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W Series’ first 2022 test to take place in USA using F4 cars

by Ida Wood

W Series has released information on its first test of 2022, but it will not be for the championship’s confirmed drivers or use the usual Formula Regional cars.

Across January 31-February 4, 14 drivers will be invited to at the private Inde Motorsports Ranch track in the scrubland of Arizona, USA to test the Crawford F4-16 car that is seen in all of the United States’ Formula 4 championships.

The 2.75-mile road course is not used for racing series, and has been rented out solely for testing and private running since 2010.

“The purpose of this test is to get to know a new group of drivers and understand what they are capable of as we finalise our 2022 driver line-up and look to the future,” said W Series’ racing director Dave Ryan.

“All of the drivers who will be with us in Arizona have demonstrated talent and potential in their careers so far and, while some may be a year or two away from racing in W Series, this is an opportunity for them to showcase their skills and for us to accelerate their development.”

In the announcement of the test, it was not said if any of the 14 drivers would move into contention for one of the vacant race seats. It was mentioned however that there will be a second pre-season test.

The Inde test entry list includes several active single-seater racers, the most prominent being Lena Buhler who will be racing in FRegional Asian Championship (which uses the same Tatuus T-318 chassis and engine as W Series) just a week after the test.

Coming from Spanish F4 are Emely de Heus and Lola Lovinfosse, and from the US and non-FIA Uruguayan championships respectively are Chloe Chambers and Maite Caceres. Chambers (pictured) came 26th in her rookie US F4 campaign last year, and was also eighth in the F4 Eastern championship and 10th in the two-round YACademy Winter Series.

Other single-seater drivers include Formula Delta Brasil racer and FIA Girls on Track Rising Stars finalist Julia Ayoub, Jordan Dolischka, who came fifth in the 2021 Austrian Formula Renault Cup last year, and Lindsay Brewer who was sixth in the Skip Barber Formula Race Series.

Nicole Havrda, 15th in last year’s Ron Fellows Karting Championship in the ROK Junior class, has experience of the car being used by W Series having done F4 tests with Kiwi Motorsport.

Test entry list

Driver Nation Age 2021
Madison Aust USA 16 unknown
Julia Ayoub Brazil 16 Formula Delta Brasil
Tereza Babickova Czech Republic 18 Senior karting
Lindsay Brewer USA 24 Skip Barber Formula Race Series
Lena Buhler Switzerland 24 FREC
Bianca Bustamante Philippines/USA 16 No racing
Maite Caceres Uruguay 19 Uruguayan F4
Chloe Chambers USA 17 US F4
Jorden Dolischka Austria 17 Austrian FR Cup
Emely de Heus Netherlands 18 Spanish F4
Nicole Havrda Canada/Czech Republic 15 Junior karting
Jem Hepworth Britain 21 Britcar
Corinna Kamper Austria 27 Electric karting
Lola Lovinfosse France 16 Spanish F4