Wood, Rdest and Schiff to join W Series Esports League
Updated: May 20
The W Series virtual edition will see the return of familiar faces to the all-female series: Caitlin Wood and Gosia Rdest are set to make their debut as race drivers, while Naomi Schiff takes up the role of reserve driver.
The upcoming W Series Esports League, announced last week to fill in the motorsport void of the first half of 2020 - and possibly beyond - will see the return of two familiar faces on its grid: 2019 W Series drivers Caitlin Wood and Gosia Rdest will join the grid as race drivers, while W Series Diversity and Inclusion ambassador Naomi Schiff will take up the role of reserve driver.
All the 2020 qualified drivers are also expected to take part in the first edition of virtual championship, contested on the iRacing platform and in partneship with Logitech G, Beyond Entertainment and iRacing.
The simracing series targets the promotion of women in esports - a booming sector where female participants have been so far still under-represented.
Australian Caitlin Wood, outside the top-12 in last year's championship by one single point, is new to the simracing world but excited to make her debut: “The growth of esports this year has been phenomenal and I’m extremely excited to be part of the W Series Esports League."
"I’m really grateful for the opportunity to be back on the grid, even if it is virtual for now. The circuits that have been chosen for the W Series Esports League are really impressive and I especially can’t wait to get back to my roots for the Mount Panorama Bathurst round. I’ll definitely be clocking up lots of hours on the sim in preparation.” - added 23-year old Caitlin.
Gosia Rdest also marginally missed the automatic grid confirmation in 2019, finishing 14th after showing very promising performances in some of the rounds. The Polish racer recently announced her 2020 entry in the Alpine Elf Europa Cup, starting in August at Nogaro. She will be back with her W Series colleagues after starting simracing training in the last few weeks.
“I thoroughly enjoyed my time with W Series last season so it’s fantastic to be back as part of the new W Series Esports League." - commented Gosia.
"I recently began my sim-racing adventure and I’ve been surprised by the lack of females using the platforms, so I’m sure that this initiative can change that."
"The list of circuits is amazing. Half of them are brand new to me, so I’m thrilled that I’ll be able to get familiar with them. I’m desperately missing being in a real race car, but the experience that Logitech G, iRacing and Beyond Entertainment are giving us is a very accurate replacement which gives me a real thrill. Let the show begin!”
With twenty drivers now confirmed, the W Series Esports League is set to get underway in the coming weeks, featuring a very impressive schedule that includes legendary racetracks such as Monza, Silverstone, Suzuka, Bathurst, Watkins Glen and the Nurburgring Nordschleife.
2019 race driver and now Diversity and Inclusion Ambassador Naomi Schiff will also be ready to get behind the wheel of her simulator, as the 25-year old from Rwanda was announced as reserve driver.
“I’m very excited to be on the verge of returning to the W Series grid." - said Schiff. "The calendar looks mega and esports has already proven to be the next best thing for drivers and fans during this pandemic, so I think this is a great move."
"I’m hopeful that this League will mirror the positive effect that W Series has already had for women in the ‘real world’, and will inspire more female participation in the ‘virtual world’ too.”
The second season of the fully-female racing series was scheduled to start on 29-30 May at the new Igora Drive circuit, St Petersburg, Russia, in support of the DTM. Details of the virtual championship dates will be revealed soon.
W Series was also expected to announce the final two drivers on the grid, after six newcomers were selected after last September's tests in Almeria, Spain.