W Series has announced that it will run a 10-race season on the Formula 1 support bill this year, with two double-header events bookending the season.
The season opener on the new Miami International Autodrome track on May 7-8 will now feature two races, one on Saturday and one on Sunday, and the same will apply to the Mexico City season finale on October 28-30.
The six rounds in between, four of which are in Europe before the championship heads to Asia for the first time at Suzuka (October 7-9) and then goes to Circuit of the Americas (October 21-23), will all feature one race each.
While the series’ 18-strong grid of cars is in transit after the Miami round, a deal has been struck for cars from New Zealand’s Toyota Racing Series – which has not run this year – to be used in their place for round two at Barcelona on May 20-22.
The Tatuus FT-60s have the same monocoque as W Series’ Tatuus T-318 chassis, with both being Formula Regional series, but the chassis chosen by Toyota Gazoo Racing New Zealand for TRS is slightly different and it is powered by a turbocharged two-litre Toyota engine. As well as Barcelona, the fleet of TRS cars will be used for W Series’ Suzuka round too so its usual cars can be shipped to COTA.
This means there will be two different chassis and engine combinations used in W Series, as its T-318s are powered by smaller 1.75L Alfa Romeo engines which output 270bhp compared to the Toyota unit’s 285bhp. Both cars use a different steering rack compared to other FRegional series so make the steering ligher and therefore easier for drivers.
W Series says its use of TRS’s cars will “enable the use of sea, as opposed to air, freight, keeping the series’ carbon footprint as low as possible” and will likely be a more cost-effective option than flying cars to events.
It is not the first time this year the series has forgone the cars in its own technical regulations, having used Formula 4 cars from the United States championship for the first pre-season test of 2022 at the private Inde Motorsports Ranch.
It has been confirmed by paddock sources to Formula Scout that Fine Moments will be the British team that continues to operate all the cars in the centrally-run series, having taken on the responsibility during the 2021 season.