LONDON (Reuters) – The top eight drivers in this year’s all-female W Series will earn points towards a Formula One super-licence, organisers said on Thursday.

In order to race at grand prix level, a driver needs to have accumulated 40 points over a three-year period.

W Series, which started last year and aims to help women climb the motorsports ladder and compete with the men, said points would be allocated from first to eighth in the championship in a sequence of 15-12-10-7-5-3-2-1.

The allocation is the same as that given to NASCAR and the World Touring Car Championship.

No points were awarded to W Series last year, when Britain’s Jamie Chadwick was the inaugural champion.

Former F1 racer and grand prix winner David Coulthard, the series’ advisory board chairman, said he was delighted with the move.

“The FIA’s decision confirms my absolute belief that W series is essential in developing female talent and giving female drivers the opportunity to develop their skills so as to become successful professional racing drivers in the future,” said the Scot in a statement.

The final two races of the W Series season will feature on the Formula One support programme at the U.S. and Mexican Grands Prix.

No woman has competed in Formula One since 1976.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Toby Davis)

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