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X44 CONTINUE TO DOMINATE QUALIFYING WINNING THEIR HEAT IN SAUDI ARABIA
Desert X-Prix qualifying day was filled with action packed racing, with the new qualifying format in which X44 and Andretti United got a win each.
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First qualifying session of the new season was regular, single car qualifying, filled with accidents, penalties and mistakes. New driver line-up of Rosberg X Racing, Johan Kristoffersson and Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky were the fastest with the time of 9:03.604. Their main rivals from last season, X44 of Sebastian Loeb and Christina Gutierrez were in second, ahead of Andretti duo of Timmy Hansen and Catie Munnings.
Sara Price and Kyle LeDuc were forth fastest, ahead of Tamara Molinaro and Oliver Bennett of XITE Racing. ACCIONA Sainz duo finished in 6th, ahead of McLaren XE in their Extreme E debut. Nasser Al-Attiyah made a mistake and didn't get to the switch zone and lost a lot of time, and ABT Cupra only managed to post the 7th fastest time. JBXE drivers had a mechanical problem after going over the rocky terrain of the circuit and their car was losing power. Veloce didn't complete their Q1 run after Christine GZ rolled the car.
Second qualifying session is the debut of the new qualifying format, with a five car, two-lap race. Sara Price (Chip-Ganassi), Sebastien Loeb (X44), Carlos Sainz (ACCIONA Sainz) and Nasser Al-Attiyah (ABT Cupra) lined up on the grid for Heat 1. Veloce didn't start this race after the incident from Q1, after which they couldn't repair their Odyssey 21.
Sainz got the best start, but Loeb got to first place by the first flag marker. Sainz was close and attempted a pass, but couldn't get ahead. Al-Attiyah used the inside line to overtake Sainz but couldn't control the car, got up on two wheels, and hit Sainz, and the Spanish veteran had to retire after getting the car back to the switch zone. Gutierrez took over from Loeb, and kept the gap over the competition. Kyle LeDuc took over from Sara Price, and overtook Jutta Kleinschmidt shortly after the exit of the switch zone, to finish second, ahead of the ABT-Cupra's female racer. ABT-Cupra car is under investigation for causing a collision.
Timmy Hansen (Andretti), Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky (RXR), Oliver Bennett (XITE Racing) and Tanner Foust (McLaren) and Molly Taylor (JBXE) lined up on the grid for Heat 2. Timmy Hansen and Foust got the best start, and got up to lead the pack. Åhlin-Kottulinsky got up to third, but lost the position to Bennett, with Molly Taylor all the way back in fifth. Foust tried a couple of alternative lines to try and overtake Timmy Hansen, but remained in second when entering the switch zone. Åhlin-Kottulinsky got a better run to the switch zone and got by Bennett on the switch zone entry, with the team being under investigation for overspeeding in the pitlane.
Emma Gilmour, the first female driver of McLaren, couldn't start her car after the switch which cost them a lot of time and they fell back to last place. Johan Kristoffersson took over from Åhlin-Kottulinsky and caught up to Catie Munnings and overtook her on the drop to the finish line, but RXR got a 17 second penalty for overspeeding, which dropped them to fourth, behind the XITE car of Bennett and Molinaro, as well as the JBXE line-up of Kevin Hansen and Molly Taylor. McLaren finished in 5th place.
Q2 - Heat 1 - Results:
1. X44 - Sébastien Loeb / Cristina Gutiérrez - 9:00.620
2. Chip Ganassi Racing - Kyle LeDuc / Sara Price +0:19.580
3. ABT CUPRA XE - Nasser Al-Attiyah / Jutta Kleinschmidt +3:13.972
4. ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team - Carlos Sainz / Laia Sanz + 1 lap
5. Veloce Racing - Lance Woolridge / Christine Giampaoli Zonca - DNS
Q2 - Heat 2 - Results:
1. Andretti United Extreme E - Timmy Hansen / Catie Munnings - 9:10.693
2. XITE ENERGY RACING - Oliver Bennett / Tamara Molinaro +0:13.703
3. JBXE - Kevin Hansen / Molly Taylor +0:15.371
4. Rosberg X Racing - Johan Kristoffersson / Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky +0:16.079
5. McLaren XE - Tanner Foust / Emma Gilmour +0:52.673
Qualifying Points - Top 3:
1. X44 - Sébastien Loeb / Cristina Gutiérrez - 19
2. Andretti United Extreme E - Timmy Hansen / Catie Munnings - 18
3. Chip Ganassi Racing - Kyle LeDuc / Sara Price - 15
NEW EXTREME E SPORTING FORMAT AND POINTS SYSTEM AHEAD OF SEASON 2
The Series has devised an innovative format unlike any other, likened to ‘Star Wars Pod Racing meets Dakar Rally' - the five X Prix of Extreme E Season 2 will feature the pressure of five car races for qualifying on Day One
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Depending on where you finish in your qualifying race, you will get points awarded for Q1 and Q2. This gives an Intermediate Classification that will decide the order for which cars progress through to Semi Final 1, Semi Final 2 and the Crazy Race on Day Two. The top two teams from each Semi Final and the winner of the Crazy Race progress to the Final.
Every round will incorporate two laps over a total distance of approximately 14 kilometres. In a motorsport world-first, teams will field one male and one female driver, promoting gender equality and a level playing field amongst competitors. The teams will determine which driver goes first to best suit their strategy and driver order selections are made confidentially, with competitors kept in the dark as to other teams’ choices until the last possible moment. Contests between males and females will therefore be ensured.
Both drivers will complete one lap behind the wheel of the ODYSSEY 21 electric SUV, with a driver changeover, the ‘Switch’, included after the first lap. A ‘Hyperdrive’ boost will also be available to each driver on each lap of the race. Activated when the driver presses a button on their steering wheel, they will enjoy an increase in power for a fixed amount of time. The timing for this will be a key decision.
Full sporting format and points as follows:
Qualifying 1 Heats 1 and 2: each 5 cars over 2 laps with a Switch
NB Positions for Qualifying 1 allocated through a lottery
Qualifying 2 Heats 1 and 2: each 5 cars over 2 laps with a Switch
NB Positions for Qualifying 2 allocated through finishing positions from Qualifying 1
Intermediate Classification points, which do not contribute to overall Championship points, will be awarded after each of the Qualifying Rounds according to the following scale:
1st – 5 points
2nd – 4 points
3rd – 3 points
4th – 2 points
5th – 1 point
The combined points of each Team’s runs in Qualifying Rounds 1 and 2, will determine the overall Intermediate Classification at the end of Qualifying, which will determine which Teams go into Semi Final 1, Semi Final 2 and the Crazy Race.
