W Series confirms prize money, 2020 qualification details
Organisers of the W Series have confirmed the breakdown of the US $1.5million worth of prize money on offer this season, as well as eligibility for 2020.
The winner of the 2019 series is set to receive $500,000, while second place will bank a cool $250,000.
A sliding scale sees prize money paid out to every driver in the field, including any reserve drivers.
New for 2020 is the opportunity for drivers to accrue points towards a Superlicence, which is required to compete in Formula 1.
Though exactly how many points will be awarded has not been revealed, it’s likely to be somewhere between 12 and 20.
Currently, victory in a Formula 4 championship is worth 12 points, and other top level open wheel series such as Super Formula is worth 20.
Winning the Supercars title nets a driver 15 points.
Launched this year, W Series offered 20 drivers the opportunity to compete in equal Formula 3 machinery.
Following a selection process, Australian Caitlin Wood was among the inaugural roster of drivers selected for the competition.
With two rounds remaining in its maiden season, organisers have now confirmed that those drivers who finish inside the top dozen of this year’s competition will automatically be invited back for 2020.
The remainder of the grid will need to progress through another selection process in much the same vein as they did for 2019.
“The inaugural season of W Series is proving to be a roaring success,” said series CEO Catherine Bond Muir.
“The racing is close and competitive, and three drivers have won races so far.
“With two points-scoring races still to go, at Assen and Brands Hatch, four drivers can still become W Series champion.
“There will be prize money for all our drivers, all the way down to last place, but those four will be pulling out all the stops at Assen and Brands Hatch in their efforts to scoop the US$500,000 top prize.
“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.
“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 racetracks, 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.
“And from 2020 onwards they’ll be earning Superlicence points as they do so.”
The current W Series season continues this weekend with the penultimate round of the campaign to be held at Assen in the Netherlands, with Jamie Chadwick, Beitske Visser, Marta Garcia, and Fabienne Wohlwend still in contention for the title.
W Series 2019 prize distribution
1st place: US$500,000
2nd place: US$250,000
3rd place: US$125,000
4th place: US$100,000
5th place: US$90,000
6th place: US$80,000
7th place: US$70,000
8th place: US$60,000
9th place: US$50,000
10th place: US$40,000
11th place: US$30,000
12th place: US$25,000
13th place: US$20,000
14th place: US$15,000
15th, 16th, 17th and 18th places: US$7500