Channel 4 has said it hopes broadcasting the inaugural season of the all-female W Series motor racing championship could be the first step towards a female Formula One champion.
W Series will see 18 women from 13 countries compete in mechanically-identical single-seater cars.
It will feature British drivers Jamie Chadwick, Esmee Hawkey, Jessica Hawkins, Sarah Moore and Alice Powell.
All six races will be broadcast live on Channel 4 and Joe Blake-Turner, commissioning editor for sport at the broadcaster, said: “We’re thrilled to be bringing live coverage of the W Series to terrestrial audiences.
“Women have been under-represented in motorsport for far too long and, who knows, this exciting format could be the first step towards producing a female Formula One champion in the not-too-distant future.”
Catherine Bond Muir, CEO of W Series, added: “This is a historic moment for us.
“The UK, with its incredible love of motorsport, is a cornerstone market for W Series and what better way to engage and entertain than with live coverage of our all-female single-seater racing.
“Channel 4 is the ideal broadcast partner and we’re delighted to be working with them as we introduce the world to this exciting new concept.”
Former Formula One driver David Coulthard is chairman of the W Series advisory board and said: “I have had the privilege to work with Channel 4 as a Formula One commentator for many years and am thrilled that their appetite and enthusiasm for motorsport have grown to cover W Series too.
“Channel 4’s experience with Formula One will prove invaluable as we work together to produce a compelling show for viewers, fans, partners and sponsors alike.”
The W Series on Channel 4 begins with the opening race at Hockenheim on May 4.
Coverage of the championships will be produced by independent production company Whisper, which also produces Channel 4’s Formula One programming.