Women-only racing championship aims to find F1 stars

Jamie Chadwick

Future expansion in Australia, Asia and the Americas is expected longer term.

Free entry and participation will be awarded to drivers on the basis of performance and merit after a "vigorous" selection and testing process.

"In order to be a successful racing driver, you have to be skilled, determined, competitive, fearless and physically fit", he said.

Coulthard said, however, that women tended to reach a "glass ceiling" at Formula Three level, often due to a lack of funding.

A new all-female racing series was launched yesterday, supported by former Grand Prix driver David Coulthard and top designer Adrian Newey, with the aim of helping women racers get to Formula One.

"I will still race against men in other championships but W Series is the flawless supplement to help me develop and progress further through the junior motorsport ranks".

However, 13-time grand prix victor Coulthard says strength is not a barrier to women making it to the upper echelons of motorsport, and hopes that the series can provide the funding that is often lacking when females try to rise through the ranks. "Those with funding to help female racers are choosing to segregate them as opposed to supporting them".

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According to reports, this brand new all-women series shall use Formula Three specification cars and the victor will earn $500,000 going down till 18th place.

The W series, the new worldwide "formula" championship for women kicks off next year with the aim to help women in their quest for Formula 1. In the first season, there will be 18-20 drivers will which will be behind the wheel of a Tatuus T-318 Formula 3 race auto.

In the entirety of Formula 1, there has been no female Formula 1 Grand Prix race victor, let alone a world champion.

Plans have been unveiled today (Wednesday) for a new female-only motor racing series which aims to bridge the gap to elite championships and create "global superstars" out of its drivers. Much like Formula 1, the cars will also be equipped with a Halo safety device.

Newey said: "I believe that the reason why so few women have so far raced successfully at the highest levels against men is a lack of opportunity rather than a lack of capability".

"We fundamentally believe that the best opportunity to identify top female talent is by facilitating a dynamic where more women can compete and rise to the top in a mixed competition on equal terms". The last was Lella Lombardi, who wrestled an uncompetitive RAM Racing Brabham BT44B to 12 at the 1976 Austrian GP.

Giovanna Amati was the last to attempt to enter a race in 1992, failing to qualify. Charlie Martin - who is hoping to become the first transgender competitor in the 24 hours of Le Mans - claims the series is "founded on segregation".

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