Beitske Visser becomes first W Series Esports champion | FOS Future Lab
Dutch racer Beitske Visser has won the first ever W Series Esports League, with nine of the event’s ten rounds completed.
Like so many other motorsports, W Series has fallen victim to the disorder caused by COVID-19. 2020 would have been the championship’s second season, with British driver Jamie Chadwick winning the first season in 2019. The racers now won’t turn a wheel on the real race track until 2021, and to replace this on-track action W Series staged an esports series for the 18 women who qualified for 2020 and invited guest drivers – though only the W Series drivers are eligible for championship points.
The series uses a three-race format for each round. Drivers would qualify for the first and third races at each event, with a reverse grid race in-between. With 20 points on offer for each win, and a point for fastest lap, that means a maximum of 63 points each time.
Visser, who finished as runner-up to Chadwick in the 2019 W Series, proved the form driver throughout the event. She was the very first race winner in the series, hosted on the iRacing platform, and has won 11 of the 27 races in total.
Indeed Visser’s early season form was stunning, winning the first five regular races – two each at Monza and Circuit of the Americas, and race one at Brands Hatch – before 17-year old W Series rookie Irina Sidorkova broke her streak. Indeed Sidorkova was Visser’s closest challenger throughout the early part of the season, but she couldn’t stop the Dutch driver from recording an almost a perfect round in the subsequent stop at Interlagos: 60 points courtesy of two race wins, three fastest laps, and a second place in the reverse grid race.
The Russian’s challenge fell away, with Spain’s Marta Garcia picking up the pace in the second half of the season. Garcia won both of the main races at Spa, and shared victories with Visser at Watkins Glen, before another double at Suzuka to move her up into second and narrow Visser’s lead.
However Visser’s form was relentless. The duo traded wins at the Bathurst event at the start of August, but two further wins for Visser at this weekend’s round at the Nürburgring Nordschleife – and a third place in the reverse grid race – means she heads into the final round at Silverstone with an unassailable 68-point lead. Similarly, Garcia’s form means she’s guaranteed the runner-up spot, with a 63-point advantage over Sidorkova but four more race wins than the Russian.
Speaking to W Series, Visser commented: “It feels really good to win the W Series Esports League. From the start of the League season I’ve been very strong so I’m happy that I could win it with one round to spare. I didn’t realise until someone told me afterwards that I’d not only won the League but also 11 races out of the 27 we’ve had so far! Racing drivers want to win everything so it means a lot to me.”
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