W Series calendar 'unconfirmed' as eracing league launched

By Matt WarwickBBC Sport
jamie chadwick
Chadwick is one of several drivers switching to eracing

The W Series have launched their own eracing league as their season calendar remains "unconfirmed".

The female only racing series was due to get under way in St Petersburg on 29 May, but is highly unlikely because of the coronavrius pandemic.

This year's series is set join Formula 1's US and Mexican Grands Prix as an undercard for two deciding races.

"We are continuing to discuss our position with DTM, F1 and the FIA," said a spokesperson.

"We will not confirm a 2020 calendar until we have completed those discussions."

Like last season - won by Britain's Jamie Chadwick - the series follows the German Touring car DTM's calendar. But this year's title-deciding races were set to take place in the Americas supporting F1.

The W Series Esports League will include several of the current crop of drivers in the series, including Chadwick and other British drivers, such as Alice Powell and Jessica Hawkins.

The lockdown has seen a steep rise in eracing, including Formula 1's Virtual Grands Prix series, which has featured Ferrari's Charles Leclerc and George Russell of Williams.

"W Series Esports League aims to promote and empower a shared commitment to raising female sim racing visibility," said a statement.

"It opens up a new world of equality and diversity in what has previously been seen as a predominantly male-dominated activity."

The series could consist of up to 30 races across 10 circuits, including Silverstone, Suzuka in Japan and the Nurburgring in Germany.

"Nothing beats the sheer thrill of driving a real race car flat-out on a real racetrack," said Chadwick. "I don't mind admitting I'm missing that enormously."

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