New motorsport series for women to begin next year

LEIPZIG, Germany: A new single-seater motorsport series exclusively for women is to start next year with the goal of providing a springboard into Formula One, organisers said on Wednesday.
The six-round W Series, offering a $1.5-million prize-fund,will begin in spring 2019 with races at unrevealed venues in Europe though there is hope for future expansion to the United States and Australia.
“We at W Series firmly believe that female and male racing drivers can compete with one another on equal terms given the same opportunity,” former F1 driver David Coulthard said.
“At the moment, however, women racing drivers tend to reach a ‘glass ceiling’ at around the GP3/Formula 3 level on their learning curve, often as a result of a lack of funding rather than a lack of talent.”
The series hopes to “establish a competitive and constructive motorsport habitat” to provide the “necessary skill-set” to eventually race in F1.
Drivers will not have to bring sponsorship to compete but must pass a jury selection for one of the 18-20 race seats in identical Tatuus T-318 Formula 3 cars on the grid.
“There are just too few women competing in single-seaters series at the moment,” Chief Executive Catherine Bond Muir said. “W Series will increase that number very significantly in 2019, thereby powerfully unleashing the potential of many more female racing drivers.”
Red Bull star designer Adrian Newey and former McLaren manager DaveRyan are also involved in the project. — dpa