W Series, a new championship open only to women racers, will launch in spring next year.
The British Racing and Sports Car Club will organise the championship which is expected to attract a field of up to 20 competitors. They will compete for a top prize of $500,000 from a total prize fund of £1.5 million.
The championship will use single-specification Tatuus T-318 Formula Three chassis using 1.8-litre turbocharged Autotecnica Motori engines.
The promoters believe W Series will encourage more women to compete at other levels in motorsport. “At the heart of W Series’ DNA is the firm belief that women can compete equally with men in motorsport,” they said in a statement.
“However, an all-female series is essential in order to force greater female participation.”
W Series CEO Catherine Bond Muir said the series will “very significantly” increase the number of female competitors in motor racing.
“There are just too few women competing in single-seaters series at the moment,” she said. “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 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.”
Several key details regarding the championship are yet to be confirmed, including whether drivers will be awarded FIA superlicence points and what circuits the series will visit, although the series’ promoters claimed “the circuits will be some of the best and most famous in Europe, most of which have staged Formula 1 races for many decades.”
Multiple F1 race winner David Coulthard and Red Bull chief technology officer Adrian Newey have been confirmed as advisory board members to W Series.
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