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W SERIES MAKES ASIA DEBUT IN SINGAPORE


Bianca Bustamante
Bianca Bustamante has raced on part of the Marina Bay Circuit

New surroundings but a familiar feel. W Series travels to Singapore this weekend for its first-ever race in Asia, where reigning double champion Jamie Chadwick (Jenner Racing, 24, UK) will be 30 minutes plus one lap away from winning her third consecutive title.

"The goal in Singapore is to win the title and my approach to the weekend won’t change. It's too complicated to work out all the scenarios with the points and then drive tactically. I'll just go out there and do the best job I can. There are still lots of races to go, so I don't need to be conservative.
Jamie Chadwick (Jenner Racing, 24, UK)

The Briton has won five of the six races so far this term, her run of victories finally ended by compatriot Alice Powell (Click2Drive Bristol Street Motors Racing W Series Team, 29, UK) at the previous event in Hungary on 30 July. Jamie's runner-up finish at the Hungaroring means she holds a 75-point lead over Alice and Beitske Visser (Sirin Racing W Series Team, 27, NED) with four races remaining and a maximum of 100 points to be won. If Jamie finishes higher than Alice, Beitske, and Abbi Pulling (Racing X, 19, UK) – who is a further three points adrift in the standings – this weekend, then title number three will be hers.



Following a nine-week break – the longest mid-season gap between races in W Series' history – the event at Marina Bay kick-starts a sprint to the finish, with four races at three events across five weekends in October. From Singapore, W Series heads to the Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas, USA, on 22-23 October, before concluding the season with a double-header at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, Mexico City, Mexico, on 29-30 October.

"Make no mistake, this week is a big challenge for the drivers. It's a new circuit for us, track time is limited, the surface is bumpy, the walls are not far away, our sessions take place in a range of lighting conditions, and the heat and humidity are intense, even more so for our drivers than the F1 drivers given we will be on-track before sunset for qualifying and the race. It's difficult to know what to expect, but I do know – as was proved at our first-ever street race in Miami earlier this year – that clean and consistent driving will take you far."
Dave Ryan (Racing Director, W Series)

This weekend, in support of the Formula 1® Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix 2022, all 18 W Series drivers will be eager to begin this final flurry of races with a strong result. Only Bianca Bustamante (W Series Academy, 17, PHI) during her karting career has previously driven at Marina Bay, but that was not on the full circuit.


Making her 2022 W Series season debut is Ayla Agren (Puma W Series Team, 29, NOR), who replaces Tereza Babickova (Puma W Series Team, 19, CZE) this weekend. While competing in the Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine (FRECA) on 10 September, Tereza sustained a spinal injury during an incident in the first race of the weekend at the Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Austria. She returned to her native Czech Republic to receive medical treatment, and doctors have ruled her out of all racing activities until further notice.


Ayla – who was born in Norway but has lived in Houston, Texas, USA, for several years – made her W Series debut last season, which she ended on a high by scoring points in the final race at the Circuit of the Americas. She has previously raced on the Road to Indy programme and worked as a spotter at numerous events, including the Indy 500 where, earlier this year, she spotted for seven-time F1 Grand Prix winner Juan Pablo Montoya.

The Marina Bay Street Circuit staged its first F1 Grand Prix in 2008, when it hosted the first night race in the sport’s history. The 5.063km (3.14 miles) circuit features 23 corners and is one of the most physically demanding on the calendar due to the bumpy track surface and humid conditions.

"I've raced karts in Singapore since the age of eight, and it was always a dream to drive on the Marina Bay Circuit, so I can't believe that dream is becoming a reality. I've been pushing myself a lot in the gym to make sure I'm able to maximise the car and the track, and I was fortunate to have a two-day test in Malaysia to prepare myself for the race."
- Bianca Bustamante (W Series Academy, 17, PHI)

W Series' schedule for this weekend starts on Friday 30 September with a 30-minute practice session under the famous Singapore night race floodlights at 19.45 (local time, SGT), followed by qualifying from 16.45 to 17.15 on Saturday 1 October. The race starts at 16.45 on Sunday 2 October and will be 30 minutes plus one lap.


British fans can watch the seventh race of the 2022 W Series season live from the Marina Bay Street Circuit on Sky Sports F1 from 09.35 BST on Sunday 2 October, with qualifying live on Sky Sports F1 at 09.35 BST on Saturday 1 October. Highlights of the race will be on Channel 4 at 16.45 BST on Sunday 2 October.


The action can also be seen across W Series' digital and social channels, as well as being broadcast in more than 175 territories, with a full list available here.


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