W Series Announces Series For Women Drivers Only
W Series today announces an all-new ground-breaking free-to-enter single-seater motor racing series for women drivers only, with a prize fund of US$1.5 million (US$1,500,000).
The inaugural W Series season will commence in the spring of 2019 and will encompass a number of races run on some of the best and most famous circuits in Europe, most of which have staged Formula 1 races for many decades. In forthcoming seasons the W Series schedule is set also to include races in America, Asia and Australia.
W Series will provide identical cars for 18-20 drivers in season one (2019), all of whom will have entered and passed a rigorous pre-selection program/examination involving on-track testing, simulator appraisal, technical engineering tests, fitness trials etc. The successful applicants will then be given a thorough training program centering on driving techniques, simulator exposure, technical engineering approaches, fitness, media skills etc, all of it carried out by a group of experts with decades of Formula 1 experience, meticulously recruited for the purpose: David Coulthard (multiple Grand Prix winner); Adrian Newey (the most successful Chief Design Engineer in modern Formula 1 history); Dave Ryan (40 years’ Formula 1 experience in team management with the McLaren and Manor Formula 1 teams, as well having run his own GT racing team Von Ryan); Matt Bishop (15 years’ experience as a journalist and editor in Formula 1, followed by 10 years’ experience heading up McLaren’s communications, content, media and PR operation in Formula 1).
At the heart of W Series’ DNA is the firm belief that women can compete equally with men in motorsport. However, an all-female series is essential in order to force greater female participation. W Series is therefore a mission-driven competition, the aim of which is not only to provide exciting racing for spectators and viewers on a global scale, but also to equip its drivers with the experience and expertise with which they may progress their careers, racing and honing their skills in W Series before eventually graduating to existing high-level mainstream racing series.
The prize money
Chief Executive Officer: Catherine Bond Muir
Racing Director: Dave Ryan
Communications Director: Matt Bishop
Commercial Director: Tim Crow
Advisory board member: David Coulthard
Advisory board member: Adrian Newey
David Coulthard said:
“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.
“That’s why an all-new all-female single-seater motor racing series is required – W Series – to establish a competitive and constructive motorsport habitat in which our drivers will be able to equip themselves with the necessary skill-set eventually to move on up to existing high-level mainstream racing series and compete with the best male drivers on equal terms.”
Adrian Newey said:
“The reason why so few women have so far raced successfully at the highest levels against men may, however, be a lack of opportunity rather than a lack of capability.
“And that’s why I’m so pleased to be involved in W Series, to contribute to creating a platform on which women drivers can improve by racing one another and from which they may then springboard their careers forward and, yes, ultimately race successfully in F1.”
Dave Ryan said:
“More than that, though, we want W Series to be a catalyst for positive change for all women in motorsport. We want W Series to encourage more girls and young women to study STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] subjects at schools, colleges and universities, so as to build rewarding careers as race mechanics, technicians, engineers, aerodynamicists and so on.”
Catherine Bond Muir said:
“Almost three years later, it’s enormously exciting finally to be able publicly to announce the inauguration of W Series.
“There are just too few women competing in single-seaters series at the moment. W Series will increase that number very significantly in 2019, thereby powerfully unleashing the potential of many more female racing drivers. W Series drivers will become global superstars – inspirational role models for women everywhere – and every organization, 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.
“W Series is an inspiring innovation whose time is now.”
The British Racing & Sports Car Club (BRSCC) have been appointed by W Series as the organizing club.
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