Erda, Sharma eliminated from W Series qualifiers
Mira Erda and Sneha Sharma have missed out on an entry into the W Series, an all-female racing champion that ditches the conventional pay-to-drive model prevalent in the junior racing ladder.
Both Erda and Sharma were included in the W Series’ preliminary list of 55 candidates, who were shortlisted from “more than 100 applicants from 30 countries around the world.”
All selected candidates, including Erda and Sharma, were invited to Austria for a three-day evaluation process, where they were judged by a panel led by former Formula 1 driver David Coulthard, Le Mans 24 Hours winner Alex Wurz and ex-IndyCar racer Lyn St. James.
Points were awarded to candidates on the basis of 10 modules, including a test of their driving ability at the Wachauring circuit using Ford Fiesta ST and Porsche Cayman S road cars.
After the scores were tallied, 28 drivers were selected for further assessment ahead of the W Series’ inaugural season.
Unfortunately neither Erda nor Sharma, both of whom are seasoned racers in the JK Tyre National Racing Championship, were included in the list.
Series boss Catherine Bond Muir said that she was "massively impressed" by all 54 drivers present and that it was tough to shortlist 28 candidates from them.
Muir also revealed that drivers who didn't make it to the next stage are allowed to enter again in 2020.
"All W Series' qualifier-drivers here at the Wachauring [Melk, Austria] are superstars, every single one of them," Muir said.
"But the sad fact is that not all of them will continue to the next stage of our driver selection programme. That's competition. That's sport. That's racing.
"So to all of them who’ve made it through to the next stage, I say: congratulations and good luck in Almeria [Spain] in March, the final stage of our driver selection programme.
"And to those of them who haven’t made it through to the next stage, I say: obviously, today is a sad day.
"But one thing I've seen over the past three days, and that I've been massively impressed by, is that each and every one of our qualifier-drivers is tough, brave and strong.
"And of course we'll therefore encourage them to work hard on their driving for the next few months and then consider re-applying for the 2020 W Series season when the time comes."
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