W Series has revealed the money list for this year’s inaugural championship – with the winner receiving $500,000 – and has simultaneously announced that only the top 12 in the standings will automatically be invited back for 2020.
The all-female racing series has two rounds remaining on the DTM support card this season, with a race in Assen this weekend followed by the season finale at Brands Hatch in August. Williams development driver Jamie Chadwick leads the standings and only three other drivers – Beitske Visser, Marta Garcia and Fabienne Wohlwend – are in contention for the $500,000 top prize.
The runner-up will receive $250,000, third place $125,000 and fourth $100,000, with all drivers picking up prize money on a sliding scale down to15th and below, where drivers receive a flat $7,500.
The prize money is designed to fund the drivers’ careers further up the motorsport ladder, but the finishing positions in this year’s championship have increased jeopardy, with only the top 12 drivers in the standings receiving an automatic entry into the 2020 championship should they wish to stay.
Those finishing outside of the top 12 this season will be able to apply to enter the driver selection program for the 2020 W Series, alongside any female drivers holding an FIA International C License or better.
At present, of the two American drivers in this year’s W Series, Sabre Cook would receive an automatic place on the 2020 grid as she sits 11th in the championship, but Shea Holbrook would have to reapply as she is 18th with two rounds remaining.
The 2020 W Series will also be eligible for FIA Super License points, and CEO Catherine Bond Muir says the series is shaping up well to prepare female drivers to be successful in other categories.
“Building on the ongoing success of W Series this year, next year’s W Series will be open to the top 12 points-scoring drivers in the final 2019 W Series points table, and we’re already receiving plenty of expressions of interest from other drivers who haven’t taken part in W Series so far,” Bond Muir said.
“The competition for the opportunity to race in 2020 W Series alongside the 2019 top 12 will be fierce, but that’s what W Series is all about: a highly competitive race series in which the best female racing drivers in the world race one another in state-of-the-art Tatuus T-318 Formula 3 cars, on iconic race tracks, and thereby gain crucial on-track experience which will enable them to progress their careers on and up to more senior single-seater formulae, where they can race – and beat – their male rivals.”