Motor racing-W Series leaves U.S and Mexican rounds in doubt

Motorsports - W Series - Brands Hatch - Brands Hatch, West Kingsdown, Britain - August 11, 2019 Jamie Chadwick of Great Britain in action during the W Series race REUTERS/Matthew Childs

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - The all-female W Series will decide next week whether to proceed with its U.S. and Mexican rounds amid financial difficulties, founder executive Catherine Bond Muir said on Friday.

The series, which debuted in 2019 with the aim of getting a woman racer to Formula One, is in its third season and racing in Singapore this weekend where unbeaten Briton Jamie Chadwick could wrap up a hat-trick of titles.

The rounds in the U.S. (Oct.21-23) and Mexico (Oct. 28-30)conclude the season.

"I hope that the last two races will go ahead," Bond Muir, a lawyer and corporate finance banker, told reporters at the Marina Bay track.

"We’ll have to make a decision next week."

W Series, which is free to enter, had net liabilities of 7.5 million pounds ($8.34 million) as of the end of last year, according to statements filed with Companies House.

Bond Muir said the current funding gap was the result of a long-term deal signed with a major investor falling through at the last minute.

"I was in San Francisco at the weekend and money that had been contracted to come in, didn’t come in," she said. "These things tend to be like a bit of a slow train crash.

"There’s a day in which you’re supposed to receive money and then it doesn’t arrive and then you chase it for a bit and then you go over and sit in front of them and say, 'Where’s the money?'

Bond Muir, who said the series would take legal action against the investor who pulled out, said she was having several conversations about securing fresh funding.

"There’s lots of interest, I don’t know where it can land up," she said.

She added that the drivers, who race for a total prize pot of $1.5 million with the championship winner getting $500,000, had been "100% supportive".

Bond Muir was confident it would be paid out and added that contractors, who according to a report in Britain's Daily Telegraph on Wednesday were owed "significant sums", had also expressed support.

($1 = 0.8994 pounds)

(Reporting by Abhishek Takle; editing by Toby Davis)

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