Britain’s Jamie Chadwick is the inaugural W Series champion and will return in 2020. Picture: REUTERS
Britain’s Jamie Chadwick is the inaugural W Series champion and will return in 2020. Picture: REUTERS

Inaugural champion Jamie Chadwick will return for a second season of the all-female W Series in 2020, with six newcomers featuring on a list of 18 drivers published by organisers on Monday.

SA’s Tasmin Pepper will also return to the grid after finishing 10th in the inaugural season.

The new entrants for season two include British racer Abbie Eaton, who has been a test driver for Amazon’s The Grand Tour television motoring series.

Russian Irina Sidorkova will be the youngest in the championship at the age of 16. Two Spanish F4 racers, Belen Garcia and Nerea Marti, are among the new faces, along with Brazilian Bruna Tomaselli and Norwegian Ayla Agren.

Two other drivers will be announced at a later date to bring the field up to 20. The top 12 from this year’s championship are all returning.

“All the stars of our 2019 season will race again with us in 2020, but some of the new drivers on our 2020 entry list are clearly very good too,” racing director Dave Ryan said in a statement. “I’m consequently hoping our 2020 season will be even better than our 2019 season.”

The W Series, which uses identical Formula Three cars, aims to help female racers climb the male-dominated motorsport ladder towards Formula One, which last saw a woman start a race in 1976.

Season two looks set to feature more than the current six races, with the champion collecting a $500,000 (R7.3m) prize as well as points towards the super licence that is mandatory for racing in Formula One.

SA karters to take on best in the world

SA karters are in Italy this weekend for the Rotax Max Grand Finals. Picture: SUPPLIED
SA karters are in Italy this weekend for the Rotax Max Grand Finals. Picture: SUPPLIED

SA’s most successful karters of the 2019 season are in Italy for the Rotax Max Grand Finals in Sarno, Naples, from October 19 to 26. Seen by many as the Olympics of karting, the 20th annual Grand will see Rotax Max national class champions from over 80 countries come together to fight it out to crown the best in the world.

SA champion Benjamin Habig from Ballito leads the elite DD2 gearbox team alongside Cape Town driver Jonathan Thomas and Wayland Wyman from Benoni. Pinetown driver Jonathan Pieterse, Port Elizabeth racer Brett Brito and Pretoria’s Max 175 champion Nic Verheul will race in the over-30 DD2 Masters class, and Cape Town’s Charl Visser will fly the flag in Senior Max.

SA and WP champion Troy Dolinschek from Cape Town and African Open winner Aqil Alibhai from Johannesburg will fight it out in under-15 Junior Max, while Pietermaritzburg’s SA under-13 Mini Max champion Troy Snyman and SA under-11 Micro Max champion Reese Koorzen from Cape Town will race in those respective primary school classes.

Run on the most level possible playing field, the Rotax Max Grand Finals produce the closest and most competitive racing. Each of the 360 drivers to qualify is provided with identical and brand new ready-to-race karts.

SA karters have won 14 Max world titles over the past two decades. Cristiano Morgado is a four-time champion; Caleb Williams, Wesleigh Orr and Leeroy Poulter have brought two titles home apiece; and Mark and Gavin Cronje, Claudio Piazza-Musso and Jayden Els are also Rotax Max Grand Final champions.

Red Bull launches limited edition Brad Binder can

SA’s Brad Binder gets his face on a Red Bull can to celebrate his move to MotoGP next year.
SA’s Brad Binder gets his face on a Red Bull can to celebrate his move to MotoGP next year.
Image: Supplied

Red Bull has launched a limited edition can featuring Brad Binder to celebrate the South African’s impending move to the premier MotoGP racing class in 2020.

The 2016 Moto3 world champion, who is sponsored by the energy drinks company, will step up to MotoGP aboard a KTM after three seasons in the intermediate Moto2 class, where he has claimed five victories and 12 podiums to date.

“It’s pretty crazy to have your face on a Red Bull can! I don’t think I’ll get used to it,” said Binder.

“To know that there are so many people back home supporting me is crazy. I miss everything about SA when I’m away — the food, the people. I’m really looking forward to my move to MotoGP next year and hope to make everyone proud,” Binder said.

The 24-year-old made his Grand Prix debut in 2011 and grabbed his first silverware in 2014. He claimed the 2016 world title in just his second term with Red Bull KTM Ajo, becoming SA’s first world champion in 36 years and just the third from his country. He graduated immediately to Moto2 with the same team where he has raced ever since.

His third season in Moto2 started slowly but he’s steadily gained momentum and won his second race of the season at Aragon, Spain, in mid-September. That result made it two wins and three podiums in the past seven races. Binder wrapped up a great weekend in Thailand with another podium result when he gained 10 positions in the race and finally finished second after a great move on the last corner of the last lap.

“For sure, it’s going be really difficult at the beginning especially,” Binder said on the step-up to MotoGP. “However it’s going to be incredible lining up on the grid with Valentino Rossi and a lot of my heroes. It’s an incredible feeling and I can’t wait for it to all start.”

In addition to the limited-edition can, Red Bull is offering consumers the chance to win a trip to watch Binder race at the Spanish MotoGP in Jerez in May 2020.

To stand a chance to win, consumers need to make use of two exciting Augmented Reality filters and upload their video of support using the hashtag #ALL41BINDER. More information is available here.

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