All-female race series coming in 2019
W Series race car
Women racers of the world will soon have a top-level competition to showcase their skills. The new W Series launch in spring 2019 and is open to 18-20 female racing drivers. The series aims to hone female drivers’ racing skills and promote their talents across all avenues of motorsport.
While critics will balk at the idea of segregated motorsport series, organizers claim the time has come for an all-female motorsport series. Advisory board member for the W Series David Coulthard said there tends to be a glass ceiling for female drivers.
“At the moment, however, women racing drivers tend to reach a glass ceiling at around the GP3/Formula 3 level on their learning curve, often as a result of a lack of funding rather than a lack of talent,” he noted.
W Series is meant to hone female racers’ skills to propel them into the big leagues dominated by male drivers. All management members agreed the lack of women in top-echelon motorsport comes from a lack of opportunity, not capability.
“W Series drivers will become global superstars—inspirational role models for women everywhere—and every organisation, every company, every sponsor and indeed every single person who helps W Series’ winners and champions achieve those ground-breaking successes will be able to celebrate their part in it, publicly, to lasting worldwide acclaim,” Catherine Bond Muir, CEO of W Series, added.
W Series will take its drivers across some of Europe’s most famous circuits, though the organization didn’t identify specific tracks yet. Instead, the series insisted drivers will compete at some of the same locations where F1 stages races. Drivers will be given identical Tatuus T-318 Formula 3 cars powered by Autotecnica Motori 1.8-liter turbocharged inline-4 engines paired with six-speed sequential gearboxes. Like F1 cars, they will also be fitted halo safety devices.
It won’t be a simple task to qualify and become a W Series driver, however. Organizers will put each applicant through a pre-selection program, which will involve on-track testing, simulator appraisal, technical engineering tests, and fitness trials. And when the series comes to a close, there will be $1.5 million up for grabs with first place taking $500,000.
Following its inaugural season, W Series plans to take the motorsport to areas outside of Europe, including Asia and North America.