Fifty-five female racing talents have been nominated for the inaugural all-female W series starting in May 2019.

The “long-list” – as it’s described – includes three Australians featuring Chelsea Angelo who completed the Australian Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge this year, Charlotte Poynting from the Aussie Racing Cars Series and Caitlin Wood competing overseas in the Blancpain GT Series.

Other big names include former Lotus F1 test driver Carmen Jorda, British GT4 champion Jamie Chadwick and British Formula Renault champion, Alice Powell.

Numerous current and recent GP3 drivers plus Road to Indy stars also feature throughout the qualifiers including American F1600 champion from Norway, Ayla Agren.

The ground-breaking series aims to enhance female participation in motorsport helping rising stars get to motorsport’s top tiers. The eventual 18-20 drivers selected will be awarded a free entry into the series competing in identical Tatuus T-318 Formula 3 cars with a top prize of $500,000 (USD) for the winner and a total prize fund of $1.5 million.

The drivers will also gain access to a range of thorough support facilities including driving techniques, simulator and technical engineering exposure plus enhancing their fitness and media skills.

The Tatuus T-318 is a Formula 3 spec racer featuring an inline four-cylinder, 1.8-litre turbocharged engine. It also is fitted with the latest halo safety device.

As Catherine Bond Muir explained, W Series CEO, an overwhelming reception came before her with more than 100 applicants from 30 countries around the world. “We are thrilled but perhaps not surprised by the response,” she said.

“Even today there is a massive gender imbalance in motorsport and [the] W Series is making the first step to correct that. Drivers from all over the world have stepped forward, so it’s clear that with the right framework we can make the changes this sport desperately needs.”

The 2019 series will support the DTM season in place of the former Euro Formula 3 Championship that merged with the GP3 series, now supporting numerous rounds of the Formula One World Championship.

The final grid will be determined at a later date following a series of track tests in the W Series race car. Round one of the series kicks off at the Hockenheimring on May 4, 2019.


Full qualifying list

Ayla Agren, 25, Norway
Amna Al Qubaisi,18, UAE
Chelsea Angelo, 22, Australia
Carmen Boix, 23, Spain
Sarah Bovy, 29, Belgium
Toni Breidinger, 19, USA
Ivana Cetinich, 22, South Africa
Jamie Chadwick, 20, UK
Veronika Cicha, 31, Czech Republic
Sabre Cook, 24, USA
Courtney Crone, 17, USA
Natalie Decker, 21, USA
Mira Erda, 18, India
Carlotta Fedeli, 26, Italy
Cassie Gannis, 27, USA
Marta Garcia, 18, Spain
Michelle Gatting, 24, Denmark
Angelique Germann, 27 Germany
Megan Gilkes, 17, Canada
Samin Gomez, 26, Venezuela
Grace Gui, 27, China
Michelle Halder, 19, Germany
Esmee Hawkey, 20, UK
Jessica Hawkins, 23, UK
Shea Holbrook, 28, USA
Carmen Jorda, 30, Spain
Vivien Keszthelyi, 17, Hungary
Emma Kimilainen, 29, Finland
Natalia Kowalska, 28, Poland
Stephane Kox, 24, Netherlands
Miki Koyama, 21, Japan
Fabienne Lanz, 32, South Africa
Milla Mäkelä, 25, Finland
Alexandra Marinescu, 18, Romania
Milou Mets, 28, Netherlands
Sheena Monk, 29, USA
Sarah Moore, 25, UK
Marylin Niederhauser, 22, Germany
Tasmin Pepper, 28, South Africa
Vicky Piria, 24, Italy
Taegen Poles, 20, Canada
Alice Powell, 25, UK
Charlotte Poynting, 20, Australia
Naomi Schiff, 24, Belgium
Carrie Schreiner, 20, Germany
Sharon Scolari, 23, Switzerland
Doreen Seidel, 33, Germany
Siti Shahkirah, 24, Malaysia
Sneha Sharma, 28, India
Bruna Tomasell, 21, Brazil
Shirley Van Der Lof, 31, Netherlands
Beitske Visser, 23, Netherlands
Fabienne Wohlwend, 21, Lichenstein
Caitlin Wood, 21, Australia
Hanna Zellers, 21, USA


Images via W Series

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Luke McCullough

Melbourne Based - 17 Grand Prix attendances and counting in Australia, Singapore, Canada, France, Austria and Great Britain.