Australia will have three representatives vying for a spot in the new international female single-seater series to begin in May next year.
After more than 100 drivers from around the world applied for a seat in W Series, 55 drivers from a variety of disciplines were shortlisted for the special qualifying.
In the coming months, the list of drivers will be cut down to a final 18 ahead of the much-anticipated all-female series kicking off at the iconic Hockenheim in Germany.
Representing Australia in the qualifying stage will be Porsche Michelin GT3 Cup Australia’s Chelsea Angelo and Aussie Racing Cars regular Charlotte Poynting, both drivers competing at the Nationals in 2018, as well as Caitlin Wood has had her debut season in the Blancpain GT series .
With many international drivers applying, W Series CEO Catherine Bond Muir was not surprised with the level of interest shown in the series.
“We are thrilled but perhaps not surprised by the response,” Muir said.
“Even today there is a massive gender imbalance in motor sport 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.”
While a majority of aspiring competitors were mainly applying just to be part of the first edition of the series, there are lots of other financial benefits for competing.
The free-to-enter competition has a $1,500,000 prize pool assigned, with the overall series winner taking home $500,000, while W Series will also fund travel and living costs, meaning drivers from all economic backgrounds will have a chance for success.
Drivers now have two months to prepare for the three-day trial which will include fitness tests, psychometric profiling and multiple driving skill testing in front of a team of experienced judges.
Amongst the judging panel will be W Series Racing Director Dave Ryan, as well as former F1 stars Alex Wurz and David Coulthard, with Coulthard also serving as the W Series Advisory Board Chair.
“We designed the W Series specifically to shine a light on female talent right around the world,” Coulthard said.
“I can’t wait to be part of the next stage and to see some of that talent in action.”
The inaugural W Series will begin in Hockenheim in Germany on May 3, 2019, running alongside German’s premier touring car category DTM.