1st – Semi-Final 1
2nd – Semi-Final 2
3rd – Semi-Final 2
4th – Semi-Final 1
5th – Semi-Final 1
6th – Semi-Final 2
7th – Crazy Race
8th – Crazy Race
9th – Crazy Race
10th – Crazy Race
Semi-Final 1 – Three-car race with top two cars going through to the Final
Semi-Final 2 – Three-car race with top two cars going through to the Final
Crazy Race – Four-car race with first place going through to the Final
Final – Five-car Final with the top three going to the podium
1st: 25 points (winner of the Final)
2nd: 18 points (2nd place in the Final)
3rd: 15 points (3rd place in the Final)
4th: 12 points (4th place in the Final)
5th: 10 points (5th place in the Final)
6th: 8 points (3rd place from Semi-Final 1 or Semi-Final 2)*
7th: 6 points (3rd place from Semi-Final 1 or Semi-Final 2)*
8th: 4 points (2nd place in the Crazy Race)
9th: 2 points (3rd place in the Crazy Race)
10th: 1 point (4th place in the Crazy Race)
* The team finishing third in Semi-Final 1 or Semi-Final 2 that sets the faster Continental Traction Challenge time shall be deemed to be the 6th place finisher.
Continental Traction Challenge
The team that sets the fastest time through the allocated sector in Qualifying, Semi-Finals, Crazy Race and Final, will win the Continental Traction Challenge and earn five Championship points. If any teams are tied in the qualifying standings their positioning will be determined by their time in the Continental Traction Challenge - the team with the quicker run through the allocated sector receiving the higher overall position in qualifying. As previously stated, the team finishing third in Semi-Final 1 or Semi-Final 2 that sets the faster Continental Traction Challenge time shall be deemed to be the 6th place finisher.
MOLLY TAYLOR RETURNS FOR RACE 1 WITH JBXE
JBXE has today announced that 2021 Extreme E Championship winner Molly Taylor will join Season 1 driver Kevin Hansen for Race 1 of Extreme E Season 2.
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Taylor brings invaluable expertise after claiming the Extreme E title with Rosberg X Racing (RXR) in the Championship’s inaugural season, and all the knowledge that comes with winning the series.
Molly Taylor, driver for JBXE, said: ”I had an incredible year with Extreme E in 2021 and I believe wholeheartedly in what the competition represents both with respect to its commitment to sustainability and gender equality. Having had the benefit of a win in last year’s championship, when the call came to join the JBXE team ahead of this weekend’s race, I thought why not. I’m looking forward to getting my teeth stuck into the Desert X-Prix this weekend.”
Jenson Button, Founder of JBXE, added: “To be able to bring Molly into the team is fantastic news for JBXE. Having won the championship last year she obviously brings a huge amount to the table so I’m incredibly excited to see her and Kevin in action this weekend.”
Kevin Hansen, driver for JBXE, said: “I’m very excited to work with Molly. She did great last year and was one of the best out on track. You don’t become Champion for nothing! She has a lot of experience now in Saudi from the Dakar Rally this year, so I will take a lot of advantage from that. It was an amazing experience that she had there and now she can share that with me. It’s going to be very fun to work with her this weekend.”
The fresh JBXE driver line-up is all set to take on the first race of the season in NEOM, Saudi Arabia, this weekend (19-20 February).
CONTINENTAL PRESENTS A NEW TYRE FOR SEASON 2
Continental Tyres, premium partner of Extreme E, has developed a new high-performance CrossContact tyre for Season 2 of the all-electric series
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All vehicles involved in the races will be exclusively equipped with the redesigned CrossContact Extreme E tyres for reliable performance that has sustainability at its core. When developing the 2022 model, engineers and materials experts at Continental not only improved performance, but also placed particular emphasis on a high proportion of sustainable materials.
The team at Continental has completely redesigned the tread compound and the carcass of the second-generation CrossContact Extreme E. Overall, the new tyres are made from around one-third recycled and renewable raw materials, including silica obtained from the ashes of rice husks, a waste product from agriculture.
In addition to reprocessed steel and carbon black, Continental is also using polyester yarn made from recycled PET bottles in the tyre carcass for the first time. Thanks to the use of plastic bottles, conventional polyester has been fully substituted in the CrossContact Extreme E. The application of these old PET bottles that wouldn’t otherwise be reused is achieved without any intermediate chemical steps, employing ContiRe.Tex technology.
Each of the 30 tyres that Continental is supplying to all Extreme E teams now contains recycled polyester made from around 60 reprocessed PET bottles. Just as Extreme E looks to inspire a more sustainable automotive industry, Continental will integrate this new tyre technology into the volume production of various Continental premium tyres later this year.
Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky, Continental test driver who will be competing for Rosberg X Racing in Season 2, said: “I am proud to work with a company that pushes for sustainable technology, and am excited to push and develop our Season 2 tyre that is made from sustainable materials – but does not compromise on performance!"
Sandra Roslan, Project Lead Extreme E at Continental, said: “With Extreme E, we test our latest technologies and developments under particularly extreme and unique conditions. The results will help us in the introduction of sustainable solutions for our volume production. I’m confident that the tyre developers’ efforts will also influence the future of conventional tyres. We are ready for an even more exciting second Extreme E season and looking forward to once again proving the outstanding performance of our tyres under the toughest conditions. We have not only improved performance, but also placed particular emphasis on a high proportion of sustainable materials – and this is what Extreme E is all about."
XITE RACING HAS A NEW LINE-UP FOR EXTREME E SEASON 2
XITE Energy Racing has announced that Oliver Bennett will return to Extreme E for Season 2 alongside Swedish debutant Klara Andersson.
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Andersson will be looking to help make the difference for XITE Energy Racing in her maiden Extreme E campaign. The ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team introduced the Swedish 21-year-old to the Championship during the Rookie Test which followed the Enel X Island X Prix.
Andersson started karting at the age of 7 and raced for six years, winning on Swedish, Norwegian and Italian tracks before switching to rallycross in 2019. The young Swede is now an up-and-coming talent in rallycross and has raced in the Swedish Rallycross Championship, becoming 2150 class winner in 2021. Andersson also had a stunning debut in RX2e at the end of last year, with an impressive 4th place in the finals highlighting the potential she brings to Extreme E.
Oliver Bennett, XITE Energy Racing, said: “I don’t think we saw the best of XITE Energy Racing in Extreme E last season. The organisers have made some improvements to the cars for this season, so hopefully Klara and I will be able to show what we’re about in Saudi Arabia. The location for this race is just extraordinary. We are literally in the middle of nowhere in the Arabian Desert; it takes a moment just to register where we’re racing. Going off the line at full throttle takes you to 60mph or 100kph in four seconds and that tends to focus your attention on the corner ahead rather than the amazing landscape!”
