W SERIES TITLE BATTLES ENTERS CLOSING STAGES AT ASSEN


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Rather like Misano, which was the venue for the third race of the 2019 W Series season, Assen is best known for motorcycle racing.

The original circuit, all 28.5 kilometres (17.75 miles) of it, opened in 1925 and was made up of country roads. Various revisions over the years have shortened the lap but Assen has retained its reputation as ‘the cathedral’ of motorcycle racing. The current layout is just 4.5 kilometres but the modifications have made the track far more friendly for four wheels, as well as two. Assen only really has one ‘slow’ corner (Turn 4), the rest of the circuit made up of fast, flowing sweeps and long, flat-out straights. The preferred overtaking opportunity is into the chicane at the end of lap , but it is a circuit that rewards precision and a small mistake can mean a huge loss of momentum and track position.

Local hero Beitske Visser, who is second in the W Series standings, will relish the opportunity of two bites at glory at her home race weekend. There will be the traditional championship race on the Saturday but, for the first time, there will a non-championship race the next day. There will be no points on offer, but the reverse-grid format should serve up yet another exciting race. Expect championship leader Jamie Chadwick, Visser and Norisring winner Marta Garcia to be the frontrunners on Saturday, but Sunday is impossible to predict and a chance to shine for the entire W Series grid.

Catherine Bond Muir, W Series CEO

“At W Series we continue to innovate and I’m really excited about the reverse-grid race on Sunday at Assen. This will be a chance for drivers who might not have had a lot of luck so far to show what they can do at the front. It will provide a great opportunity and is a wonderful addition to the schedule. There is also a championship to focus on and it’s getting tight at the top. Marta Garcia showed what an exciting talent she is at the Norisring and Beitske Visser and Jamie Chadwick won’t have things all their own way. I’m delighted with how W Series has developed during the season and Assen looks set to be another thrilling weekend of racing.”

Dave Ryan, W Series Racing Director

“Naturally, much of the focus at Assen will on the battle for the inaugural W Series championship, but there will be so much more to look out for. I’ve been really impressed with how many of the drivers have developed throughout the season but not all have got the results they have deserved. This is why the reverse-grid race on Sunday is so important. There will be no championship points on offer but we’re very likely to see some new faces fighting for a win and it will be interesting to see how they cope.”

Where to watch

TV broadcast deals with a variety of suppliers will provide high-quality coverage in almost 60 different territories worldwide. In the UK, Channel 4’s live coverage of the build-up and race will start at 14:45 BST.

Sunday’s reverse-grid race will be streamed live without geo-restrictions on W Series’ official social media channels. Full details to follow.

Fan focus: What to expect when I get there

The TT Circuit Assen is located in the north of The Netherlands just south of the town from which it takes its name. The nearest international airport is at Groningen, just 15 kilometres away, and Amsterdam is less than two hours drive. Assen is right in the heart of the Drenthe region, which is prime Dutch cycling country, so you can’t escape the two-wheeled connection with the area. Groningen, known as ‘the metropolis of the north’, is famed for its lively nightlife as well museums and theatres.

Weather forecast

Friday, July 19th. 24 degrees with a 15% chance of rain. The weather can be fickle in this part of The Netherlands, but there should be plenty of opportunity to chase the optimum set-up.

Saturday, July 20th. 23 degrees with a 36% chance of rain. A little cooler with a light south-westerly breeze. The threat of rain will be a concern.

Sunday, July 21st. 21 degrees with an 11% chance of rain. The reverse-grid race is early in the morning so there should be plenty of grip in the cooler temperatures.