The W Series, which begins in Hockenheim, Germany on May 3 will see 18 female drivers will line up for the opening race in the competition's first season.

"At the heart of W Series' DNA is the firm belief that women can compete equally with men in motorsport," a statement from the W Series said.

"However, an all-female series is essential in order to force greater female participation."

The series supported by long-time F1 driver David Coulthard and has the backing of Red Bull design chief Adrian Newey will see races last for 30 minutes plus one lap, and there are no costs for the drivers.

The overall winner will receive $500,000 (£380,000) with a separate $1.5m prize pot to be divided among the racers.

Among the list of drivers in Maitland-born Caitlin Wood who qualified for the Series after four days of testing in Spain in March.

"I'm so happy to be a part of this inaugural year, it's been such a great time here in Spain pushing me to my limits," Wood wrote on Instagram.

"A full racing season covered is what everyone dreams of and it's finally a reality."

While the series has drawn criticism for segregating racing by gender, but it has also drawn praise for allowing female drivers, who otherwise struggle to race a full season due to a variety of reasons, the chance to do just that. 

 "It gives the example that we can do it. I wouldn't be racing if it wasn't for the W Series," Italian driver Vicky Piria told BBC World Service Sport.

"When I started karting, there wasn't an opportunity to race cars, as that just wasn't around. If I was eight years old now, I would look up to the W Series and see a path to get where I wanted to be."

It's been four decades since the last women, Lella Lombardi, raced in a Formula 1 Grand Prix.

For the first year, races will be based in Europe with Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

However, in the future, there are plans to expand races to North America, Asia and Australia.

SBS is set to broadcast the W Series free-to-air via an app and online but no further details have been provided as of Friday morning.