Guest drivers for Suzuka

There will be two new names on the timing screens for Round Seven of the W Series Esports League this Thursday, when Hannah Grisham and Gabriela Jilkova will line up on the grid at Suzuka. 

Both Hannah and Gabriela are familiar with W Series having taken part in testing in Almeria, Spain, last year, and they have now been invited to compete with the rest of the W Series Esports League drivers in the three races at the iconic Japanese circuit.  

Hannah, 20, made her karting debut at the age of six after her parents bought her a go-kart as a birthday present, and she has gone on to make more than 800 competitive starts in karts and cars from club to national level. At the age of 16 she graduated from karting to Spec Miata, where she won the Southern California Teen Mazda Challenge Championship and Southern California Regional Championship. Hannah, from Glendora, California, USA, is now focused on open-wheel racing and studying for a degree in business and finance.

Gabriela, 25, started driving at the age of five when she tried a kart while on holiday with her parents in Croatia. The owner of the karting rental company suggested that Gabriela should compete regularly and she rose through the ranks in her native Czech Republic, winning the Kadet, ROK Junior and ROK senior championships. She progressed to racing single-seater cars in her teens, competing in Formula Renault 2.0, while also racing in several endurance racing series, including the R1 Endurance Cup. As well as racing, Gabriela now runs the ‘Quick Gabi’ racing academy.

As guest drivers, Hannah and Gabriela will not be eligible to score W Series Esports League points. W Series reserves the right to invite other female drivers to participate in W Series Esports League races on the same basis.

Round Seven of the W Series Esports League at Suzuka International Racing Course, Japan, is on this Thursday, 23 July at 19:00 BST. Watch all three races on BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button, BBC Sport website and W Series’ Twitch, YouTube and Facebook channels.