W Series: Emma Kimilainen earns first 2021 pole ahead of F1 Dutch GP weekend

Emma Kimilainen

Emma Kimiläinen will start on pole position for the sixth round of the 2021 W Series season after a dramatic end to the Zandvoort qualifier.

The Finnish driver will lead the line at the Dutch Grand Prix on Saturday after clocking the fastest lap time of 1.34.300.

British duo Alice Powell and Jamie Chadwick make up the fastest three drivers from the qualifying round. The two are currently locked in a close battle for this season’s title and Kimiläinen’s pole position could spice things up even more.

An early red flag brought the race to a halt after Fabienne Wohlwend made contact with the barrier following a mistimed corner at Zandvoort. 

After the restart, the top three drivers kept the pressure on one another – with the fastest time ever-changing, until the race was stopped again just minutes before the end after Sabre Cook spun onto the gravel.

A dramatic final five minutes looked to announce Powell as the pole starter but a correction in timings will see Kimiläinen start in P1 for the first time this season.

Chadwick currently leads the drivers’ standings with 91 points but Powell is hot on her heels. Just seven points separate the two Brits who have been tussling at the top of the table since the second round in Austria. 

However, Kimiläinen has quietly climbed the standings over the last couple of races and could look to make the title race even more entertaining with a win at Zandvoort. The 32-year-old secured the win last time out at Spa in the Belgian Grand Prix to take third place in the table with 60 points.

Powell has already bettered her overall tally from the six-race 2019 season – she finished third with 76 points, rounding off the inaugural W Series campaign with a win at Brands Hatch.

Since the start of the 2021 season, only three different drivers have come away with wins. The championship drama will only heat up on Saturday as Kimiläinen looks to close the gap on her British rivals.

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You can watch the sixth round of the W Series live from Zandvoort on Channel 4 for UK viewers. Sky Sports F1, DAZN, and beIN SPORTS, along with many other broadcasters will air the Dutch Grand Prix for those overseas.

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