Twenty-eight drivers, including Eagle River native Natalie Decker, were given the very good news last weekend that they had been chosen to go through to the next stage of the selection process of W Series, the all-new single-seater racing series for female drivers only.

Decker, 21, was one of just three United States women selected to move on. W Series CEO Catherine Bond Muir said that the judging panel had an extremely difficult job because the level of talent demonstrated by the 54 drivers who attended the three-day selection event at the Wachauring in Melk, Austria, was exceptionally high.

The next step for the lucky 28 drivers will be a four-day test in the W Series Tatuus F318 Formula 3 car in late March. W Series will then race at six events on the DTM program in Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy and the UK, running from May through to August.

W Series is a unique groundbreaking, free-to-enter single-seater motor racing series for women drivers only, with a top prize of $500,000 for the winner and a total prize fund of $1.5 million.

The inaugural W Series season will commence in the spring of 2019 and will encompass a number of races run on some of the best and most famous circuits in Europe, most of which have staged Formula 1 races for many decades. In forthcoming seasons the W Series schedule is set also to include races in America, Asia and Australia.

W Series will provide identical cars for 18 to 20 drivers in season one (2019), all of whom will have entered and passed the rigorous preselection program/examination involving on-track testing, simulator appraisal, technical engineering tests, fitness trials etc. The successful applicants will then be given a thorough training program centering on driving techniques, simulator exposure, technical engineering approaches, fitness, media skills, etc., all of it carried out by a group of experts with decades of Formula 1 experience, 

At the heart of W Series’ DNA is the firm belief that women can compete equally with men in motorsport. However, an all-female series is essential in order to force greater female participation. W Series is designed to equip its drivers with the experience and expertise with which they may progress their careers into an existing high-level mainstream racing series.

Good luck to Natalie in the next round of training sessions as she attempts to compete in the inaugural W Series.