W Series to race in Russia and Sweden after announcing initial 2020 calendar

W Series Misano
W Series will race at Monza in Italy in 2020, after racing at Misano on the Italian Adriatic coast in 2019

W Series will open its second season with two new locations in Russia and Sweden after announcing its initial 2020 calendar of six races.

The women's-only competition starts at the new Igora Drive circuit near St Petersburg on 29 May 2020.

Sweden's Anderstorp Raceway, which hosted Formula 1's Swedish Grand Prix in the 1970s, will be the second race location in June.

Britain's Jamie Chadwick will attempt to defend her title.

The 2019 races of Zolder in Belgium and Hockenheim in Germany have been dropped, while the Italy race switches from the Adriatic coast in Misano to the historic F1 circuit of Monza.

Norisring in Germany, Brands Hatch in the UK, and Assen in the Netherlands remain on the calendar in July, August and September.

The series will remain a support race to the German touring cars series, DTM, with drivers now able to earn points towards the 'super licence' required to race in Formula 1.

W Series Race Director Dave Ryan said: "The DTM drivers who've visited [Igora Drive] have been very complimentary about it, describing it as fast and technical, finishing with an exciting uphill final sector consisting of a series of quick-fire corners, a hairpin and a long straight."

The former McLaren director said of the Swedish circuit: "It was and still is an unusual circuit, containing several banked turns, including the very long 180-degree Karusell right-hander, and it often therefore delivered unpredictable results."

While 18 of the 20 drivers have been confirmed for 2020, the final calendar is yet to be approved, with more race locations to be announced.

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