W-Series: 2020 selection tests announced
Updated: Sep 11, 2019
W-Series announced today that the selection process for the 2020 grid will get underway in one month in Almeria, Spain.
The dust has just settled on the W-Series 2019 season and the all-female championship is already making headlines for 2020.
One week from the title decider in Brands Hatch, UK, W-Series just announced the testing schedule for the selection process that will decide next year's grid spots.
In one exact month (16-17-18 September), the Spanish Almeria circuit will host for the second time after last winter the W-Series selection tests, after a hugely successful inaugural season.
The 18 driver plus the two reserves were, in fact, chosen after two rounds of testing. Firstly it was in the snow of Melk (Austria) and then qualifiers went on to drive the actual Tatuus F3 cars on the 4,2km Andalusian circuit of Almeria . Next September though, the new entrants will get their chances to climb directly into the W-Series race cars.
As covered last weekend, the top-12 drivers from the 2019 points table automatically gained access to the 2020 grid. They are:
Jamie Chadwick (UK);
Beitske Visser (Netherlands);
Alice Powell (UK);
Marta Garcia (Spain);
Emma Kimilainen (Finland);
Fabienne Wohlwend (Liechtenstein);
Miki Koyama (Japan);
Sarah Moore (UK);
Vicky Piria (Italy);
Tasmin Pepper (South Africa);
Jessica Hawkins (UK);
Sabre Cook (USA).
They will not be required to take part in the Almeria tests, although a couple of them will be invited for benchmarking purposes. Thus, from the 40 (as of today) new candidates, eight names will come out of Almeria to complete the grid.
Although both Jamie Chadwick and Beitske Visser are still uncertain to be re-entering the series as they will be evaluating several options for their futures, W-Series now qualifying for FIA Super-Licence points might play a part in their return to the series. Otherwise, more slots might be up for grab for the newcomers.
The 2019 drivers finishing outside the top-12 can re-apply, as Dave Ryan, W-Series racing director, explained: “To be clear, the eight drivers who finished outside the top 12 in the 2019 W Series championship are not ineligible for our 2020 season; they’re merely not guaranteed to take part in it. Inevitably they’re now on tenterhooks, eager to race with us again next season, but whether they do or not will to a great extent depend on the quality of the newcomers we test at Almeria in a month’s time."
“I’m excited to discover the quality of our new applicants" - said Catherine Bond Muir, CEO of the series - "and there’s no better way of appraising them than putting them in W Series race cars for three days, so that’s what we’re going to do.”
“The 2019 W Series season has been a roaring success, but we fully intend that the 2020 W Series season will be bigger and better."
Ph credits: W-Series media