W Series has announced that its 2022 season is over and that the next three races would not take place due to ongoing financial issues.
The final three races of the 2022 W Series season will not go ahead as the series faces financial difficulties after an investor pulled out a number of weeks ago. News of financial issues broke during the Singapore F1 weekend which the series supported, and it was hopeful funding may be secured to help finish the season, but the needed funds have not materialised.
The decision was taken to focus on the longer-term fundraising process to enable the continuation of W Series into 2023 and beyond. Races scheduled at the Circuit of The Americas, Austin, Texas, USA and a double-header at Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, Mexico City will not go ahead.
The premature end to the 2022 season means that Jamie Chadwick, who currently sits 50 points clear in the drivers’ championship, is crowned champion for a record-breaking third time. Dutch driver Beitske Visser is runner up with fellow Brit Alice Powell in third. Chadwick dominated the season with five race wins, only failing to place in the last round at Singapore.
CEO, Catherine Bond-Muir spoke in great length about the situation, saying; “It’s with both great sadness and frustration that we announce that our much-anticipated final three races of the 2022 season in Austin and Mexico City will not go ahead. As a start-up in only our third season of racing, we are always working hard to ensure regularity of funding as we continue to grow our business, but due to recent unforeseen circumstances outside of W Series’ control, we had not been in receipt of contracted funds due to us. Therefore, we have been forced to make the unfortunate decision not to complete our scheduled calendar this season. We would like to thank both Circuit of The Americas and Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez’s Grupo CIE for their support as promoters of our events in Austin and Mexico City respectively and apologise to both them and our fans that we will not be able to go racing there this year.
We have worked hard to raise the required funding to enable us to finish the season. Unfortunately, it was not possible to do this in the short time frame required following the failure of contracted funds to arrive and the global economic downturn. However, while we are all incredibly disappointed that this decision has had to be made in the short term, we remain positive about the future of W Series in the long term. It is well-documented that women’s sports receive far less funding than its male counterparts, and W Series is no exception. We are incredibly thankful for the help and support we have received in recent weeks following the news of the financial difficulties we’ve been facing, which has accelerated our fundraising process and given us great optimism as we look to 2023 and beyond.
While we aren’t in a position to make a formal announcement yet, there are many positive conversations ongoing, and all parties share our passion for and belief in our mission to provide our incredible field of women drivers a platform to showcase their talents and to race in front of enthusiastic fans all around the world. We are doing everything we can to ensure the long-term financial health of our business and we look forward to W Series’ continued growth and success.
Having set up W Series in 2018, I am acutely accustomed to the relentless work that goes on to not only keep our business operational, but also acquire the fundraising and sponsorship to grow our business further, supporting our talented drivers and hard-working personnel who put their heart and soul into driving W Series and our mission forward. We are grateful for the continued support of our incredible and growing fanbase, and we hope to share positive news regarding the future of W Series in the coming weeks.
Finally, I want to extend a huge congratulations to our triple-champion Jamie Chadwick. She has dominated the 2022 W Series and this championship is well-deserved. We have been and always will be incredibly proud and supportive of her career and wish her well in her next exciting chapter. To all our W Series drivers, I’d like to express both pride and sincere gratitude for your professionalism and talent, providing entertaining and exciting racing all season long, and for your continually unwavering support as we navigate the next steps for our series. We will always work hard to provide women racing drivers the opportunities to achieve success and we will not stop fighting to continue the work W Series has started to support women in motorsport.”
What 2023 will bring for the series is unclear. It is understood W Series will be taking legal action against the investor who pulled out. As to whether there are any outstanding issues to be resolved from the fact that contracts will have been signed on the basis of delivering a full season is also unclear.