Good news for South African enthusiasts; Tasmin Pepper, our country’s top lady racer, will be in international action again next year.
That follows the announcement that W Series, the international single-seater racing championship for female drivers only, will resume next year. This time, the series, formerly tied to the German Touring Car Championship (DTM), will mainly be run in partnership with F1 Grand Prix events. The 2021 W Series calendar will include eight Formula 1 support races.
Catherine Bond Muir, W Series Chief Executive Officer, said, “After a successful inaugural season in 2019, we are delighted to partner with Formula 1 for 2021 and beyond. There is no doubt that, in collaboration with Formula 1, our global reach, impact and influence will be increased significantly.
“Everything that made W Series so popular and successful in 2019 will remain. The cars will be identical, the racing ultra-competitive, and our mission will be to further the interests and prospects of female racing drivers.
“W Series will entertain, but we also want it to become a crucial default-option stepping stone for any female racing driver who wants to carve out a professional racing career. The fact that W Series is now eligible for FIA Super Licence points will be an important factor in that regard,” she added.
Ross Brawn, Managing Director of Motorsport, Formula 1, said, “It is a really important moment for us to welcome W Series as partners for eight races this season. Their partnership with Formula 1 next season shows our determination and commitment to showcase their exciting series and the importance of building greater diversity across the sport.”
The 2021 W Series will accommodate the 18 drivers who were supposed to fill the seats this year, plus six newcomers, still to be chosen. They hail from Britain, Norway, the United States, Spain, Finland, Japan, Italy, Russia, Brazil, the Netherlands, Liechtenstein and South Africa.
Tasmin Pepper was delighted to get her second call-up. “Sadly, the advent of Covid-19 and subsequent travel banns came about at a time when it was too late for me to do anything major in South African motorsport this season. Thus, I spent a frustrating year kicking my heels, and I cannot wait to drive a real race car again,” she said.