An all-women’s motorsport competition will be launched in 2019 to promote female racers in the sport, CNN has reported.
Twenty racers will compete in the inaugural W Series in which Formula 3-like cars will race on Europe’s most prestigious race tracks. It aims to expand to America, Asia and Australia in the future.
The idea is supported by Formula One legend David Coulthard.
Free entry and participation will be awarded to drivers on the basis of performance and merit after a “vigorous” selection and testing process.
“At the heart of W Series’ DNA is the firm belief that women can compete equally with men in motorsport,” read a statement.
“However, an all-female series is essential in order to force greater female participation.”
It also stated that the tournament will be a “mission-driven” competition with the objective will provide exciting competition for spectators and viewers on a global scale.
W-Series also aims to provide experience and expertise to its drivers with which they may progress their careers before competing high-level mainstream racing competitions. The winner will get prize money of $500,000.
However, many racers have expressed their reservations. Charlie Martin, who aims to become the first transgender person to compete in 24-hour Le Mans race, said the series is “founded on segregation. “While it may create opportunities for some female drivers, it sends a clear message that segregation is acceptable,” she said.
The world of motorsport has been mostly dominated by males but many females have stepped up and are breaking gender barriers in the sport.
Recently, Ana Carrasco became the first woman to win a world motorcycling title when she triumphed in the Superbike Supersport 300 division.
Danica Patrick became the most successful woman in the history of American open-wheel racing. She is the only woman to win an IndyCar Series race at the 2008 Indycar Japan 300.
Susie Wolff drove as a development driver for the Williams Formula One team in 2012.