Klara Andersson, XITE Energy Racing, said: “I’m mega excited! It’s a dream come true to race in Extreme E with XITE Energy and Oliver. I’m looking forward to a completely new challenge. I’m incredibly thankful for the opportunity, and I can’t wait to go flat out in the desert!”
News of XITE Energy Racing’s competitive return comes just days after the announcement that XITE Energy will remain as the Championship’s official energy drink partner.
Ahead of the first race of the season, that is coming up on 19th and 20th of February, Andersson tested positive for Covid, and in her place, championship driver, Tamara Molinaro will be competing for XITE Energy Racing.
McLAREN XE UNVEILS ITS EXTREME E CAR AND LIVERY FOR 2022
The team’s Extreme E challenger was launched alongside the team’s Formula 1 and INDYCAR contenders, each sporting common livery colours ahead of their respective seasons.
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Taking its lead from the MCL36, the McLaren MX Extreme E car was displayed wrapped in a base of anthracite overlaid with a boldened and bespoke Fluro Papaya and Oceanic Blue and, in a fitting tribute to Bruce McLaren, will run with a heritage McLaren race number for its inaugural entry into the 2022 electric off-road racing series. The number 58 was used in the first race that Bruce entered, back in 1952, driving his father’s Austin 7 at the Muriwai Hillclimb in New Zealand.
Competing for the McLaren Extreme E team are drivers Emma Gilmour and Tanner Foust, who share duties behind the wheel, as part of the sport’s commitment to gender equality, diversity and inclusion.
Emma Gilmour, McLaren Racing, said: “After the winter break Tanner and I are ready to get back in the car and we certainly can’t wait to be reunited with ours in its spectacular new livery. We haven’t seen the car since the ship left the UK to transport the cars to Saudi at the end of December. It’s going to be some reunion! We’ve got a great small team ready to see us through our first season as well as some epic and challenging race locations. I can’t wait!”
Tanner Foust, McLaren Racing, said: “Extreme E is going to use every single driving skill I have, including stunt driving. There couldn’t be a more challenging series when you think about the locations in which it races. I was a science major so I can’t wait to find out more about the legacy programme and see the travelling scientists in action. Emma has had a bit of a head start as she participated last season, so she knows more about what lies ahead but I’m embracing the challenge of the unknown. We only have five races to make our mark and plenty of time in between to work on our strategy, so the sooner we get started the better.”
Gilmour was announced as McLaren’s first-ever female racing driver in November of last year, during an engagement at COP26 with His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. She is also a compatriot of McLaren’s founder Bruce McLaren and joins a small yet illustrious group of female racing drivers to hail from New Zealand since Sybil Lupp switched from mechanic to motor racing in 1947. Emma is known for her vast experience in rallying, rallycross and cross-country rallying.
Joining her as team-mate is American Tanner Foust, one of the most popular and successful names in world rallycross and a four-time and current U.S. rallycross champion. He is world-renowned as a versatile, multi-talented driver famous for his supreme car control and track record of podiums, national championships and world records.
CHIP GANASSI AND ACCIONA SAINZ XE RETAIN THEIR DRIVER LINE-UPS
Kyle LeDuc and Sara Price will continue to share the cockpit of Chip Ganassi Racing's Extreme E car, while Carlos Sainz and Laia Sanz are back in the ACCIONA Sainz XE's Odyssey 21.
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With experienced off-road racers Price and LeDuc once again at the wheel for Chip Ganassi Racing, many will expect the American team to build on their Season 1 performances and challenge near the front of the pack in Season 2. Following a run of bad luck last year, the team and fans will be hoping for better fortune in 2022.
Kyle LeDuc, Chip Ganassi Racing, said: “I’m super pumped to be on board with Chip Ganassi Racing for the 2022 Extreme E series. We have taken what we learned in 2021 and ripped it to shreds to find the strong and the weak points and have addressed every issue with pinpoint accuracy. Sara and I will bring what’s needed to be intensely competitive and bring the action the world expects from us, and we know we can deliver. I can’t wait to get around the world and race in new locations, meet new people and learn what we can do as humans to fix issues around the world.”
Sara Price, Chip Ganassi Racing, said: “I’m very excited to be with Chip Ganassi Racing for our second season in the Extreme E series. In our first season, our speed showed but the results weren’t there. This is our redemption year. We are more than prepared, we’ve learned a lot, and it's time to show the world what we have. We have an incredible team behind us, and Kyle and I are two drivers ready for what’s to come and showing the world what we are capable of.”
Sainz Sr. and Sanz were part of a hotly contested inaugural season of Extreme E and this was possibly best evidenced in the midfield, where the teams fourth to sixth in the Championship were separated by just 17 points. The Spanish duo finished sixth in the standings, tied on points with ABT Cupra XE courtesy of a podium in Greenland keeping them in the fight.
Carlos Sainz Snr., ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team, said: "We are about to start Season 2 of the Extreme E Championship. It’s quite surprising how fast time flies because it seemed yesterday that we were about to embark on this thrilling adventure that has taken us all over the world with a unique message. All the members of the ACCIONA | SAINZ XE Team, also Laia and myself, are really looking forward to this new season in which we want to fight for everything. The experience we gained in 2021 must help us to take a step forward to start fighting for better results and even the Championship. I am really looking forward to the first X Prix in Saudi Arabia to show just how much we have progressed.
"The level of the Championship is really high, but we want to win and to send the strongest possible message about the importance of sustainability and respecting the environment. It makes me proud that we are doing this with a project that is entirely Spanish, so I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all the parties that make this possible for their confidence, including Santander Private Banking and Power Electronics, which will continue supporting us this year."
Laia Sanz, ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team, said: "I am really looking forward to the season opener in Saudi Arabia. I think it will be a different year to 2021 because we are not starting from scratch. Now the team has experience with the Odyssey 21 and I have been able to do many kilometres on four wheels, so I am convinced that I will be able to help the team much more. In the last races of 2021, we already took a step forward in terms of performance and I think that this is promising for what is to come. This winter I was able to do my first Dakar Rally racing on cars and I believe this will also prove really positive for this Extreme E season.
"It is true that I still lack experience in the wheel-to-wheel fights, but I am getting used to them and I am convinced that this season will be much better for us and that we will fight for better results. The level of the Championship got much higher throughout 2021 and everything seems to suggest that this 2022 will be even tighter, so I am really looking forward to getting started."
