Jamie Chadwick’s Road America win is the catalyst needed to progress

12th June 2024
Simon Ostler

Jamie Chadwick reaffirmed her status as a shining light for women in motorsport when she took the chequered flag at Road America to win her first race in Indy NXT, her first victory since the collapse of W Series in 2022.


It was a historic win, the first for a female driver in Indy NXT (formerly Indy Lights) since Pippa Mann’s triumph at Kentucky Motor Speedway back in 2010. Chadwick’s win at Road America however was the first for a woman on a road course.

Like most of the world’s aspiring racing drivers, Jamie Chadwick has her sights set on one day reaching Formula 1, and while her role as Williams’ Development Driver has given her a regular entry into the F1 paddock, there doesn’t appear to be an opportunity to get behind the wheel of an F1 car on the horizon.

In the short term at least, her best chance of racing in top-tier motorsport was a move to the US, where IndyCar has a far more favourable history of female talent. The likes of Danica Patrick, Simona de Silvestro, Sarah Fischer, Katherine Legge, Pippa Mann, Ana Beatriz, Milka Duno, and Tatiana Calderon have all raced in America’s premier single-seater series since the turn of the century.

To date, Patrick is the only woman to win an IndyCar race, the 2008 Indy Japan 300 at Motegi. 


Chadwick’s career in Indy NXT got off to a quiet start. After dominating in W Series, she was picked up by Andretti to race in 2023 and showed decent consistency to finish the season as the only driver to reach the chequered flag in every race.

Moving into 2024, her target was to make progress towards the front of the field, with the ultimate aim of forging a path into IndyCar. Prior to arriving at Road America, there were signs that she was building towards success, with a podium in Portland and another strong performance in Detroit.

But her performance at Road America was a step up again, a quite remarkable performance that saw her take her first Indy NXT pole position and lead every single lap to win ahead of runaway championship contenders Louis Foster and Jacob Abel.

Suddenly Chadwick has put herself back in the headlines, and all eyes will now be watching to see if she can continue her strong run of form. With eight races to go until the end of her season in Indy NXT, she has an opportunity to show her Andretti team, Williams, and any other prospective IndyCar suitors that she deserves a spot in the highest level of motorsport.


Just how far can she go? There’s no doubting her talent, her dominant performances in W Series at the head of a field that included many of this season’s F1 Academy drivers, are evidence of her capabilities, and her victory at Road America proves she can deliver in Indy NXT. But now it’s time to start building a run of results, perhaps even constructing a title challenge in the second half the season.

At the age of 26, she needs to continue making quick progress if her dream of racing in F1 is ever to manifest, graduation to IndyCar has to be the goal for 2025. The confidence boost of a race win can be the catalyst that carries Chadwick on to further successes in 2024, then at least she’ll have given herself a chance.

During my conversation with her at the Members’ Meeting last year, her drive to continue climbing the motorsport ladder was obvious. She’ll be leaving no stone unturned on her quest to become an F1 driver, and the work she’s doing over in the US right now is testament to that. There’s no doubt she’s going about her racing career in the best possible way.

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