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Japan's Noda among drivers announced for W Series Barcelona test

Juju Noda, the daughter of 1990s Formula 1 driver Hideki Noda, is among the drivers to have been announced for W Series’ three-day on-track test in Barcelona next week.

Juju Noda, Noda Racing

Photo by: Noda Racing Academy

The 16-year-old Japanese will be the youngest driver to take part in the test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya from 2-4 March.

She has previously had success in Danish Formula 4, finishing sixth in 2020 after taking pole for all three rounds, before finishing seventh last year with two wins.

However, Noda was due to race in US F4 last year before her deal with the Jay Howard Driver Development team collapsed ahead of qualifying for the opening round, leading her to return to the Danish series.

Twenty drivers, including two-time reigning champion Jamie Chadwick and 2021 runner-up Alice Powell, will take part in the event.

The eight drivers who qualified automatically for the 2022 season by finishing in the top eight last year plus last season's W Series Academy driver Irina Sidorkova were automatically given places on the grid.

Joining them will be 11 drivers all hopeful of earning one of the remaining seats and a fully funded racing season. Those include the top five drivers chosen from the Arizona test which took place in February - Tereza Babickova, Lena Buhler, Bianca Bustamante, Chloe Chambers, and Emely De Heus.

Megan Gilkes will also return to W Series for the test, having raced in the series’ inaugural season in 2019, finishing 19th.

The 20 drivers testing at the 2022 W Series pre-season test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya are:

Tereza Babickova, CZE, 18
Lena Buhler, SWI, 24
Bianca Bustamante, PHI, 17
Jamie Chadwick, UK, 23
Chloe Chambers, USA, 17
Emely De Heus, NED, 19
Belen Garcia, ESP, 22
Marta Garcia, ESP, 21
Megan Gilkes, CAN, 21
Jessica Hawkins, UK, 27
Emma Kimiläinen, FIN, 32
Nerea Martí, ESP, 20
Sarah Moore, UK, 28
Juju Noda, JPN, 16
Alice Powell, UK, 29
Abbi Pulling, UK, 18
Irina Sidorkova, RUS, 18
Bruna Tomaselli, BRA, 24
Beitske Visser, NED, 26
Fabienne Wohlwend, LIE, 24

Chadwick’s surprise return to the series was announced on Tuesday, with the Williams Formula 1 development driver joining Caitlyn Jenner’s new outfit Jenner Racing.

W Series' 2022 calendar was revealed in January, featuring its first-ever Asian round at Suzuka and five new venues.

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