W Series builds up for 2020 season with Almeria driver selection test

W Series returns to Almeria, Spain on Monday, September 16, as it builds up for the 2020 season with a new driver selection test.

  • Fourteen new drivers travelling to Almeria, Spain, to compete for 2020 grid place
  • Top 12 drivers of 2019 invited to return for 2020 season, leaving just eight W Series vacancies
  • Three-day test to include both simulator and track evaluation
  • Beitske Visser and Miki Koyama, 2019 championship drivers, to set benchmark times
  • Almeria test follows an initial SIM-based shortlisting event at the W Series technical centre

Fourteen new drivers from 12 different countries around the world, will travel to Almeria, southern Spain, to take part in the selection programme which will determine the grid for the 2020 season, only the second since W Series was launched in October 2019. 

The three-day test will include concentrated evaluation using the sophisticated W Series race simulators as well as circuit time in the state-of-the-art Tatuus T-318.  The 2019 championship drivers, Beitske Visser and Miki Koyama, will support the evaluation of the newcomers by setting benchmark times around the 4.2km circuit. 

In identifying the 14 shortlisted drivers, W Series hosted an invitation-only SIM event at its Dunsfold technical centre in Surrey.  Drivers from 6 different countries not only logged free-practice and qualification test laps on a variety of European circuits but also took part in full-length races in order to demonstrate their skill and experience.  

Catherine Bond Muir, W Series CEO, said:

“Our inaugural W Series season has succeeded beyond our wildest expectations in so many ways, and so we are all incredibly excited to see what 2020 brings – not just in terms of the new driving talent we hope to see in Almeria, but also the new fans and enthusiasts from across the globe we hope to bring as we start our second year re-defining women’s motorsport.”

Dave Ryan, W Series Racing Director, said:

“Almeria is a technical and unforgiving circuit and as such is a perfect stage for aspiring drivers to show us their talent.  With Beitske and Miki both on hand to set reference laps, we will soon be able to see who has what it takes to join W Series next season.”

The 14 new drivers attending the Almeria are:

Abbie Eaton, UK

Abbie Munro, UK

Anna Inotsume, Japan

Ayla Agren, Norway

Belen Garcia, Spain

Bruna Tomaselli, Brazil

Cheslea Herbert, New Zealand

Courtney Crone, USA

Gabriela Jilkova, Czech Republic

Hannah Grisham, USA

Irina Sidorkova, Russia

Katherine Legge, UK

Michelle Gatting, Denmark

Nerea Marti, Spain

The 12 most successful drivers of the W Series 2019 championship and who automatically qualify for entry into the 2020 season are: Jamie Chadwick (2019 champion); Beitske Visser, Alice Powell, Marta Garcia, Emma Kimilainen, Fabienne Wohlwend, Miki Koyama, Sarah Moore, Vicky Piria, Tasmin Pepper, Jess Hawkins and Sabre Cook.

The 2020 W Series will be eligible for FIA Super Licence points. The FIA is currently determining the number of points that will be awarded, and the number of drivers who will receive them.