W Series: 18 drivers selected for debut season

The new W Series has announced the names of the female drivers who will race in its inaugural season.

Following four days of trials at the Circuito de Almeria in Spain W Series CEO Catherine Bond Muir revealed that 18 drivers from 13 countries had been selected from a group of 28 for the 2019 debut campaign.

Among the 18 to be selected are five from the United Kingdom – Jamie Chadwick, Esmee Hawkey, Jessica Hawkins, Sarah Moore and Alice Powell – while four more drivers have also been named as reserves.

Bond Muir said: “All our drivers worked diligently, studied hard, and drove well, including those who didn’t make it through. To the 18 drivers who did make it through, I say ‘big congrats and very well done’.

“But I also want to mention our four reserve drivers, who didn’t quite make the final 18 but all impressed our judges. They’ll be disappointed, inevitably, but they’re still part of the W Series family. So that’s it then. Our driver selection programme is complete. Let’s go racing!”

Natural speed

Ex-Formula 1 star David Coulthard, the W Series advisory board chairman, said that selecting the final driver line-up had been tough.

He said: “This has been a more difficult selection process than we ever could have dreamt of in terms of how close it has been across the field. 

“The rate of learning has been really impressive to see, and that’s absolutely what we need to see in those who have relatively little experience in single-seaters, but have got natural speed.

“The emotion attached to it has got nothing whatever to do with whether they’re male or female. It’s just that, having had the pleasure of being a professional driver, I know how privileged that is, and I sincerely want all of them who have gone through this process to have professional racing careers at whatever level their talent will allow them to go to.

“This represents today one big step closer to them realising that dream, and I think everyone at W Series can be proud of their contribution to putting these racers on track, who just happen to be women.”

Heading to Hockenheim

The first all-female motor sport championship has six races on the calendar in 2019. The season starts at Hockenheim in Germany in May and finishes at Brands Hatch in the UK in August.

W Series will be raced using identical single-seat Tatuus T-318 Formula 3 cars. Ahead of the first race the cars will be prepared for a pre-season test at the Lausitzring in Germany from 14-16 April.

2019 W Series calendar
  • 3-4 May: Hockenheim, Germany 
  • 17-18 May: Zolder, Belgium 
  • 7-8 June: Misano, Italy 
  • 5-6 July: Norisring, Germany 
  • 19-20 July: Assen, Netherlands 
  • 10-11 August: Brands Hatch, United Kingdom
W Series: the 18 drivers
  • Jamie Chadwick (UK) 
  • Sabre Cook (USA) 
  • Marta Garcia (Spain) 
  • Megan Gilkes (Canada) 
  • Esmee Hawkey (UK) 
  • Jessica Hawkins (UK) 
  • Shea Holbrook (USA) 
  • Emma Kimilainen (Finland) 
  • Miki Koyama (Japan) 
  • Sarah Moore (UK) 
  • Tasmin Pepper (South Africa) 
  • Vicky Piria (Italy) 
  • Alice Powell (UK) 
  • Gosia Rdest (Poland) 
  • Naomi Schiff (Belgium) 
  • Beitske Visser (Netherlands) 
  • Fabienne Wohlwend (Liechtenstein) 
  • Caitlin Wood (Australia) 
  • Reserves: Sarah Bovy (Belgium), Vivien Keszthelyi (Hungary), Stephane Kox (Netherlands),  Francesca Linossi (Italy)


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