The founder of the W Series female motor racing championship, Catherine Bond Muir, has said the event will be profitable by its third season and is aiming for a calendar of 12 to 14 races, up from six in this year’s inaugural edition.
W Series, a FIA-sanctioned international single-seater competition for female drivers, was launched in October 2018 and completed its first race season in August this year. It aims to help women climb the male-dominated motorsport ladder towards Formula One, which last had a female driver in 1976. W Series offers points towards a Formula One super licence, and uses 1.8 litre Formula Three cars as a stepping stone to the top tier.
Channel News Asia reports that Muir, also a board member of national governing body Motorsport UK, said: “W Series will be profitable in year three and that is something we’re proud of.
“The motorsport community has been welcoming of the idea and I’m thankful to all our ambassadors and investors for helping us grow.
“We’re six races now, and plan to be eight next year – with two in the Americas – before expanding to Asia. Our aim is to settle on a 12- to 14-race calendar and I’d be happy with that.”
An initial six-race calendar has been announced for 2020, with new venues in Russia and Sweden – the new Igora Drive circuit outside St Petersburg and the 1970s Formula One track at Anderstorp. Zolder in Belgium and Germany’s Hockenheim, last year’s opener, have been dropped from the calendar. The Italian round is switching from Misano to Monza.
Bond Muir said one of the commercial priorities for next season was cash-based, as opposed to value-in-kind, sponsorship deals: “We did a lot of value-in-kind deals in year one, because sponsors loved the idea but needed to see it in practice.
“That conversation has now completely changed, and because of how well year one has gone the negotiations are much more centred around cash-based sponsorship.”
She added: “Nearly $5bn went into personal sponsorship in motorsport this last year, but all to men. Our central proposition is to change that and ensure commercial success for our drivers.”