W Series Norisring race results: Marta Garcia scores her first series win

Marta Garcia led from pole in Germany Saturday.

Marta Garcia won round four of the W Series at the Norisring in Germany Saturday, leading championship combatants Beitske Visser and Jamie Chadwick as the top three in the standings all stood on the podium.

Heading into the Norisring round of the W Series, Garcia sat third in the championship points to Visser and Chadwick and, while still third, the gap to the front has closed.

Visser made the strongest start of the top order, climbing from fifth to second on the first lap to lead the charge against Garcia.

On lap four, it was race all but over for U.S. driver Shea Holbrook, although through no fault of her own. British driver Sarah Moore had managed to get a run on Holbrook into turn one but locked her rear tires as she attempted to pull off the pass. The minor lockup was enough to send Moore into a spin and Holbrook was a passenger as contact was made.

Moore was only able to continue for a few corners more herself, the front left suspension giving in as a result of the contact. Holbrook was forced to pit but did return to the track, albeit a number of laps down. Further insult was added to injury though when Holbrook received a penalty for speeding in the pitlane.

Moments later Vicky Piria was handed a ten-second penalty for jumping the start. Lapping in eleventh, this penalty took away any hope of gaining points from the weekend.

Out at the front, Garcia was able to extend her gap to Visser and Chadwick to 3-seconds by the mid-point of the race.

Sights from the W Series action at the Norisring in Germany July 6, 2019

Sights from the W Series action at the Norisring in Germany July 6, 2019

Sights from the W Series action at the Norisring in Germany July 6, 2019

Sights from the W Series action at the Norisring in Germany July 6, 2019

Sights from the W Series action at the Norisring in Germany July 6, 2019

Sights from the W Series action at the Norisring in Germany July 6, 2019

Sights from the W Series action at the Norisring in Germany July 6, 2019

Sights from the W Series action at the Norisring in Germany July 6, 2019

Sights from the W Series action at the Norisring in Germany July 6, 2019

Sights from the W Series action at the Norisring in Germany July 6, 2019

Sights from the W Series action at the Norisring in Germany July 6, 2019

Sights from the W Series action at the Norisring in Germany July 6, 2019

Sights from the W Series action at the Norisring in Germany July 6, 2019

Sights from the W Series action at the Norisring in Germany July 6, 2019

Sights from the W Series action at the Norisring in Germany July 6, 2019

Sights from the W Series action at the Norisring in Germany July 6, 2019

Sights from the W Series action at the Norisring in Germany July 6, 2019

Sights from the W Series action at the Norisring in Germany July 6, 2019

Sights from the W Series action at the Norisring in Germany July 6, 2019

Sights from the W Series action at the Norisring in Germany July 6, 2019

Sights from the W Series action at the Norisring in Germany July 6, 2019

Sights from the W Series action at the Norisring in Germany July 6, 2019

Sights from the W Series action at the Norisring in Germany July 6, 2019

Sights from the W Series action at the Norisring in Germany July 6, 2019

Sights from the W Series action at the Norisring in Germany July 6, 2019

Sights from the W Series action at the Norisring in Germany July 6, 2019

Sights from the W Series action at the Norisring in Germany July 6, 2019

Sights from the W Series action at the Norisring in Germany July 6, 2019

Sights from the W Series action at the Norisring in Germany July 6, 2019

Sights from the W Series action at the Norisring in Germany July 6, 2019

Sights from the W Series action at the Norisring in Germany July 6, 2019

Sights from the W Series action at the Norisring in Germany July 6, 2019

For Gosia Rdest, fastest in second practice on Friday, Saturday spiraled into a day to forget. Involved in contact early on, Rdest was forced to pit for a nose change but, just like Holbrook, failed to keep to the pitlane speed limit, resulting in a drive through penalty.

Entering the final ten minutes of the race Garcia’s now 4-second lead was beginning to shrink. Visser, on the hunt for a second race win in the W Series, was setting fastest lap times and Chadwick was keeping in the tow, being dragged forwards.

With two minutes remaining, both Alice Powell and Jessica Hawkins were struck by reliability problems. For Powell, a fuel pickup issue put an end to her run from last on the grid into the top eight while for Hawkins, an engine misfire forced her to retire from the top six.

As the checkered flag flew, the charge of Visser had halted and Garcia came home to take her first win of the season. Visser closed the championship gap to Chadwick to just ten-points with second and Chadwick completed the podium.

“It’s never easy,” said Garcia. “I had a really good start and then took the pace, it was a quite good pace and I just pulled away from there. I’m really, really happy.”

Looking at the championship situation, Garcia is now just 23-points off the championship lead, but she was realistic about her chances.

“While it’s there to win, I will try, but it’s difficult,” said Garcia. “We are I the fourth race, we have two left. I will try to do my best obviously.”

There are now two rounds left in the W Series season.

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