The Formula 3 spec all-female motorsports championship W Series has canceled its eight-race schedule for 2020. The decision was made in consultation with the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), Formula 1, German Touring Car Masters (DTM), and its partners and suppliers. Until the championship returns in 2021 with at least two races on the Formula 1 calendar (in Austin, Texas, and in Mexico City), the series will engage its fans, drivers, and partners through its new W Series Esports League.
The 2020 W Series Esports League features a 10-circuit calendar, which will be run in collaboration with peripherals manufacturer Logitech G, Logitech-owned esports community and news company Beyond Entertainment, and sim racing software iRacing. Races, of which up to three will be held per track, will feature digital versions of the Tatuus Formula Renault 2.0 race car, which is similar in performance to the W Series Tatuus Formula 3 race car.
The all-female esports championship will feature all 18 drivers who qualified to race in the on-track W Series this year, which its CEO Catherine Bond Muir describes as “a global movement that exists to support the careers of female racing drivers everywhere, and to foster interest in and enthusiasm for motor racing among girls and women all over the world.“ Additionally, three of last year’s competitors will join the series, two as participants and one as reserve driver.
“For now it’s the only way to race. I can only speak for myself, but I think most of the others are also really enjoying sim racing, but obviously it’s not like the real world,” last year’s W Series runner-up Beitske Visser, told The Esports Observer. “The real car is definitely 10 times better to drive, but I have been enjoying sim racing so far. I also think it’s a good help to stay in racing mode during the time that we can’t race. We spend a lot of time learning the tracks. I think it’s definitely helping us all for when we get back in the real car.”
Once the championship goes live on June 11, points will be awarded in every race. At the end of the W Series Esports League season, the driver who has scored the most points will be declared the winner. The prize money for the championship has yet to be decided.
The esports initiative is also supported by W Series main sponsor ROKiT Phones and ROKiT’s Bavarian beer brand ABK Beer.