W Series CEO to decide by the end of the week if season should end early

October 03, 2022
The W Series needs to box. Yesterday, CEO Catherine Bond Muir said she will decide by the end of the week if the women’s motorsport championship should complete the 2022 season or end it early to mitigate financial damage.
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SOURCE: CLIVE MASON/GETTY IMAGES
SOURCE: CLIVE MASON/GETTY IMAGES

The GIST: The W Series needs to box. Yesterday, CEO Catherine Bond Muir said she will decide by the end of the week if the women’s motorsport championship should complete the 2022 season or end it early to mitigate financial damage.

The debt: According to accounts filed with U.K. registrar Companies House last month, the W Series had net liabilities of around $8.3 million at the end of 2021. The number is up from the $5.7 million it posted a year earlier, but is “in line” with the championship’s expectations as a startup.

  • The W Series reportedly owes contractors up to thousands of dollars, including hospitality sponsor Velocity Experience and production partner Whisper, who allegedly did not send staff for Beitske Visser’s win in Singapore yesterday.

The broken agreement: Its financial woes worsened this year after the collapse of a multimillion dollar deal with an unspecified American investor, per a report. The partnership fell through after both parties signed on the dotted line. Yikes.

The impact: The season’s final two races that stand to be chopped are currently scheduled for the end of the month in Austin, Texas and Mexico City, and would run alongside Formula One (F1) competitions.

  • Bond Muir could not confirm that the W Series’ prize pot of $1.5 million will be paid out in full to drivers. The CEO, though, is “increasingly confident” the championship will survive into 2023.

The lingering questions: Focus on the W Series now shifts to its financial model and how to attempt a necessary reshuffle. The three-year-old championship is in dire need of financing, and courting stakeholders through a fundraising round (à la WNBA) may be an option.

  • It also begs the question: Could existing partners like F1 pitch in? The men’s motorsport property has backed sports startups recently — its investment arm participated in Overtime’s $100 million Series D raise in August.
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