The all-new free-to-enter single-seater motor racing series for women drivers only – titled W Series – has a prize fund of US$1.5m and aims to offer greater opportunity for women to reach the very top of motorsport.
The inaugural W Series season will begin in spring 2019 and will encompass a number of races run on European circuits, which have staged Formula 1 races for many decades. In forthcoming seasons, the W Series schedule will also include races in the USA, Asia and Australia.
W Series will provide identical cars for 18-20 drivers in season one. The cars will all be identical Tatuus T-318 Formula 3 cars, powered by identical Autotecnica Motori in-line four-cylinder 1.8-liter turbocharged engines, using Sadev 6-speed sequential gearboxes, fitted with halo safety devices.
Free to enter for all its drivers, the W Series will award significant prize monies. Out of a total prize fund of US$1.5m, the overall W Series victor will scoop a pay-out of US$500,000, and there will be prize money awarded all the way down to 18th place in the final standings.
“In order to be a successful racing driver, you have to be skilled, determined, competitive, brave and physically fit, but you don’t have to possess the kind of super-powerful strength levels that some sports require,” said David Coulthard. “You also don’t have to be a man. That’s why we believe that female and male racing drivers can compete with one another on equal terms given the same opportunity.”
“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.”
The British Racing & Sports Car Club (BRSCC) has been appointed by W Series as the organizing club.