Singapore will host the seventh race of this year’s W Series, the all-women motor racing championship, in place of Japan after organizers were forced to move the event due to “operational challenges.”
The race in Japan was scheduled to take place along the men’s Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix between October 7 and 9 but will not be replaced with a race alongside the Singapore Grand Prix from September 30 to October 2.
Despite the location change, this will still be the first time the W Series has been staged in Asia.
Catherine Bond Muir, W Series chief executive, said: “It is with regret that we will not be racing in Japan this year, where we have strong support, but the challenges involved in doing so have increased significantly in the past six months, meaning that for a young business like ours it is sadly no longer possible to hold a race there.
“[Singapore] has built a fantastic reputation for great racing and we’re sure the atmosphere will be incredible as racing returns there.
“We staged our first-ever race on a street circuit in Miami in May to great acclaim and I’m sure our drivers will put on another exciting show … and continue to inspire new fans of the W Series in Asia.”
This year will be the series’ third season after the 2020 championship was canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The inaugural 2019 season had six races, all in Europe, with eight last year when W Series linked up with F1.
In March, the series announced the addition of two more races to its 2022 calendar, creating the longest-ever calendar for its third season. All 10 races this year feature as part of the overall race weekend of the F1 series, held the day before F1 events at the same venues.
This season marks the first time the series has staged races in Miami, Spain, France, Mexico, and now Singapore.
The W Series’ British Grand Prix at Silverstone earlier this month attracted a record domestic audience for the championship, which peaked at over a million viewers during the race.
That figure represents the biggest-ever live audience for a motorsport event in the UK outside of the men’s F1 since 2014, with coverage across pay-television network Sky Sport and free-to-air broadcaster Channel 4.
The 2022 W season began in Miami, Florida with a double-header from May 6 to 8, and is due to end with another double-header in Mexico City from October 28 to 30.
The next Grand Prix is set for Budapest, Hungary this weekend (July 29 to 31), before the series heads to Singapore.
Meanwhile, the inaugural Formula 1 (F1) Miami Grand Prix in May boosted the local South Florida economy by nearly $350 million.
According to an economic impact report issued by race organizers South Florida Motorsports, events at the Hard Rock Stadium campus in Miami Gardens attracted more than 243,000 spectators across the three-day event.
The report said visitor spending in the Greater Miami region during the weekend exceeded $150 million, with the average visitor for the race spending a total of $1,940 – nearly double the typical visitor.
The report also noted 84% of visitors traveled to Miami for the event, with 66% of attendees to the race being from out of town. Outside the US, the largest number of visitors were from Canada, the UK, Mexico, Colombia, and Argentina.
Over the three days, the Hard Rock Stadium hosted 242,955 visitors, with a record 85,280 attending race day.
Richard Cregan, Miami FP chief executive, said: “We were proud to deliver on the commitment [Hard Rock Stadium owner] Stephen Ross made to impact the local economy and the people throughout our community; especially right here in Miami Gardens.
“Our team work selflessly to create a campus and experience that was unique to the international culture of Miami. We look forward to growing the event and the positive impact it will continue to make here for years to come.”
The race attracted a record average audience of 2.6 million domestic viewers for F1 while it was shown on ABC, the sister channel of major sports broadcaster ESPN.
The previous record average audience for a live race broadcast was 1.74 million for the 1995 Brazilian Grand Prix, which aired on ESPN, while the most viewed F1 broadcast in US history was ABC’s coverage of the 2020 Monaco Grand Prix, which was shown on the same day but as a delayed presentation. It averaged 2.78 million viewers.
The next race on the F1 schedule is the Hungarian Grand Prix in Mogyoród this Sunday (July 31).