In 2019, the all-female open-wheel W Series held its inaugural season. After six races, the series crowned its very first champion – 21-year old Jamie Chadwick, who currently has her eyes set on Formula 1. 2020 was supposed to mark the second season of the all-female open-wheel series. However, as you all know, the COVID-19 pandemic essentially shut down the world, including all motorsport events.
To keep the racing going, W Series organizers followed the trend of most racing series around the globe by shifting to the virtual world. Called the W Series E-sports League, it runs on the same principle that only female drivers are allowed to compete.
All of the drivers set to compete in the 2020 W Series season will be joining the e-sport series. A total of 18 drivers from around the world will be competing in the upcoming W Series online races: Beitske Visser, Alice Powell, Marta Garcia, Emma Kimilainen, Fabienne Wohlwend, Miki Koyama, Sarah Moore, Vicky Piria, Tasmin Pepper, Jessica Hawkins, Sabre Cook, Ayla Agren, Abbie Eaton, Belen Garcia, Nerea Marti, Irina Sidorkova, Bruna Tomaselli, and inaugural season champion Jamie Chadwick.
In addition to the 18 drivers, W Series also plans to invite other female drivers to participate in the W Series E-sports League races. However, these will be done on an invitational-only basis.
The online races will be held on the iRacing simulator game on the PC. All participants will be using the Tatuus Formula Renault 2.0 race car, which is similar in performance to the W Series Tatuus Formula 3 race car. Up to three races will be held in each of the 10 circuits part of the series calendar.
“In the absence of on-track racing anywhere in the world, as a result of the ongoing global COVID-19 crisis, we at W Series are pleased to announce the inauguration of our own W Series Esports League. I’m extremely impressed by the work that has been done to put it together, in record time, by ourselves and by our partners Logitech, Beyond Entertainment and iRacing, in association with our principal sponsor ROKiT Phones, and I’m confident that the result will be a difficult yet exciting challenge for our drivers and an innovative yet thrilling spectacle for fans watching on YouTube, on Twitch, and on other streaming platforms dedicated to online gaming,” said Catherine Bond Muir, CEO of W Series.