ROSBERG X RACING WILL DEFEND THE TITLE WITH A NEW LINE-UP
Johan Kristoffersson, who completed the inaugural Extreme E campaign with RXR, will b joined by Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky to mark an all-Swedish driver pairing, as Nico Rosberg’s team bids to become back-to-back winners.
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Prior to joining RXR, Åhlin-Kottulinsky competed for JBXE, driving alongside Jenson Button and later Kevin Hansen, claiming third place in the first-ever Extreme E season. Swedish damsel replaces Australian Molly Taylor at RXR for the Championship’s second season.
Åhlin-Kottulinsky started her career with Rallycross, before moving on to the circuit to become the first woman to win a race in the German Scirocco R-Cup in 2014. Only four years later she made history with a race win in the Scandinavian Touring Car Championship as the first female driver to ever compete in the series. Last year, she finished second in the STCC Championship. In 2019, Åhlin-Kottulinsky was appointed test driver for Extreme E’s founding partner Continental, helping to develop the CrossContact tyre for the series’ ODYSSEY 21 e-SUVs.
Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky, RXR, said: “I am incredibly honoured and excited to join RXR and support the team in defending their Championship title. To have the chance to work with the winning team from Season 1 is truly a great opportunity, and I can’t wait to get started! I’m really looking forward to working and learning from Nico [Rosberg] and Johan [Kristoffersson], two world champions and drivers that I have huge respect for and admire for their incredible record behind the wheel. What really strikes me about RXR is their commitment to the cause of Extreme E. Apart from the track action, I am particularly looking forward to becoming involved in the Driven by Purpose Campaign, which aims to support initiatives and projects for climate awareness, and equality. It’s a fantastic opportunity and will be an epic season.”
Johan Kristoffersson, RXR, said: “I am very happy to continue my work with RXR. We have had a sensational first season together and I am confident that we can build on this experience and become even better. I am feeling relaxed, full of energy and eager to win again. Having Mikaela [Åhlin-Kottulinsky] on my side is an extra motivation. She is a very gifted driver and being compatriots, with many common experiences, I am sure we will get along just great.”
Nico Rosberg, Rosberg X Racing Founder and CEO, said: “We are happy to have found the perfect driver line-up for our second season in Extreme E. This year is going to be even more challenging as we have to defend our title against a growing field of very professional and highly determined teams. With the experience and track record of both Johan and Mikaela, we will be prepared for the battle and hopefully make for some exciting action on track. I can’t wait for the starting signal a couple of weeks from now.”
DAKAR RALLY LEGENDS BEHIND THE WHEEL OF ABT CUPRA FOR 2022
ABT CUPRA XE have partnered two Dakar Rally legends for Extreme E Season 2, with four-time winner Nasser Al-Attiyah joining 2001 winner Jutta Kleinschmidt for the team’s bid for Championship glory.
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Kleinschmidt, who partnered Mattias Ekström for four events during Extreme E’s inaugural campaign last term for ABT CUPRA XE, will be looking to build on the team’s fifth place in the Championship standings in Season 1 alongside new team-mate Al-Attiyah.
The German-Qatari duo’s ODYSSEY 21 will also be striking for Season 2 as the CUPRA Tavascan XE replaces the e-CUPRA ABT XE1 from the first season.
With its spectacular exterior and striking LED lights, the off-road racing car offers a first glimpse at the design specification of the future CUPRA Tavascan production car. CUPRA’s second purely electric model is being developed in Barcelona and is scheduled for market launch in 2024. The CUPRA Tavascan XE is more sustainable than its predecessor: flax fibre parts from the 3D printer make work on the car even more flexible and environmentally friendly.
Nasser Al-Attiyah, ABT CUPRA XE, said: “I’m already a bit excited and believe that this will be a great experience for me. Extreme E is an exciting series with the ambition to contribute to a better future. I am proud to be a part of the team now. Expectations are high: with the experience of ABT CUPRA XE and Jutta [Kleinschmidt] by my side, we are determined to race for victories. I can’t wait to sit in the car and have fun.”
Jutta Kleinschmidt, ABT CUPRA XE, said: “Last year we created a solid basis and fought for front positions. This year the challenge is to be even more consistent in taking wins and trophies, and we are ready for that. Being able to share my passion for off-road racing with such a great team and now a Dakar star like Nasser [Al-Attiyah] is fantastic motivation. I just want to start the season.”
Newcomer Nasser Al-Attiyah has seen great success during his time competing, becoming the 2006 Production World Rally Champion, WRC-2 Champion in 2014 and 2015, a 16-time Middle East Rally Champion, four times winner of the FIA World Cup for Cross-County Rallies, and a quadruple 2011, 2015, 2019, and 2022 Dakar Rally winner. His four victories in the Dakar Rally make him the only Middle Easterner to have won it more than once and the 51-year-old will prove an exciting addition to the Extreme E grid.
X44 KEEPS THEIR DRIVER LINE-UP: LOEB AND GUTIERREZ
Extreme E Season 1 runners-up X44 have retained their driver line-up for the forthcoming campaign, with Sébastien Loeb and Cristina Gutiérrez back behind the wheel for the team founded by Sir Lewis Hamilton.
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Loeb and Gutiérrez were narrowly denied Championship honours in the inaugural season of Extreme E, when victory at the Jurassic X Prix in December saw them finish level on points with overall winners Rosberg X Racing (RXR), but lost out on count back of victories (three to one).
Their speed behind the ODYSSEY 21 has never been in doubt, though, with X44 finishing as the fastest qualifier at all five X Prix in 2021, and they will be determined to maintain that imperious form on course as they bid for title glory in Season 2, which gets underway next month in NEOM, Saudi Arabia (19-20 February).
Loeb is one of the greatest rally drivers of all time with a record nine World Rally Championships and 80 race wins to his name. His 26-year career in motorsport has seen him achieve podiums in races as varied as the Dakar Rally, World Rallycross, and 24 Hours of Le Mans. He has also achieved three Race of Champions wins in which he competed against the world’s best racing and rally drivers. The Frenchman has already had a busy start to 2022, finishing second overall in the Dakar Rally before taking his 80th WRC win last weekend with victory in the season-opening Rallye Monte-Carlo.
Gutiérrez is a promising talent who is rewriting the rulebook for female drivers. In addition to finishing the notoriously difficult Dakar Rally six times, she has made history as the first woman to ever win the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies, the second to win a stage in the Dakar Rally (2021) and the third to stand on a podium in the Dakar Rally (2022). Cristina has all the hallmarks of a great driver, showing grit and a natural talent, and has had a huge passion for the sport since she started racing at four years old.
