The W Series has released its long-list of qualifiers that will contend for a place on the grid for the championship's inaugural season, including known names such as Carmen Jorda, Jamie Chadwick and Alice Powell.

The all-female W Series was announced back in October with involvement from F1 figures such as David Coulthard and Adrian Newey, offering a £1 million-plus prize fund to help further female talent in motorsport and a place on the DTM support card at select rounds in 2019.

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The championship confirmed it had received more than 100 applications from women to join the grid in its first month, and has now confirmed the 55-strong long-list of drivers who will advance to the next stage of the judging process.

Among the 55 women are Jorda, who previously had a development role with Lotus in Formula 1, rising British star Jamie Chadwick, former GP3 racer Alice Powell and Finnish touring car driver Emma Kimilainen.

“We are thrilled but perhaps not surprised by the response. Even today there is a massive gender imbalance in motorsport and W Series is making the first step to correct that," said W Series CEO Catherine Bond Muir.

"Drivers from all over the world have stepped forward, so it’s clear that with the right framework we can make the changes this sport desperately needs.”

"We designed W Series specifically to shine a light on female talent right around the world," added Coulthard.

“I can’t wait to be part of the next stage and to see some of that talent in action.”

The 55 qualifiers will take part in a three-day on-and-off-track trial including fitness tests and psychometric profiling, as well as multiple driving skill tests.

The judges will then pick 18 drivers to form the grid for the first season, plus two reserves.

W SERIES - DRIVER LONG-LIST

Ayla Agren, 25, Norway
Amna Al Qubaisi,18, UAE
Chelsea Angelo, 22, Australia
Carmen Boix, 23, Spain
Sarah Bovy, 29, Belgium
Toni Breidinger, 19, USA
Ivana Cetinich, 22, South Africa
Jamie Chadwick, 20, UK
Veronika Cicha, 31, Czech Republic
Sabre Cook, 24, USA
Courtney Crone, 17, USA
Natalie Decker, 21, USA
Mira Erda, 18, India
Carlotta Fedeli, 26, Italy
Cassie Gannis, 27, USA
Marta Garcia, 18, Spain
Michelle Gatting, 24, Denmark
Angelique Germann, 27 Germany
Megan Gilkes, 17, Canada
Samin Gomez, 26, Venezuela
Grace Gui, 27, China
Michelle Halder, 19, Germany
Esmee Hawkey, 20, UK
Jessica Hawkins, 23, UK
Shea Holbrook, 28, USA
Carmen Jorda, 30, Spain
Vivien Keszthelyi, 17, Hungary
Emma Kimilainen, 29, Finland
Natalia Kowalska, 28, Poland
Stephane Kox, 24, Netherland
Miki Koyama, 21, Japan
Fabienne Lanz, 32, South Africa
Milla Mäkelä, 25, Finland
Alexandra Marinescu, 18, Romania
Milou Mets, 28, Netherlands
Sheena Monk, 29, USA
Sarah Moore, 25, UK
Marylin Niederhauser, 22, Germany
Tasmin Pepper, 28, South Africa
Vicky Piria, 24, Italy
Taegen Poles, 20, Canada
Alice Powell, 25, UK
Charlotte Poynting, 20, Australia
Naomi Schiff, 24, Belgium
Carrie Schriener, 20, Germany
Sharon Scolari, 23, Switzerland
Doreen Seidel, 33, Germany
Siti Shahkirah, 24, Malaysia
Sneha Sharma, 28, India
Bruna Tomasell, 21, Brazil
Shirley Van Der Lof, 31, Netherlands
Beitske Visser, 23, Netherlands
Fabienne Wohlwend, 21, Lichenstein
Caitlin Wood, 21, Australia
Hanna Zellers, 21, USA

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