All-female 'W Series' motorsport championship to be broadcast live on Channel 4

Duncan Bech

Motor racing's inaugural women-only championship is set to be broadcast live on Channel 4.

The W Series, which begins in Hockenheim, Germany next month, will see 18 female drivers battle it out over six races for a £1.15million prize pot.

And the championship has been handed a major boost after reaching a deal with the free-to-air Channel 4.

David Coulthard, a 13-time grands prix winner and chairman on the W Series advisory board, is also a pundit for the broadcaster's Formula One coverage.

Coulthard said: "I've had the privilege of working with Channel 4 as a Formula One commentator for many years and I'm thrilled that their appetite for live motorsport has 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."

Channel 4 will show only the British Grand Prix live this season after Sky Sports won the exclusive broadcasting rights in the UK.

Joe Blake-Turner, Channel 4's commissioning editor for sport, said: "We're thrilled to be bringing live coverage of 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."

Italian Lella Lombardi is the last female driver to contest an F1 race 43 years ago.

The opening W Series race takes place on May 4. Brands Hatch will host the season finale in August.