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W Series announces early end to 2022 season to focus on fundraising for 2023

W Series has announced it will not complete the final three races of its 2022 season due to fundraising issues, but is “extremely confident” of returning in 2023.

Jamie Chadwick leads Abbi Pulling, Fabienne Wohlwend

Jamie Chadwick leads Abbi Pulling, Fabienne Wohlwend

Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

Over the Singapore race weekend, it emerged W Series may not be able to complete its planned campaign after a contracted deal with an American investor collapsed.

A one-week deadline was set to decide on whether the final races in the United States and the double-header in Mexico in support of Formula 1 would go ahead, before W Series announced on Monday the season had been curtailed.

W Series said the decision was “made to focus on the longer-term fundraising process to enable the longevity and financial health of W Series into 2023.”

As the season completed seven races, surpassing the six-race requirement, the championship is declared official, with Jamie Chadwick securing her third title.

Chadwick scored five victories en route to the championship, finishing 50 points clear of Beitske Visser in second place. Alice Powell rounded out the top three, a further seven points behind.

W Series CEO Catherine Bond Muir told media outlets including Autosport on Monday there had been significant interest from potential investors since news emerged of the financial difficulties, giving her confidence the series would return in 2023.

“We’ve had offers from a number of people, but the problem is getting money in doesn’t happen at the shake of a money tree, and people have got to go through due diligence,” explained Bond Muir.

“We believed up until last weekend there was a possibility for us to get to Austin, and we’ve just had to call it, because obviously there are deadlines on payments and things that need to be done.

“We could have kept it on for a couple of weeks, but we just had to make a pragmatic call today. Going forward, the big message is that I am extremely confident that W Series will be here next year.”

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Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

Bond Muir informed the W Series drivers of the news earlier on Monday afternoon, and said the championship remained committed to retaining its existing structure going forward to ensure drivers do not need to fund their own seats.

“I think they are concerned about the structure of the business going forward and whether they’d be asked to supply money next year,” said Bond Muir.

“I’ve said as far as we’re concerned at the moment, we want to keep the DNA of W Series going, and that we will, it is our intention to still be providing all of the expenses for the drivers.

“We’ve always said we're about finding the fastest drivers, not the richest drivers.”

Bond Muir still expected W Series to pay out the prize money for the drivers based on their finishing position despite the shortened season. Three-time champion Chadwick is due to receive the top prize of $500,000, with a further $1m spread across the rest of the field.

“Where I sit at the moment, it is my expectation that that will be paid out,” said Bond Muir. “I can’t say 100% until the money plus everything else and the working capital for the business going forward.

“But where I stand at the moment, I don’t see any reason why that won’t be the case.”

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