BRANDSHATCH, England (Reuters) – Title favourite Jamie Chadwick took pole position for the championship-deciding Brands Hatch round of the all-female W Series on Sunday with Dutch rival Beitske Visser qualifying fifth.
The Briton is 13 points clear of Visser after five of the six rounds and need only finish on the podium to take the champion’s prize of $500,000. She has finished every race in the top three so far.
Brands Hatch is familiar territory for the 21-year-old, who last year at the southern circuit became the first woman to win a round of the British Formula Three championship.
Compatriot Alice Powell qualified in second place, 0.368 of a second slower.
The W Series, which uses identical 1.8 litre Formula Three cars, aims to help female racers climb the male-dominated motorsport ladder towards Formula One, which last saw a woman start a race in 1976.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Christian Radnedge)