Caitlyn Jenner becomes team owner in W Series

The W Series, the international single-seater motor racing championship for female drivers, announced Tuesday that a team owned by former Olympic champion Caitlyn Jenner will compete in the 2022 season.

Jenner was hailed as ‘the world’s greatest athlete’ by Time magazine after winning the decathlon at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal, Canada, by setting a third straight world record. Now, the athletic icon will go for W Series gold when her Jenner Racing team joins in on the W Series’ third season, which consists of Formula 1 support races at eight Grand Prix weekends, starting in Miami, in May. According to the promoters, the W Series had a global reach of more than half a billion viewers in 2021 when it began its partnership with F1.

In her role as team principal, Jenner will oversee the day-to-day running of her Jenner Racing team. Driver lineup, car livery, and the acquisition of sponsors who are aligned with her mission of promoting women in sport and creating a platform for them in motorsport, will be first on her agenda.

“As a believer in fair competition, a lover of motor racing, and a supporter of all women in sport from the grassroots to elite level, W Series ticks every box for me and is a fusion of the different aspects of my career,” Jenner said.

Jenner at Sebring in 1980.

“I watched on with great excitement last year when W Series made its American debut in Austin, Texas, USA, where its drivers entertained 400,000 fans over the weekend at the Circuit of the Americas. In May, I will be beaming with pride when my Jenner Racing team starts its bid for W Series glory on motor racing’s greatest stage at the first race of season three in Miami, USA, in support of Formula 1. As has always been the case, I’m in it to win it.”

Last week, 15 prospective drivers from around the world – including seven from the Americas – attended a W Series test at the Inde Motorsports Ranch, Arizona, USA.

Jenner is no stranger to motorsport or F1 having first won a celebrity race at the Long Beach Grand Prix, California, USA, in 1979.

Jenner went on to compete professionally in the IMSA Camel GT Championship, as a factory driver for Ford Motor Company and Jack Roush, for the next six years, making a total of 57 starts. After a near victory, and second place finish at 24 hours of Daytona, Jenner came back in the 1986 12 Hours of Sebring alongside co-driver Scott Pruett, to whom Jenner would finish runner-up in the championship that year.

“When I first met Caitlyn Jenner, it was clear that she is as committed to that mission as all of us at W Series are,” Catherine Bond Muir, CEO of the W Series said. “She has performed at the highest level in sport, is a proven winner and a complete petrol-head, and I know that her passion for sport and motorsport will inspire everybody at W Series. We continue to rethink racing and I am excited to see how the Jenner Racing team performs this season. With one of the world’s greatest athletes supporting them, the sky is the limit.”

Greg Engle