W Series halts 2022 season, Chadwick secures third title
W Series announces the cancellation of its final three races of the 2022, as the all-female championship now turns its focus on securing funding for 2023. With 5 wins out of 7 races, Jamie Chadwick seals her third title in a row.
W Series announced on Monday that the first ever all-female championship will halt its 2022 season, the third in its history, in order to secure funding for 2023.
Ahead of the last race at Singapore - the series' first ever race in Asia - reports emerged of financial difficulties for the series created and led by Catherine Bond Muir, with concerns for the final two race events in COTA and Mexico City.
W Series CEO, who has been traveling back and forth to the US in order to find a solution to the worsening situation, confirmed to British media that a major US-based deal had collapsed.
"The required funding due to the business from a recent contracted investment was not received, forcing the remaining three races of the 2022 calendar into doubt", said W Series statement.
Bond Muir said that a decision would have been made in the coming week - and it is now official that the final three races will not go ahead.
Racers understands that shipment for the 18 cars and equipment for next week's US GP at Austin was already underway.
"As a start-up in only our third season of racing, we are always working hard to ensure regularity of funding as we continue to grow our business, but due to recent unforeseen circumstances outside of W Series' control, we had not been in receipt of contracted funds due to us." - said Bond Muir. "Therefore, we have been forced to make the unfortunate decision not to complete our scheduled calendar this season."
W Series's decision to bring an early end to the 2022 season means that Jamie Chadwick secures her third consecutive title, after an utterly dominant first part of the season. The Briton won five races in a row, was second in Hungary before the summer break and had her first DNF in three years at Singapore.
As a returning champion, though, she will not receive FIA Super License points.
W Series made its debut on the DTM support bill in 2019 and was a remarkable success. The Covid pandemic forced the cancellation of the 2020 season, but the all-female series returned bigger in 2021, after a deal with F1.
W Series' goal is now to raise funding for 2023 and beyond, as the CEO says.
"While we are all incredibly disappointed that this decision has had to be made in the short term, we remain positive about the future of W Series in the long term. It is well-documented that women's sports receive far less funding than its male counterparts, and W Series is no exception."
"We are incredibly thankful for the help and support we have received in recent weeks following the news of the financial difficulties we've been facing, which has accelerated our fundraising process and given us great optimism as we look to 2023 and beyond."
With its innovative format, W Series disrupted the world of motor racing by selecting drivers based on performance and not budget, offering fully-funded race seats to talented women. With a never-tried before business model, hiccups were to be expected and Bond Muir is working to bring its creation back to the track.
"Having set up W Series in 2018, I am acutely accustomed to the relentless work that goes on to not only keep our business operational, but also acquire the fundraising and sponsorship to grow our business further, supporting our talented drivers and hard-working personnel who put their heart and soul into driving W Series and our mission forward."
"We are grateful for the continued support of our incredible and growing fanbase, and we hope to share positive news regarding the future of W Series in the coming weeks."