LONDON (Reuters) – New races in Russia and Sweden will kick off the second season of the all-female W Series, with the initial six-race 2020 calendar published on Thursday.
The new Igora Drive circuit outside St Petersburg and the 1970s Formula One track at Anderstorp in Sweden are the main novelties, along with the Italian round switching from Misano to Monza.
Zolder in Belgium and Germany’s Hockenheim, last year’s opener, are dropped.
Germany’s Norisring, Britain’s Brands Hatch and Assen in the Netherlands remain part of a series that supports the DTM German Touring Car championship.
The initial season runs from late May to early September but there has been talk of the W Series also supporting Formula One races in the United States and Mexico next October.
The W Series will offer points towards a Formula One super licence, in line with other junior series such as Formula Three.
“We’ll announce the complete 2020 W Series championship calendar as and when we’ve finalised it,” said W Series CEO Catherine Bond Muir in a statement.
The series uses identical 1.8 litre Formula Three cars and aims to help female racers climb the male-dominated motorsport ladder towards Formula One, which last saw a woman start a race in 1976.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Toby Davis)