W Series launches inaugural women-only Esports League in bid to encourage female Eracers
Motorsport's groundbreaking W Series is launching a new sim racing event for female drivers in a bid to involve more women in gaming and to fill the void created by the current lack of on-track racing.
The W Series Esports League will launch in the coming weeks with the 18 drivers who qualified for this year's track series, including Britain's Jamie Chadwick, who won the inaugural series, currently lined up to take part.
Organisers say they are hoping it will encourage more women and girls to get involved in Eracing, which is traditionally seen as a male-oriented activity.
The races will take place at 10 iconic tracks around the world with the season opener at Autodromo Nazionale di Monza in Italy before heading across the sea to Austin, Texas.
As with a normal series, drivers accumulate points across the races and the driver with the most points after all 10 tracks will be crowned the inaugural W Series Esports Champion.
W Series CEO Catherine Bond Muir is excited about the initiative.
She said: “In the absence of on-track racing anywhere in the world, as a result of the ongoing global COVID-19 crisis, we at W Series are pleased to announce the inauguration of our own W Series Esports League.
"I’m confident that the result will be a difficult yet exciting challenge for our drivers and an innovative yet thrilling spectacle for fans watching on YouTube, on Twitch, and on other streaming platforms dedicated to online gaming.”
Reigning W Series champion Jamie Chadwick was also thrilled with the concept.
“Nothing beats the sheer thrill of driving a real race car flat-out on a real racetrack, and I don’t mind admitting I’m missing that enormously.
“But I’ve been massively impressed by the work that W Series, Logitech, Beyond Entertainment and iRacing have done together over the past few weeks, and the result, the W Series Esports League, is seriously impressive,” she added.
“Moreover, when I saw the list of circuits, I literally gasped: it’s a truly mouth-watering schedule. Bring it on!”