Sébastien Loeb, X44, said: “I’m very happy to be driving for X44 again in Season 2 of Extreme E. Last year was very challenging for us, we had a lot of struggles with the car and some bad luck too, but we came top of qualifying at every race and finished the year with a win and level on Championship points - so we are feeling optimistic! I think the other teams are very strong, but Cristina and I have shown that we know how to win races in some of the toughest terrains in the world, so we will give our all to secure more podiums. Our fans have been very supportive ever since our first race, so I hope we can repay them with a Championship win in 2022.”
Cristina Gutiérrez, X44, said: “I’m so excited to be returning to race for X44. We came very close to winning the Championship last year and now we’re even more motivated and excited to drive well and push to take first place in 2022. Since I first joined the team, I have learned so much and feel stronger and faster with every race, so I’m excited to get back in the car and show what I can do. I’m also looking forward to exploring the planet and learning more about the places we are racing. By highlighting the climate change challenges faced by the remote environments where we race, I hope to further educate myself on what we can do to help.”
VELOCE RACING ANNOUNCES CHRISTINE GZ AND LANCE WOOLRIDGE
Veloce Racing has completed its Extreme E driver line-up for Season 2, with the returning Lance Woolridge signed to partner Christine Giampaoli Zonca (GZ) for the forthcoming campaign.
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Veloce Racing has announced Christine Giampaoli Zonca – or Christine GZ as she is otherwise known – will race for the team in the 2022 season of Extreme E.
A brilliant second-place finish in Senegal behind eventual champions RXR was undoubtedly the highlight of Veloce’s inaugural season in Extreme E, while pacey outings in Greenland, Sardinia and Dorset showed that the London-based squad has the speed to consistently compete at the sharp end.
After an auspicious first year in the series, Veloce and Competition Partner ART Grand Prix are looking ahead to 2022, aiming to build on the promising foundations laid by the partnership last season.
Having made her full-time debut in 2014, Christine GZ boasts an impressive off-road résumé. She has participated in a number of high-profile events in recent years, notching a seventh-place finish at the infamous Baja 1000 and third in the T2 category of the Andalucía Road to Dakar Rally.
Together with Christine and its yet to be announced male driver, Veloce Racing is confident that a combination of ultra-skilled racers and a highly ambitious team behind the scenes will yield eye-catching results in 2022.
Christine GZ, Driver, Veloce Racing said: “I’m so excited to be joining Veloce Racing this year! They did an amazing job last season after a really tough start in Saudi Arabia, the car looked really competitive across 2021. I learnt a lot last year and I think that’s important going into Extreme E's second season. Together with the team, I think we can achieve great things and we’ll definitely be targeting podiums and more!”
Woolridge debuted for Veloce Racing at the season-ending Jurassic X Prix in December 2021, where he carried out a spirited recovery drive in Semi-Final 2 in Dorset, UK, raising eyebrows across the Extreme E paddock.
As a double South African Cross Country Series title winner in 2018 and 2019, the 30-year-old’s extensive off-road experience in championships akin to Extreme E should prove invaluable. In addition, Woolridge is already very familiar with Veloce Racing having been the team’s Reserve and Development Driver for Season 1.
Lance Woolridge, Veloce Racing, said: “This is a great opportunity to continue with the team after a really promising race in Dorset at the end of last season. Although we didn’t make it to the Final, I think it was clear to see that the pace was there, and we have some solid foundations to build on in 2022. Veloce Racing is a great team with a really dedicated group of people behind the scenes so I’m happy to be working with them again. Christine (GZ) did a great job last season so I’m confident that we can achieve great things together at Veloce.”
EXTREME E UNVEILS SEASON 2 CALENDAR
As the series celebrates the end of its inaugural season, Extreme E has its attention firmly fixed on 2022 as it unveils its Season 2 calendar.
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The sport for purpose championship takes place in off-road locations as part of its mission to drive awareness of climate change issues, such as global warming, melting ice caps, rising sea levels, wildfires and extreme weather, whilst promoting sustainability and the adoption of electric vehicles to help protect the planet.
Extreme E Season 2 calendar (2022):
February 19-20: Neom, Saudi Arabia
May 7-8: Sardinia, Italy
July 9-10: Scotland or Senegal
September 10-11: Antofagasta, Chile
November 26-27: Punta del Este, Uruguay
The St. Helena – the former Royal Mail Ship – provides the championship’s floating centrepiece – carrying the series’ vehicles, logistics equipment and paddock infrastructure as well as playing host to scientific research with its on-board laboratory, all in a bid to lower the impact of the travel logistics compared to air travel.
Head-to-head races, known as an X Prix, take place over two days, within an area no larger than 10km2, with each team fielding a male and a female driver who each complete a lap of the race course, including a Driver Switch incorporated midway. Course designers have been tasked with carefully selecting course options, which provide the most challenging, exciting action, using existing obstacles and features with elevation changes and jumps, in order to minimise environmental impact.
Race organisers undertake thorough environmental, social and economic assessments of each location with a local third party, overseen by EY in order to safeguard environmental protection, social inclusivity and fair practices. These reports have influenced the way Extreme E operates from water consumption, waste management and lighting on-site through to land management and ensuring the series races without a trace after the X Prix has finished.
Additionally, in each location, Extreme E works alongside local experts, governments and NGOs to implement positive legacy initiatives dependent on regional needs. Examples of Legacy Programmes in Season 1 have included; the funding of a turtle conservation project along the Red Sea coastline; the planting of one million mangroves with NGO TO.org and Oceanium in Senegal; cocoa agroforestry and Amazon conservation with The Nature Conservancy in Pará state, Brazil; and the creation of a climate education syllabus for over 3,500 school children across Greenland with UNICEF.
X44 WIN Jurassic X Prix, BUT ROSBERG X RACING WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP
X44 kept themselves in the championship fight with winning the Final Race, as well as the Continental Traction Challenge at the Jurassic X Prix, with Rosberg X Racing completing the race in fourth, behind JBXE and Andretti United.
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Timmy Hansen had the best start in the Crazy Race for Andretti United, ahead of XITE's Oliver Bennet and Chip Ganassi's Kyle LeDuc. LeDuc had great pace in lap one and managed to pass Bennet around the outside. Catie Munnings took over from Timmy Hansen, and drove to the finish, with Sara Price of Chip Ganassi putting real pressure and going to the alternative path towards the end of the lap, and getting really close to Munnings, but the British racer managed to hold on to win and give Andretti United the place in the Final Race.
