The all new W Series hit the headlines this week attracting praise and criticism alike. We’ve been approached on numerous occasions for our thoughts on this interesting development, so here goes…
We are all aware that Women in motorsport is not a new thing whatsoever and nor in fact are same sex motor races.
In 1929, driving an Oméga-Six, Bugatti Queen Hellé Nice won an all-female Grand Prix race at Autodrome de Montlhéry and in the process set a new world land speed record for women - so let’s get a little perspective on the heritage of this ‘brand new’ concept.
There is gender separation in numerous sports for a variety of reasons – Tennis, Skiing, Rugby, Golf which is accepted as being reasonable largely because it’s always happened.
Traditionally that is not the case in Motorsport, and rightly ladies on two wheels and four compete against men very successfully indeed.
The focus and the pinnacle of the sport lays in Formula One and Moto GP, and no, there are currently no ladies on these grids let alone the podium.
But that simply doesn’t mean ladies are not taking part in motorsport at every level on a global basis every single weekend achieving fantastic results and winning races.
Therefore, what in fact we are looking at addressing here is the issue of women reaching that pinnacle of motorsport rather than simply taking part.
Some of the most extreme criticism of W Series has come from very successful lady drivers who don’t want to be segregated and don’t want to do anything other than race on equal terms which is totally understandable.
What we can’t ignore here is statistics, and statistically there are simply fewer women taking part than men.
Therefore, we all need to ensure that our demographic is well represented, marketed and promoted in the same way other ‘minority’ groups are.
So, as far as The Sisterhood Of Speed is concerned, no, we aren’t a fan of the concept of W Series.
However, the reality of providing an umbrella under which female talent can be properly promoted and developed surely must be worth a try to reach that pinnacle which has thus far remained elusive?
We’ve reached out to W Series to find out more and will report back shortly…