Alice Powell wins W Series season opener in Austria

SPIELBERG, Austria -- Alice Powell won an eventful season-opening race of the W Series on Saturday.

The British driver, who was also fastest in Friday's practice and qualifying, led from start to finish in the race full of collisions and spins on the track of Formula One's Styrian Grand Prix.

Sarah Moore of Britain and Fabienne Wohlwend of Liechtenstein finished second and third, respectively.

Powell won the last race of the inaugural W Series two years ago at Brands Hatch to finish third in the drivers' standings.

Defending champion Jamie Chadwick finished seventh, having started eighth after a technical issue in qualifying. Chadwick had to chase from the back of the pack after she was hit from behind on Lap 2 by Jess Hawkins, an incident that was under investigation by stewards.

The second race is scheduled on the same track in the Austrian Alps next Saturday, a day before F1's Austrian GP.

The W Series is an all-female championship aimed at promoting women in motorsports as drivers and engineers. It started in 2019 but was canceled last year amid the pandemic.