In exactly a month’s time, on Monday September 16th, the first stage of the driver selection programme for the 2020 W Series season will commence at the Circuito de Almeria, Andalusia, south-east Spain. It will be a three-day test, running on Monday September 16th, Tuesday September 17th and Wednesday September 18th.

  • Private Almeria test to decide new-for-2020 drivers
  • W Series to qualify for Super Licence points
  • Top 12 in 2019 W Series championship automatically qualify for 2020
  • Remaining eight W Series places up for grabs

The top 12 finishers in the 2019 W Series championship are already guaranteed places in the 2020 W Series championship, which will earn Super Licence points. They are: Jamie Chadwick (UK), Beitske Visser (NLD), Alice Powell (UK), Marta Garcia (ESP), Emma Kimilainen (FIN), Fabienne Wohlwend (LIE), Miki Koyama (JPN), Sarah Moore (UK), Vicky Piria (ITA), Tasmin Pepper (RSA), Jessica Hawkins (UK) and Sabre Cook (USA). Those 12 will not therefore be required to compete in the Almeria test for the right to race in W Series in 2020. However, one or two of them may attend in order to post lap-times for benchmarking purposes.

The Almeria test will therefore be for new applicants to W Series, of which there are already about 40. However, more are expected. There are two criteria for applicants: they must be female and they must possess an FIA International C racing licence. Aspiring applicants should apply as soon as possible via [email protected].

Catherine Bond Muir, W Series Chief Executive Officer, said:

“As soon as one W Series season ends, another one begins; or, to be precise, the preparations for another one begin.

“The 2019 W Series season has been a roaring success, but we fully intend that the 2020 W Series season will be bigger and better.

“I’m excited to discover the quality of our new applicants, and there’s no better way of appraising them than putting them in W Series race cars for three days, so that’s what we’re going to do.”

Dave Ryan, W Series’ Racing Director, said:

“Prior to the 2019 W Series season, we tested all our drivers at Almeria in W Series race cars – Tatuus T-318 Formula 3 cars powered by 270bhp 1.8-litre in-line four-cylinder turbo engines made by Autotecnica Motori – and we plan to put our new applicants through exactly the same process.

“We’ll have one or two drivers from the pool of 12 who are already guaranteed a 2020 W Series drive on hand too, to post comparative lap-times, the better to enable us to understand the ability and speed of our aspiring newcomers.

“To be clear, the eight drivers who finished outside the top 12 in the 2019 W Series championship are not ineligible for our 2020 season; they’re merely not guaranteed to take part in it. Inevitably they’re now on tenterhooks, eager to race with us again next season, but whether they do or not will to a great extent depend on the quality of the newcomers we test at Almeria in a month’s time.

“Time will tell.”