17-year-old Filipino Bianca Bustamante broke into the world of W Series at the beginning of this year. Karting since she was five, Bianca has a wide array of achievements and titles to her name; she is a three-time Philippines Karting Driver of the year, a two-time Asian Junior Karting Open Champion, a four-time China Grand Prix Kart scholarship winner and a three-time Macau International Kart GP Champion. In 2021, Bianca was awarded the FIA Girls on Track Rising Stars scholarship and this year, she joined W Series in Arizona for their prospective drivers’ test.
Bianca has a two-year contract with the W Series Academy racing team, where she will partner Juju Noda, aged 16, from Japan. The team gives both girls the opportunity to develop as racing drivers through dedicated mentorship and training.
With her career now heavily focused in Europe, Bianca made the move overseas from Asia to work with Academy.
“Coming from Asia and travelling so far is overwhelming,” she says. “But, I have an amazing opportunity like this to race in top motorsports.”
For the second year running, W Series is a Formula 1 Grand Prix race weekend support event. The remaining race rounds will see W Series join F1 in France, Hungary, Japan, the USA and Mexico having already raced in the US (Miami), Spain (Barcelona) and Great Britain (Silverstone). This global calendar gives the W Series racing drivers exposure all over the world.
Bianca’s first season in W Series has consisted of a lot of hard work in adapting to the car.
“The tyres are so different to what I’m used to; it is a bit tough,” Bianca says. “We’re working really hard with the data and videos to see what else we can improve.”
Looking towards the rest of this season and 2023, Bianca feels positive about the improvements she will begin to make as she spends more time in the car and with her team.
“Hopefully, towards the end of the season we will see some progress,” she says. “And hopefully we can fight for more top-five finishes next year!”
Last time out at Silverstone was Bianca’s first time racing at the iconic circuit.
“It’s amazing to see so many British racing drivers that are so successful,” she says. “Silverstone really does feel like the home of British motorsport.”
With a double header coming up for W Series at Paul Ricard and the Hungaroring, Bianca will be working flat out to continue her progression with Academy this season and in 2023.
Image credit: W Series
You can watch W Series practice on Twitch and both Qualifying and the Race on Sky Sports F1 in the United Kingdom.