As the W Series racing in the real world is still on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the series gears up for its all-new sim racing league that will feature 10 races at all kinds of different race tracks.
Tuesday, the league announced its commentary team for the virtual races. Leading the way in the commentary team is Luke Crane. Crane is a racer experienced in the Esports series. Following crane is 13-time winner in Formula 1, David Coulthard. Lee McKenzie, host of Channel 4 and BBC Channel for W Series will be the presenter and Billy Monger (presently a British Formula 3 driver, E-racer, and a Formula 1 analyst for Channel 4) serves as the racing pundit.
In order for the virtual races to take place, the series has partnered with Logitech G, the global leader in PC gaming.
Commentator Luke Crane says, he looks forward to the virtual series.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing how the W Series drivers’ on-track skills transfer over to the virtual world, and the difference in results between last season’s on-track races and these virtual ones.”
The 13-time Formula 1 winner, Coulthard is in the same boat as Crane, as he also can’t wait for the league to take off.
“I’m very excited about the W Series Esports League which, thanks to the huge amount of work done not only by my W Series colleagues but also by our friends at Logitech, Beyond Entertainment and iRacing, ably supported by our broadcast partner Whisper and major sponsor ROKiT Phones, looks set to be an extremely entertaining competition. I can’t wait to watch it – and commentate on it.”
Lead presenter, Lee McKenzie, was the first to open up the W Series last year when it arrived at Hockenheim, Germany.
“Having presented W Series’ very successful first on-track season last year [on Channel 4], I’m very much looking forward to presenting the W Series Esports League this year. The fact that it will be contested by the W Series drivers, all of them extremely keen to do well in eRacing in the current absence of on-track racing, will make it very special.”
The eRacer, Billy Monger, hopes to add his experience that he learned from competing on the sim to the race broadcasts.
“I very much enjoyed watching the W Series races on TV [Channel 4] last year – I found the racing both impressive and entertaining. I’m a keen eracer and I think the combination of iRacing, Beyond Entertainment and Logitech will make a great platform on which the W Series drivers will be able to race one another hard but fair. So I’m really looking forward to adding my views and analysis to the commentary.”
With the virtual series scheduled to take off next week, the W Series was originally supposed to have their first race of the 2020 season this past weekend in Russia. That race was postponed due to the ongoing pandemic across the country. While the first race is postponed, there are no new announcements on what the rest of the schedule may be, due to the pandemic which is creating a fluid situation.
As for the virtual league challenge, the series has not yet made an official announcement on prize money.
All the races can be seen on the W Series YouTube page.
10-race virtual challenge schedule
- Thursday June 11-Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, Italy
- Thursday June 18- Circuit of the Americas, United States
- Thursday June 25- Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit, United Kingdom
- Thursday July 2- Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace, Interlago, Brazil
- Thursday July 9- Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium
- Thursday July 16- Watkins Glen International, United States
- Thursday July 23- Suzuka International Racing Course, Japan
- Thursday July 30- Mount Panorama Circuit, Bathurst, Australia
- Thursday August 6- Nurburgring Nordschleife, Germany
- Thursday August 13- Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit, United Kingdom
Drivers scheduled to compete are Ayla Agren, Jamie Chadwick, Sabre Cook, Abbie Eaton, Belen Garcia, Marta Garcia, Jessica Hawkins, Emma Kimilainen, Miki Koyama, Nerea Marti, Sarah Moore, Tasmin Pepper, Vicky Piria, Alice Powell, Gosia Rdest, Naomi Schiff, Irina Sidorkova, Bruna Tomaselli, Beitske Visser, Fabienne Wohlwend, and Caitlin Wood.
All races are scheduled for 19:00 BST (British Summer Time) or in translation at 7 p.m. and the races in the United States will start at 2 p.m. ET.
For more information the Esports challenge, visit their website.