The 2019 W Series champion Jamie Chadwick will return for another season in 2020 with 11 of her rivals and six new drivers.
After a three-day test at Almeria, Spain, last month and a post-test rigorous assessment, W Series has selected six new drivers to race alongside the 12 drivers, who automatically qualified for the 2020 championship as a result of finishing inside the Top 12.
The existing drivers include 2019 W Series champion Chadwick and runners-up Beitske Visser and Alice Powell as they eye for FIA superlicense points, which the drivers will get from 2020 onward after confirmation from the governing body.
The 12 old drivers in the order of their 2019 W Series finishing:
Jamie Chadwick (GBR), 21 – (1st)
Beitske Visser (NLD), 24 – (2nd)
Alice Powell (GBR), 26 – (3rd)
Marta Garcia (ESP), 19 – (4th)
Emma Kimilainen (FIN), 30 – (5th)
Fabienne Wohlwend (LIE), 21 – (6th)
Miki Koyama (JPN), 21 – (7th)
Sarah Moore (GBR), 25 – (8th)
Vicky Piria (ITA), 25 – (9th)
Tasmin Pepper (RSA), 29 – (10th)
Jessica Hawkins (GBR), 24 – (11th)
Sabre Cook (USA), 24 – (12th)
The organisers also released the names of the six drivers, who are confirmed to join the 12, while they will add two more names to make it a total of 20 for the upcoming season. The names of the new six drivers for 2020 W Series are:
Ayla Agren (NOR), 25
Abbie Eaton (GBR), 27
Belen Garcia (ESP)
Nerea Marti (ESP), 17
Irina Sidorkova (RUS), 16
Bruna Tomaselli (BRA), 21
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 11, 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 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.
At the same time, Dave Ryan, Racing Director, W Series, added: “I was generally impressed by the 14 drivers whom we tested and appraised at Almeria last month, and making our selection was correspondingly difficult [for W Series].
“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, who’ll be defending her crown, as well as Beitske, Alice, Marta and Emma, 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.”
Here’s the note from FIA regarding superlicense