, so that year was about blowing off the cobwebs,” Powell said. “Coming into this year, my approach was clear – to take it one race at a time – and that has helped me. There’s still a long way to go, a quarter of the season over the final weekend, with lots of points to be won and lost so I will treat it like any race weekend because if you change too much you can lose your way.”

The W Series is in its second season after the 2020 season was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is being showcased this year alongside eight Formula One races, including this weekend’s US Grand Prix.

In addition to the series championship, every driver in the field is still fighting for an automatic invitation to next year’s championship hunt. That invitation will go to the top eight drivers in this year’s standings. Currently only 22 points separate the eighth and last-placed drivers.

W Series’ schedule for this weekend starts on Friday, October 22, with two 30-minute practice sessions. Saturday, October 23, will host qualification for both events with the first of two races held later in the day. The second half of the doubleheader will be run on Sunday. Both races will be 30 minutes plus one lap.

Supercross: Talon Hawkins to debut in Houston in relief of Jalek Swoll

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Talon Hawkins, 19, will make his Monster Energy Supercross debut on a 250 this week in Houston, Texas as a fill-in rider for Jalek Swoll.

During the Anaheim 2 weekend, the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna team announced Swoll underwent successful surgery to repair a broken arm suffered in a practice crash.

That same weekend, Hawkins made some noise. He took the lead from teammate Casey Cohran on Lap 2 of the 250 SX Futures Main and led for three laps before he was overtaken by eventual winner Daxton Bennick. Cochran also got around him to push Hawkins to third.

This will not be Hawkins SuperMotocross professional debut, however; he made three Lucas Oil Pro Motocross starts last year with results of 19th at Spring Creek in Millville, Minnesota, 27th at Ironman in Crawfordsville, Indiana and a best finish of 17th in the season finale at Fox Raceway in Pala, California.

Hawkins also has a top-10 finish in the 125 All-Star division at Pala in 2019 riding a Husqvarna.

Speaking with RacerXOnline.com before the Loretta Lynn Amateur Nationals, Hawkins predicted his future with Husqvarna would come down to how he performed in that race.

“It all just comes down to how I perform at Loretta’s,” Hawkins said. “Say I do really well, I get a top three in both classes and do a pretty solid job, I would like to go pro and just kind of finish out the rest of the series. But there’s also the option of waiting a little bit longer, going back out to [Aldon] Baker’s [Factory] or going anywhere and training, and just being prepared. I’m also open to that too. Honestly, it’s whatever the team wants. Whatever we think is the best option is what we’re going to go with. So, I don’t really have a plan right now, just looking into the future.”

Hawkins finished third overall in the 125 B/C and Schoolboy divisions at the Loretta Lynn Amateur Nationals.