W Series is pleased to announce the inauguration of an all-new W Series Esports League for female racing drivers only.
Partnering with Logitech G (a global leader in PC and console gaming gear), Beyond Entertainment (a community-driven organisation that specialises in hosting high-calibre tournaments) and iRacing (the leading esports simulation platform), the W Series Esports League will commence its sim racing season in the coming weeks in the current absence of on-track motor racing anywhere in the world.
A brand-new initiative, the W Series Esports League aims to inaugurate, publicise, promote and empower a shared commitment to raising female sim racing visibility in order to encourage more women and girls everywhere to take up eracing, thereby opening up a new world of equality and diversity in what has previously been seen as a predominantly male-dominated activity.
Unlike many other sim racing initiatives, the W Series Esports League will be contested by women only, and all 18 drivers who have qualified to race in the on-track W Series this year are expected to take part, as follows:
- Jamie Chadwick, United Kingdom, 21
- Beitske Visser, Netherlands, 25
- Alice Powell, United Kingdom, 27
- Marta Garcia, Spain, 19
- Emma Kimilainen, Finland, 30
- Fabienne Wohlwend, Liechtenstein, 22
- Miki Koyama, Japan, 22
- Sarah Moore, United Kingdom, 26
- Vicky Piria, Italy, 26
- Tasmin Pepper, South Africa, 29
- Jessica Hawkins, United Kingdom, 25
- Sabre Cook, United States, 25
- Ayla Agren, Norway, 26
- Abbie Eaton, United Kingdom, 28
- Belen Garcia, Spain, 20
- Nerea Marti, Spain, 18
- Irina Sidorkova, Russia, 16
- Bruna Tomaselli, Brazil, 22
In addition, W Series reserves the right to invite other female drivers to participate in W Series Esports League races on an invitational basis.
The W Series Esports League races will be run on 10 of the greatest circuits in the world, in the following order:
|Autodromo Nazionale di Monza||Italy|
|Circuit of the Americas||Austin Texas, United States|
|Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit||United Kingdom|
|Autódromo José Carlos Pace||Interlagos, Brazil|
|Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps||Belgium|
|Watkins Glen International||New York, United States|
|Suzuka International Racing Course||Japan|
|Mount Panorama Circuit||Bathurst, Australia|
|Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit||United Kingdom|
Working closely with Logitech, Beyond Entertainment and iRacing, the W Series Esports League will feature digital versions of the Tatuus Formula Renault 2.0 race car, similar in performance to the W Series Tatuus Formula 3 race car, accurately modelled to replicate its looks, performance and driver ‘feel’, thereby creating an innovative state-of-the-art visual spectacle that further blurs the lines between real and virtual.
W Series Esports League points will be awarded in every race. At the end of the W Series Esports League season, the driver who has scored the most points will be declared the winner of the W Series Esports League Title.
Up to three races will be run at each of the 10 circuits, of varying lengths/durations, the majority of them conventional races started on grids formed according to normal qualifying sessions, but some of them reverse-grid races started on grids formed in reverse order of current W Series Esports League points standings.
Catherine Bond Muir (Chief Executive Officer, W Series) said:
“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.”
David Coulthard (Chairman, W Series Advisory Board) said:
“The 2019 W Series championship was a brilliantly successful and hugely popular six-race debut season, and I’m sure that the 2020 W Series championship, which has been scheduled over eight races, would have been even bigger and even better. We intend to stage on-track W Series races once the global COVID-19 crisis has subsided, whenever that will be, but, in the meantime, we’re delighted to have created the next best thing, the W Series Esports League, which will race on 10 of the greatest racetracks in the world.
“I began my racing career prior to the digital revolution, so I’d be the first to admit that I’m not an ace sim racer, but I recognise the brilliance of modern esports and I’m very much looking forward to watching our W Series drivers take each other on, racing wheel-to-wheel, on identical set-ups, remotely, from their own homes, all over the world.”
Jamie Chadwick (Reigning Champion, W Series) said:
“Nothing beats the sheer thrill of driving a real race car flat-out on a real racetrack, and I don’t mind admitting I’m missing that enormously. But I’ve been massively impressed by the work that W Series, Logitech, Beyond Entertainment and iRacing have done together over the past few weeks, and the result, the W Series Esports League, is seriously impressive.
“Moreover, when I saw the list of circuits, I literally gasped: it’s a truly mouth-watering schedule. So you can be well sure I’ll be practising hard from now until the first W Series Esports League race. It won’t be easy to continue my winning form – I respect all the W Series drivers and I know how keen they’ll all be to do well – but I’ll definitely be giving it my best shot. Bring it on!”
Jim Hoey (Global Head of G Challenge, Logitech) said:
“With W Series we’re excited to open the world of sim racing to women all over the world. Once you sit behind the wheel, it doesn’t matter your race or gender – all it matters is how fast you can go!”
Joseph Bentley (Head of Beyond Entertainment at Logitech) said:
“We are excited to partner with W Series to deliver high-stakes sim racing competitions designed to showcase the best women drivers across the globe. It is no secret that women in particular are under-represented in esports and, by collaborating with W Series, Beyond is proud to continue working as a positive force for change in the esports industry.”
Otto Szebeni (Director, Sales and Marketing, iRacing) said:
“We’re thrilled to partner with W Series on its esports initiative. The pairing of the world’s premier online motorsport simulation with the very best female racers from around the world is sure to put on extremely competitive on-track battles at a time when no other racing is available.”
The eight-race 2020 W Series was originally scheduled to begin with six races on the DTM platform, kicking off in St Petersburg, Russia, on May 29-30. However, DTM has now postponed that race until the autumn, owing to the global COVID-19 crisis. W Series has not yet made any announcement as to when or where its next on-track races will be staged, since the situation surrounding the global COVID-19 crisis is still so fluid, but, prior to resumption of on-track W Series racing, whenever that will be, the W Series Esports League will stage sim races on 10 of the greatest circuits in the world, made famous by Formula 1, IndyCar, the World Endurance Championship, DTM and other top-class international racing series.
Further information on the new W Series Esports League, including race dates and details on how and where to watch it, will be revealed soon.
No decision has yet been made in respect of any W Series Esports League prize money.