After a three-day on-track test at Almeria (southern Spain) last month, and a rigorous lap-time assessment and data-analysis programme thereafter, W Series has selected six new drivers to race alongside the 12 drivers who automatically qualified for the 2020 W Series championship as a result of having finished inside the top 12 in the 2019 W Series championship.
The 18 confirmed drivers for the 2020 W Series championship are therefore as follows (two further 2020 W Series championship drivers, to bring the total to 20, will be announced at a later date).
Jamie Chadwick (GBR), 21 – (1st in the 2019 W Series championship)
Beitske Visser (NLD), 24 – (2nd in the 2019 W Series championship)
Alice Powell (GBR), 26 – (3rd in the 2019 W Series championship)
Marta Garcia (ESP), 19 – (4th in the 2019 W Series championship)
Emma Kimilainen (FIN), 30 – (5th in the 2019 W Series championship)
Fabienne Wohlwend (LIE), 21 – (6th in the 2019 W Series championship)
Miki Koyama (JPN), 21 – (7th in the 2019 W Series championship)
Sarah Moore (GBR), 25 – (8th in the 2019 W Series championship)
Vicky Piria (ITA), 25 – (9th in the 2019 W Series championship)
Tasmin Pepper (RSA), 29 – (10th in the 2019 W Series championship)
Jessica Hawkins (GBR), 24 – (11th in the 2019 W Series championship)
Sabre Cook (USA), 24 – (12th in the 2019 W Series championship)
Ayla Agren (NOR), 25 – (new entrant)
Abbie Eaton (GBR), 27 – (new entrant)
Belen Garcia (ESP), 20 – (new entrant)
Nerea Marti (ESP), 17 – (new entrant)
Irina Sidorkova (RUS), 16 – (new entrant)
Bruna Tomaselli (BRA), 21 – (new entrant)
Catherine Bond Muir (Chief Executive Officer, W Series) said:
“Almost as soon as the sun had set on Brands Hatch, scene of the 2019 W Series championship finale, on Sunday August 11th, we at W Series began preparing for our 2020 season. More than 40 new drivers applied to race with us in 2020 and, after a three-day on-track test at Almeria [southern Spain] last month, and a rigorous lap-time and data-analysis programme thereafter, we’re now able to announce the first 18 of the 20 drivers who’ll compete in the 2020 W Series championship.
“It’s an impressive list, including the top 12 from our 2019 season, and six new drivers, who all performed well at Almeria. The result is a varied and international group, comprising 18 drivers from 12 countries, ranging in age from the super-experienced Finn, Emma Kimilainen, 30, to the very promising young Russian, Irina Sidorkova, 16.
“Our commiserations go to those whom we haven’t selected, but sadly their disappointment is simply an example of the jeopardy inherent in any athlete’s life at the higher levels of competitive sport. The more you can win, the more you can lose.”
Dave Ryan (Racing Director, W Series) said:
“I was generally impressed by the 14 drivers whom we tested and appraised at Almeria [southern Spain] last month, and making our selection was correspondingly difficult. But we’ve crunched all the data to the best of our ability, and I’m therefore confident that the 18 drivers whom we’ve selected so far represent an excellent line-up. But we’ve left two spaces available, to allow us a little more time to select the final two drivers who, together with the 18 drivers we’ve already selected, will make up the 20 drivers who’ll contest the 2020 W Series championship.
“However, all the stars of our 2019 season will race again with us in 2020 – including Jamie [Chadwick], who’ll be defending her crown, as well as Beitske [Visser], Alice [Powell], Marta [Garcia] and Emma [Kimilainen], who all won races with us last year – but some of the new drivers on our 2020 entry list are clearly very good too. I’m consequently hoping our 2020 season will be even better than our 2019 season.”