The desire for more diversity in motorsport is something that is wanted by the majority of us that write about, watch or have any interest in motor racing; that is, unless, you are stuck in the eighteenth century.
However, diversity isn’t just about having men and women racing together, it also encompasses all classes, races, religions, ages. Simply put, all variables imaginable.
The problem with the newly-announced W Series is that it forces a split and normalises it. To most people reading this, you may think it doesn’t sound like a big deal – men and women have their own championships and leagues across international sport already. True, but motor racing still remains one of the only sports where men and women can participate together whether that be on a race track, street circuit or through the rough terrain of a rally stage. As the saying goes, once the helmet goes on gender doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is who is quickest.
This year alone, Flick Haigh became the first female outright British GT Champion and Ana Carrasco won the SSP3000 Bike Championship. Both females competing in intense racing environments and coming out on the top step, and that is only scratching the surface on the incredible female talent within motorsport.
But this is where, honestly, I get a bit perplexed.
Would there be more female talent in motor racing if there was the funding and opportunities available to them? Yes. Could this W Series present us with the next big racing talents? Yes. So should we be painting the W Series with such a negative brush? Probably not.
For me though, I would rather see finances invested into upcoming female racers in other independent series rather than a series solely for women. The same goes for drivers with different economic or social backgrounds. More diversity is needed and I don’t think segregation is the answer before it gets any better.