In Semi Final 1, similarly to his brother, Kevin Hansen, used the start from the middle position to get in front of X44's Sebastien Loeb and Veloce's Lance Woolridge. Woolridge was close to Loeb, but lost control after the jump and spun. Loeb got up to the back of Kevin Hansen and they entered the changing zone with inches separating them. With a faster driver change, X44's Cristina Gutierrez got out just in front of JBXE's Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky, and the two crossed the line with a 0.4 gap, but it was the Spanish racer who got the win of Semi Final 1. Jamie Chadwick finished the race in third, and ended the season for Veloce racing, as they didn't go through to the Final Race.
Johan Kristoffersson had the best start in Semi Final 2, and got ahead of Carlos Sainz and ABT's Mattias Ekstrom. Ekstrom's visibility was really bad after exiting the first corner and he hit the back of Sainz's car, which later led to bodywork at the back of his car falling off. Ekstrom attempted to pass the Spaniard, but couldn't get in front. During the second lap, Ekstrom lost the whole front end of his car's bodywork with the bonnet falling off after a jump. After the driver switch, the order was unchanged, with ABT taking a lot of time to check the car and then let it back out. Molly Taylor won the race ahead of Laia Sanz, and their two teams filled the last two spots of the Final Race.
Ahead of the Final Race, X44 chose to start from the middle, with Rosberg X Racing choosing starting position number 2, with Acciona Sainz team choosing to start on the outside (starting position number 1). JBXE chose the starting position 5 which is on the inside line, with Andretti United starting from 4th position.
Cristina Gutierrez made the best start for X44, ahead of Molly Taylor of RXR, with Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky taking third, and then losing control to go into the trees, but she managed to get back into third ahead of Catie Munnings of Andretti United. Molly Taylor fell to 4th place during the first two laps, which was still enough for RXR to win the championship. When approaching the switch zone, Munnings made an attempt to pass Ahlin-Kottulinsky, but ended up spun around, and had to reverse to get into the switch zone.
From then on, Sebastien Loeb drove until the finish, with Johan Kristoffersson completing the race in fourth to win the championship, RXR equal on points with X44, but having more wins. Kevin Hansen finished the race in second for JBXE, ahead of his brother, Timmy Hansen of Andretti United.
Crazy Race - Results:
1. Andretti United Extreme E - Timmy Hansen / Catie Munnings - 9:12
2. SEGI TV Chip Ganassi Racing - Kyle LeDuc / Sara Price +0.46
3. XITE ENERGY RACING - Oliver Bennett / Christine Giampaoli Zonca +1:33.01
Semi Final 1 - Results:
1. X44 - Sébastien Loeb / Cristina Gutiérrez - 9:23
2. JBXE - Kevin Hansen / Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky +0.40
3. Veloce Racing - Lance Woolridge / Jamie Chadwick +4.81
Semi Final 2 - Results:
1. Rosberg X Racing - Johan Kristoffersson / Molly Taylor - 9:24
2. ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team - Carlos Sainz / Laia Sanz +6.24
3. ABT CUPRA XE - Mattias Ekström / Jutta Kleinschmidt +2:04.64
Final Race - Results:
1. X44 - Sébastien Loeb / Cristina Gutiérrez - 9:20
2. JBXE - Kevin Hansen / Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky +3.61
3. Andretti United Extreme E - Timmy Hansen / Catie Munnings +9.73
4. Rosberg X Racing - Johan Kristoffersson / Molly Taylor +15.79
5. ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team - Carlos Sainz / Laia Sanz +31.10
Championship Top 3:
1. Rosberg X Racing - Johan Kristoffersson / Molly Taylor - 155 points, 3 wins
2. X44 - Sébastien Loeb / Cristina Gutiérrez - 155 points, 1 win
3. JBXE - Kevin Hansen / Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky - 119 points
X44 qualify fastest at Jurassic X Prix
X44 kept their championship hopes alive by finishing fastest in Qualifying at the Jurassic X Prix, setting up a title-decider on Finals day with Rosberg X Racing (RXR).
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The result made it a clean sweep of top qualifier spots for X44’s Sébastien Loeb and Cristina Gutiérrez, who have finished all five X Prix in Extreme E’s maiden season as the fastest qualifiers.
Their title rivals RXR finished Qualifying for the Jurassic X Prix right behind them in second place and also lead the way so far this weekend in the Continental Traction Challenge worth five invaluable points for the victors.
The final Qualifying session of the campaign proved to be the closest fought yet in Extreme E. Qualifying 1 set the stall out for what was to come as all nine teams set a time within 45 seconds of each other, with the top five runners covered by just over 10 seconds.
It was similarly tight in Qualifying 2 with the nine teams separated by just over 35 seconds, while 15 seconds covered the top six runners.
Despite the fiercely competitive sessions it was X44 who came out on top for the fifth time this season, heading the chasing pack in Qualifying 1 and 2. RXR were a close second in Qualifying 1 and consolidated their position by finishing fourth in Qualifying 2 to secure second overall.
Behind the championship challengers and completing the top three were ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team, who have shown strong pace throughout the Jurassic X Prix weekend. Carlos Sainz Snr. and Laia Sanz were third fastest in Qualifying 1 and repeated that feat in Qualifying 2 to book their place in the Semi-Finals.
In fourth place overall were the ABT Cupra XE pair of Jutta Kleinschmidt and Mattias Ekström. A trouble-free run in Qualifying 1 saw the team finish the session fourth fastest, but they could only manage sixth in Qualifying 2 after receiving a penalty for Kleinschmidt missing one of the signage posts on her maiden run in the session.
JBXE produced a brilliant recovery after a difficult opening Qualifying session to secure fifth overall. A penalty incurred in Qualifying 1 left JBXE down in eighth, but a strong Qualifying 2 saw the team able to demonstrate their pace behind the wheel of their ODYSSEY 21 and finish second to secure fifth a Semi-Final spot.
Veloce Racing have an all-new driver line-up this weekend, but despite this have been consistent throughout to claim sixth overall. The returning Jamie Chadwick and debutant Lance Woolridge have been on the pace throughout, finishing fifth in both sessions.
Andretti United Extreme E would have felt unlucky to finish sixth in Qualifying 1 despite only being 12 seconds off the leading pace in the session. They started strongly in Qualifying 2, before Timmy Hansen was caught out by a bump on course and crashed into the trees, causing bodywork damage to his ODYSSEY 21. Although gamely recovering and completing the lap, the lost time ensured Andretti United Extreme E were eighth fastest in the session and seventh overall, meaning they will go into the Crazy Race.
