The W Series has released names of 55 racers from around globe who have been shortlisted to fight for a place on the grid which will comprise of 18 racers.

The much-talked series kicks off in May 2019 and will run as a support event to the DTM races. The organisers will use the F3 cars with a shortlisted 55 names revealed in the initial list which will be cut down to 18.

The list has mix of drivers with youngsters and experienced racers from around the globe named – not just the single-seaters racers but also the GT and endurance drivers have been listed to be crunched down further.

Names like Carmen Jorda, Beitske Visser, Jamie Chadwick, Marta Garcia, Emma Kimilainen, Amna Al Qubaisi, Stephane Cox feature on the list.

Full list:

Ayla Agren, 25, Norway

Amna Al Qubaisi,18, UAE

Chelsea Angelo, 22, Australia

Carmen Boix, 23, Spain

Sarah Bovy, 29, Belgium

Toni Breidinger, 19, USA

Ivana Cetinich, 22, South Africa

Jamie Chadwick, 20, UK

Veronika Cicha, 31, Czech Republic

Sabre Cook, 24, USA

Courtney Crone, 17, USA

Natalie Decker, 21, USA

Mira Erda, 18, India

Carlotta Fedeli, 26, Italy

Cassie Gannis, 27, USA

Marta Garcia, 18, Spain

Michelle Gatting, 24, Denmark

Angelique Germann, 27 Germany

Megan Gilkes, 17, Canada

Samin Gomez, 26, Venezuela

Grace Gui, 27, China

Michelle Halder, 19, Germany

Esmee Hawkey, 20, UK

Jessica Hawkins, 23, UK

Shea Holbrook, 28, USA

Carmen Jorda, 30, Spain

Vivien Keszthelyi, 17, Hungary

Emma Kimilainen, 29, Finland

Natalia Kowalska, 28, Poland

Stephane Kox, 24, Netherland

Miki Koyama, 21, Japan

Fabienne Lanz, 32, South Africa

Milla Mäkelä, 25, Finland

Alexandra Marinescu, 18, Romania

Milou Mets, 28, Netherlands

Sheena Monk, 29, USA

Sarah Moore, 25, UK

Marylin Niederhauser, 22, Germany

Tasmin Pepper, 28, South Africa

Vicky Piria, 24, Italy

Taegen Poles, 20, Canada

Alice Powell, 25, UK

Charlotte Poynting, 20, Australia

Naomi Schiff, 24, Belgium

Carrie Schriener, 20, Germany

Sharon Scolari, 23, Switzerland

Doreen Seidel, 33, Germany

Siti Shahkirah, 24, Malaysia

Sneha Sharma, 28, India

Bruna Tomasell, 21, Brazil

Shirley Van Der Lof, 31, Netherlands

Beitske Visser, 23, Netherlands

Fabienne Wohlwend, 21, Lichenstein

Caitlin Wood, 21, Australia

Hanna Zellers, 21, USA

“We are thrilled but perhaps not surprised by the response,” said Catherine Bond Muir, W Series’ CEO. “Even today there is a massive gender imbalance in motorsport and W Series is making the first step to correct that.

“Drivers from all over the world have stepped forward, so it’s clear that with the right framework we can make the changes this sport desperately needs.”

David Coulthard added: “We designed W Series specifically to shine a light on female talent right around the world. I can’t wait to be part of the next stage and to see some of that talent in action.”

The drivers have two and a half month to prepare for the test to be one of the final 18 with a three and a half day off-track test lined up which will include fitness tests and psychometric profiling and multiple driving skill tests.

Coulthard will be joined by former F1 driver Alex Wurz in the judging panel which will also include W Series Racing Director Dave Ryan. The final list will be provided after a track test in the 2019 Tatuus T-318 ahead of the season opener in May.

UPDATE: Six more names were added to the original list of 55 racers, taking the tally to total 61 drivers for the selection to be held at Wachauring in Melk (Austria) in late January. The names added are:

Alessandra Brena, 23, Italy

Francesca Linossi, 26, Italy

Andreyeva Lyubov, 22, Kazakhstan

Gosia Rdest, 25, Poland

Ines Taittinger, 28, France

Alexandra Whitley, 25, Australia