W Series, the international single-seater motor racing championship for female drivers only, 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)
Nürburgring Nordschleife (Germany)
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.
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!