SEGI TV Chip Ganassi Racing also suffered difficulties on track which ensured they will have to fight for a place in the Final via tomorrow’s Crazy Race. Kyle LeDuc and Sara Price were well in contention after Qualifying 1, finishing seventh albeit only 15 seconds off the pace-setting time. However, a steering issue on the team’s Qualifying 2 run saw LeDuc and Price slip back to last in the session and eighth overall.
XITE ENERGY RACING are the third and final team to make up the grid for tomorrow’s Crazy Race. Despite showing flashes of speed throughout the session, Oliver Bennett and GZ could only manage ninth and seventh in Qualifying 1 and 2, respectively, but still have one more opportunity tomorrow to reach their first X Prix Final of the season.
Qualifying points classification*
1. X44 - Sébastien Loeb / Cristina Gutiérrez - 18 points
2. Rosberg X Racing - Johan Kristoffersson / Molly Taylor - 14 points
3. ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team - Carlos Sainz / Laia Sanz - 14 points
4. ABT CUPRA XE - Mattias Ekström / Jutta Kleinschmidt - 10 points
5. JBXE - Kevin Hansen / Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky - 10 points
6. Veloce Racing - Lance Woolridge / Jamie Chadwick - 10 points
7. Andretti United Extreme E - Timmy Hansen / Catie Munnings - 6 points
8. SEGI TV Chip Ganassi Racing - Kyle LeDuc / Sara Price - 4 points
9. XITE ENERGY RACING - Oliver Bennett / Christine Giampaoli Zonca - 4 points
*Qualifying points classification is a provisional result
Semi-Final 1: X44, JBXE and Veloce Racing
Semi-Final 2: Rosberg X Racing, ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team and ABT Cupra XE
Crazy Race: Andretti United Extreme E, SEGI TV Chip Ganassi Racing and XITE ENERGY RACING
McLaren RACING line-up: Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour
McLaren Racing announced their Extreme E Driver Line-Up, and also presented their striking launch livery at COP26 Climate Change Conference
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McLaren will be the latest team to join the series in 2022, raising awareness of the impact of climate change, participating in Extreme E’s robust legacy programmes, and leaving a lasting footprint by engaging its fans around the world to take climate action. Motorsport has long since provided a hub for transport innovation and technology and Extreme E brings some of the world’s most famous teams, representing the latest clean technology, to race in some of Earth’s most remote and stunning locations.
McLaren Racing CEO, Zak Brown, Race Engineer for McLaren Extreme E, Leena Gade, renowned climate scientist, Professor Carlos Duarte and designer of the McLaren Extreme E launch livery, Vic Lee, were in attendance with Emma Gilmour at the engagement with His Royal Highness.
A native of New Zealand, Emma is known for her vast experience in rallying, rallycross, cross-country rallying and most recently competing in the inaugural season of Extreme E. In 2016 she became the first and only female to date to win a New Zealand Rally Championship event and also won the FIA Women in Motorsport and Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation (QMMF) crosscountry rally selection in 2015. Emma completes McLaren Extreme E’s driver line-up for 2022 alongside US driver Tanner Foust.
The announcement of McLaren’s newest driver is a historical moment for McLaren Racing made all the more poignant as Emma is a compatriot of the team’s founder, racing legend, engineer and innovator, Bruce McLaren.
Tanner has been a dominant driver in rallycross since the sport was first introduced to the United States in 2010. His varied race experience includes multiple years of open-wheel competition, the Pikes Peak Hill Climb, rallying, sports car racing and the famous Baja. He has also represented the USA in the annual Race of Champions three times (2010, 2009, 2008). He is the only American driver to win a round of the European Rallycross Championship and finished in the top three in both 2011 and 2012.
The McLaren Extreme E launch livery was revealed for the first time during the engagement at Kelvingrove Museum, Glasgow. The livery, hand-drawn by award-winning artist and illustrator, Vic Lee, represents the entire race calendar through the four biomes of the Arctic, Amazon, Desert and Ocean. Illustrations on the livery focus on each landscape, drawing inspiration from the legacy left behind by the Extreme E series, teams and staff while detailing some of the steps which can be taken to reduce the impact of climate change.
Extreme E completes Rookie Test
Following the Enel X Island X Prix, the series plus its teams and partners have completed activities including the very first testing of the Continental 2022 tyre and a Rookie driving opportunity.
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Extreme E teams were offered the chance to invite up to two drivers (one male and one female) to experience the all-electric ODYSSEY 21 car, whilst immersing themselves amongst the paddock and the unique nature of the series. Drivers selected by teams included a range of emerging talent from the off-road world.
The ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team introduced 21-year-old Swedish protégé Klara Andersson to Extreme E. Having made a wildcard appearance at the 2019 RallyX Nordic final at Tier Arena in the RX Academy class, this year Klara became the 2021 Swedish Rallycross Championship Champion in the 2150 class, and recently had her first electric experience in the RX2e Championship.
Lewis Hamilton’s X44 team invited 19-year-old Seth Quintero. The young Californian burst onto the scene back in 2014 when he won the youth class of the UTV World Championship. This year, Seth became the youngest ever stage winner at the Dakar, making him an exciting addition to Extreme E.
Rosberg X Racing invited Stéphane Peterhansel, famous for his 14 Dakar victories, to test the ODYSSEY 21 but have been clear this doesn’t mean he will drive in 2022. He was joined by Italian Tamara Molinaro, an experienced World Rally Championship driver having previously won the Ladies Trophy in the 2017 European Rally Championship becoming the second-youngest winner after Andretti United Extreme E’s Catie Munnings – after winning four of the eight rounds and topping the table in 40 stages.
Norwegian sensation Hedda Hosås, 20, who has been competing in the Norwegian Rallycross Championship and recently made a guest appearance in the Danish championship in September, joined the Veloce team for the X Prix weekend, alongside two-time South African Cross Country Series (SACCS) Class T champion Lance Woolridge. Unfortunately, the pairing were unable to get behind the wheel following Stéphane Sarrazin’s roll in Sunday’s Crazy Race, which he walked away from unharmed.
Alejandro Agag, Founder and CEO of Extreme E, said: “I’m delighted to see that we have got such exciting talent interested in competing in our unique series. These new faces were allowed practice time in the car ahead of completing timed course laps. It’s great to see the wealth of driving talent making the most of this immersive experience.”
ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team: Klara Anderrson (SWEDEN)
X44: Seth Quintero (USA)
Rosberg X Racing: Tamara Molinaro (ITALY), Stéphane Peterhansel (FRANCE)
Veloce Racing: Hedda Hosås (NORWAY), Lance Wooldridge (SOUTH AFRICA)
Rosberg X Racing extend lead in DRAMATIC Island X Prix Final
Rosberg X Racing claimed its third victory from four rounds in Extreme E season one, in a dramatic Enel X Island X Prix final in Sardinia
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In the most difficult conditions experienced all weekend as rain fell before the final, Molly Taylor and Johan Kristoffersson executed a measured drive to claim the win and extend the team’s advantage at the head of the championship standings.
