Seventeen-year-old Filipina racer Bianca Bustamante continues to make strides on the global stage. After being selected as the only Asian to participate in the 2021 FIA Girls on Track program, Bustamante has now earned a seat for the 2022 W Series season.
The W Series is an all-female racing championship that serves as a support series for Formula 1. Following pre-season tests at the Inde Motorsports Ranch in the US and at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain, race director Dave Ryan has selected nine drivers to compete in the upcoming W Series season. Bustamante is one of the youngest among the 17 chosen drivers.
“Ever since I was a kid, I’ve dreamt of racing in a professional formula car series,” wrote Bustamante in a Facebook post. “I’ve raced, trained, studied, and prepared the last 12 years of my life, and yet often doubted if I could even get there.
“Today all the hard work has paid off, as I can officially announce that I have been selected by W Series for the full 2022 season. Its a very special moment for me, my family, my whole team supporting in and out of racing. I’m just so truly grateful that God has given me this opportunity. Thank you to W Series, and to each and every person that believed in me throughout my journey so far. Its just the start and I promise to work hard and maximise this opportunity to the best of my ability. Thank you all so so much and finally MIAMI HERE I COME!!! LESSSGOOO!”
This year, there will be various support races at eight Formula 1 Grand Prix weekends. The races will start in Miami in May and conclude in Mexico City in October.
“As the profile of W Series grows, the talent pool and standard of our driver line-up increases, and the 2022 W Series grid is the strongest yet. This year, we expanded our driver search and testing program by staging pre-season tests in both the USA and Europe, and that decision has paid dividends. The class of 2022 represents 10 different countries, and more than a quarter of the grid are new talents making their W Series debut,” said Ryan. “The five rookies are well-prepared and join a group of proven W Series performers who know what it’s all about. In the spirit of W Series, they will all drive each other forward.
“Double W Series champion Jamie Chadwick will certainly be aiming to mount a strong title defense, but she was pushed all the way in 2021 and I expect another close battle for the title,” added Ryan. “As we stage Formula 1 support races in three continents this season, the opportunity for W Series drivers in 2022 is unprecedented. It will be interesting to see how they all handle the pressure of racing on motorsport’s greatest stage, and I’m looking forward to the first race of the season in Miami in May.”
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