W Series reveals calendar change as five-day test begins

W Series has revealed a change to its calendar after the Formula 1 Turkish Grand Prix was cancelled, relocating the first race of the season to the Styrian Grand Prix on June 26.

The first race had originally been planned to take place at the French GP on the same weekend, but that event was brought forward by a week after COVID travel regulations forced the cancellation of the race at Istanbul Park.

This led to the introduction of a double-header race in Austria the following two weekends (June 25-27 and July 2-4), with W Series racing at both.

2021's championship will see eight-races in support of F1, with other circuits to host the following rounds including Silverstone, the Hungaroring and Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.

The series, in its second season, begins a five-day pre-season test at the Anglesey Circuit on Monday.

It is almost two years since the last W Series race at Brands Hatch in August 2019, 17 of the 18 drivers so far confirmed for the 2021 W Series season will be in Anglesey.

South Africa's Tasmin Pepper is unable to attend the test due to travel restrictions.

The drivers will be joined by three additional drivers who have been invited to take part - Abbi Pulling, Gosia Rdest and Caitlin Wood.

Jamie Chadwick took the crown in front of a home crowd at the inaugural championship in 2019 despite being overtaken for the final podium place by her title rival Beitske Visser with three laps remaining.

The Williams Formula 1 development driver went on to compete in the Formula Regional European Championship and the new Extreme E series, while Visser contested the 24 Hours of Le Mans after winning last summer's W Series Esports League.

Other returning drivers include Alice Powell, who finished third in 2019 with one win and four podiums, fourth place finisher Marta Garcia and The Grand Tour's Abbie Eaton.

The revised 2021 W Series race calendar:

26 June Spielberg, Austria (in support of the Styrian Grand Prix)
3 July Spielberg, Austria (in support of the Austrian Grand Prix)
17 July Silverstone, UK
31 July Budapest, Hungary
28 August Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium
4 September Zandvoort, Netherlands
23 October Austin, USA
30 October Mexico City, Mexico
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