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W Series announces candidates for 2022 tests

Updated: Jan 25, 2022

W Series will assess the new 15 candidates in a five-day test at Inde Motorsports Ranch, Arizona, US. Here's the list of the invited drivers.

Photo credits: W Series

The all-female single seater championship W Series - in 2021 making its debut on the F1 platform after a season in 2019 as part of the DTM support bill - is already working towards the 2022 season and announced details of the selection process for new entries candidates. W Series is in fact a free-to-entry championship - a revolutionary format in motorsport - and has been selecting its drivers via assessment tests since its inception in 2019. The inaugural edition saw a pool of over 60 drivers being assessed in Melk, Austria, and the actual field was then selected after a second on-track program in Almeria, Spain. In September 2019, Almeria hosted the second selections, where 6 new entries were scheduled to make their debut in 2020. The season was famously canceled and W Series returned to the track in 2021. A pre-season test, though, saw the 18 official drivers plus reserves returning behind the wheel at Anglesey, Wales. The season finale at COTA, in conjunction with the 2021 F1 US Grand Prix, demonstrated a huge interest for W Series from the American audience; W Series has thus decided to bring the 2022 selections overseas and will host a five-day test at Inde Motorsports Ranch, Arizona, between January 31st and February 4th. 15 drivers have been invited to the test: among them are several drivers that have previously competed on US soil, as well as some familiar names that have moved up the ranks in F4 and F3 Regional championships in the last few years. At the same time, we find several karting drivers, looking for their move into single-seaters. The highly-ranked names certainly include Swiss driver Léna Bühler, who raced in one of the most competitive feeder series in the world in 2021. After a very positive season in Spanish F4, Bühler made her debut in Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine, and thus a move to W Series would represent a very natural step for the 24-year-old. Léna is also expected to race in the last two rounds of the Formula Regional Asian series at Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Another familiar name is Lola Lovinfosse. The 16-year old Frenchwoman has been a karting star in Europe and stepped up to formula cars in 2021, making her debut in Spanish Formula 4 with Drivex. It is therefore not a surprise to see Lovinfosse among the shortlisted drivers - and the same goes for Emely de Heus, 18, who battled with her in F4 Spain. De Heus ultimately bagged the Female Trophy in 2021 and she also took part in the Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine postseason tests at Barcelona, with the aim of getting some mileage in the Tatuus F3 Regional car. Another driver with good experience of F4 machinery is American Chloe Chambers, 17. A Shift Up Now athlete, Chloe has been racing in the US Formula 4 Championship in 2021 and ran with Future Star Racing. She scored points at Mid Ohio among a big field of almost 30 cars.

Julia Ayoub will be a known name among those who have been following the FIA Women In Motorsport "Girls On Track" selections in the last two years: the 16-year-old Brazilian has made it to the four finalists in both the editions. After a very important career in European karting, she made her formula debut last year in the Formula Delta Brasil series. A name to remember is also certainly Jem Hepworth. The British driver raced in the Britcar Championship in 2021, in the Praga R1 prototype. Maite Cáceres, 19, is arguably one of Uruguay's most exciting talents in karting and has already some experience of single seaters - both in national categories, as well as Formula 4 testing days. Austrian Jorden Dolischka, 17, graduated from karting and made her formula debut in a Formula Renault car, as she competed in the BOSS GP series. Compatriot Corinna Kamper, 27, has also a few years of Formula Renault racing under her belt, as she entered from 2011 to 2013 in the North-European Championship, before a season in the 2014 ADAC Formel Master - which has been replaced by the current ADAC F4. Kamper returned behind the wheel recently in karting, but has remained a popular personality in her home country by covering Formula 1 for the Austrian broadcaster ORF as presenter. Lindsay Brewer, 24, is also a very popular personality on social media. With over 1.6M followers on instagram, the Colorado-native social media influencer has been competing in karting, touring cars and formula cars in the US. In 2021, Brewer raced in the first half of the TC America season, claiming three Top-10 finishes. She also tested and raced F4 machinery in the Skip Barber Formula Race Series. Among the pool of talented karting drivers, 18-year old Tereza Babickova stands out. The Czech driver might be one of the fastest female drivers in international karting, with starts in all the world's most competitive karting series; from the CIK-FIA World championship, FIA European series, Rotax International trophy, IAME Euro Series, WSK. Tereza is one of the three incredibly talented Babickova sisters, all competing at the top of international karting. Young 16-year-old Bianca Bustamante, from the Philippines, gained international exposure when she was selected as one of the karting drivers that had the opportunity to test in Le Castellet as part of the Girls On Track - Rising Stars programme, in the Junior category. Nicole Havrda, 15, and Madison Aust, 16, are the two youngest drivers shortlisted, with mainly experiences in the American continent.

After the initial announcement, 19-year-old American Hannah Greenemeier was added to the list, bringing the total of invited drivers to 15. Greenemeier has been racing since she was 4 and became 2021 SKUSA Protour Champion in karting. “The purpose of this test is to get to know a new group of drivers and understand what they are capable of as we finalize our 2022 driver line-up and look to the future." - explained W Series Racing Director Dave Ryan. "All of the drivers who will be with us in Arizona have demonstrated talent and potential in their careers so far and, while some may be a year or two away from racing in W Series, this is an opportunity for them to showcase their skills and for us to accelerate their development." The 14 drivers will drive Formula 4 cars (US specs) on the 21 turns of the 4.4km-long Inde Motorsports Ranch, which is located 200 miles south-east of Phoenix.

Full list of invited drivers:

Madison Aust, USA, 16

Julia Ayoub, BRA, 16

Tereza Babickova, CZE, 18

Lindsay Brewer, USA, 24

Léna Bühler, SWI, 24

Bianca Bustamante, PHI, 16

Maite Cáceres, URU, 19

Chloe Chambers, USA, 17

Jorden Dolischka, AUT, 17

Emely De Heus, NED, 18

Nicole Havrda, CAN, 15

Jem Hepworth, UK, 21

Corinna Kamper, AUT, 27

Lola Lovinfosse, FRA, 16

Hannah Greenemeier, USA, 19

Photo credits: W Series



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