But, it was heartbreak again for both SEGI TV Chip Ganassi Racing and X44 in the final. X44 made it into the final race of the weekend thanks to incredible work by the team to repair the ODYSSEY 21 E-SUV following a semi-final crash.
With Sebastien Loeb at the wheel, X44 initially led the five-car final, but soon dropped to second behind Kyle LeDuc in the Chip Ganassi Racing entry. But, worse was to follow for Loeb and Lewis Hamilton’s X44 team as a left-front slow puncture turned into broken steering, leaving the car stranded on track.
Behind, the ABT CUPRA XE team made a slow start with the car not in ‘drive’ mode as the lights went green, but on a charge, Jutta Kleinschmidt soon started to catch RXR’s Molly Taylor, and by the Switch Zone, there was little to separate the two cars.
Ahead, Sara Price took over the Chip Ganassi car for the second lap, but the American team’s hopes of a dream victory after a season of bad luck ended with broken steering at the start of the second lap of the seven-kilometre course.
That handed RXR the lead, Kristoffersson managing the pace until the end in the slippery conditions, chased by Mattias Ekstrom in the ABT CUPRA car, that had lost its right-hand door early in the second lap, the Swedish drivers separated by 24.588 seconds at the finish.
Despite a high-speed spin early in the first lap for Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky, the JBXE team completed the podium, having previously won the Crazy Race to make it into the final, although the team’s car stopped on lap two with Kevin Hansen at the controls, having dropped a long way behind the leaders with a problem.
Before the final, the Crazy Race produced one of the most dramatic moments of the season so far as Stephane Sarrazin suffered a huge roll in the Veloce Racing ODYSSEY 21, but walked away unscathed.
Semi Final 2:
1. Rosberg X Racing - Molly Taylor / Johan Kristoffersson - 11:25.861
2. ABT Cupra - Jutta Kleinschmidt / Mattias Ekstrom - +1:24.922
3. ACCIONA | Sainz XE - Laia Sanz / Carlos Sainz - +7:40.705
Semi Final 1:
1. Chip Ganassi - Sara Price / Kyle Leduc - 12:30.912
2. X44 - Christina Gutierrez / Sebastien Loeb - DNF
3. Andretti United - Catie Munnings / Timmy Hansen - DNF
1. X44 - Christina Gutierrez / Sebastien Loeb - 10:45.401
2. Chip Ganassi - Sara Price / Kyle Leduc - +17.207
3. Rosberg X Racing - Molly Taylor / Johan Kristoffersson - +18.370
1. X44 - Christina Gutierrez / Sebastien Loeb - 11:05.105
2. ACCIONA | Sainz XE - Laia Sanz / Carlos Sainz - +12.283
3. Veloce Racing - Emma Gilmour / Stephane Sarrazin - +18.071
ABT CUPRA XE presents new design
CUPRA, the Spanish automotive brand, today presented its Tavascan Extreme E Concept, set to be implemented into its ABT CUPRA team racing vehicle in the all-electric off-road racing series.
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The concept launch took place at the 2021 IAA Mobility show in Munich and was presented together with ABT Managing Partner Hans-Jürgen Abt, ABT Sport Marketing boss Harry Unflath, along with Jutta Kleinschmidt, race driver for the ABT CUPRA Extreme E team.
The all-electric off-road racing car is the next stage in the brand’s Extreme E adventure, which also hints at the design language to be used in the future series production CUPRA Tavascan, the brand’s second 100 per cent electric model, and first electric SUV, which will be designed and developed in Barcelona and will reach Europe and overseas markets in 2024.
The design of the front and rear has changed considerably from the vehicle competing in the current Extreme E season. LED technology delivers greater freedom to produce a vehicle with CUPRA DNA; the headlights in three triangle groups on either side provide a more imposing look.
And the lighting is set into a 3D printed frame – a technology chosen to give the CUPRA Tavascan Extreme E Concept an edge.
The 3D printed parts are more efficient as they can be manufactured in just six hours. That means the team can adapt to changes very quickly; whether it’s because of an incident or changes to the light position, the components can be modified in a very short time without the need for cumbersome and expensive tooling. However, the Extreme E racing series is about increasing environmental awareness and the CUPRA Tavascan Extreme E Concept is pushing boundaries here, too, making the vehicle even more sustainable.
Constructing as much of the body structure as possible from flax fibres – extracted from the flax plant – means that the carbon fibre components can be replaced reducing the vehicle’s impact on the environment. And there’s no detriment to performance; the material can be worked in the same way, achieving the same shapes and radii required by engineers. It is already a technology that could easily be adapted to production vehicles.
“The car is the next evolution with even more CUPRA DNA and a design that hints at the future direction of the brand,” says Xavi Serra, Head of Technical Development at CUPRA Racing. “The CUPRA Tavascan Extreme E Concept uses flax fibres throughout the body for even more sustainability and 3D printed elements that can be recreated quickly.”
The CUPRA Tavascan Extreme E Concept is equipped with a 54-kWh battery, placed behind the cockpit to produce a real rear weight distribution and can go from 0-100 km/h in about four seconds meeting the race series’ regulations.
CUPRA has been part of Extreme E from the outset. It was the first automotive brand to announce its participation, joining forces with ABT Sportsline as the team’s main partner. The Extreme E series is enhancing CUPRA’s electrification research while promoting electrification, sustainability, and gender equality.
Andretti United storm to maiden X Prix win
Andretti United Extreme E drivers Timmy Hansen and Catie Munnings scored their first X Prix victory at the Artic X Prix in Greenland, the third round of maiden Extreme E season.
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In Extreme E’s first-ever five-car final, British driver Munnings took the lead early on, until being passed by X44’s Sebastien Loeb, the Frenchman leading for the rest of the 8.6 kilometre lap until the Switch Zone, while Munnings dropped behind Rosberg X Racing’s Molly Taylor.
The top three ran close into the Switch Zone area, the Andretti United ODYSSEY 21 E-SUV having re-taken second position, but X44’s challenge would be thwarted by a right-rear puncture, the wheel needing to be changed in the Switch Zone while Cristina Gutierrez climbed aboard the car.
Andretti United’s Timmy Hansen was first to leave the Switch Zone for the second lap, closely chased by RXR’s Johan Kristoffersson, the pair running side-by-side and spectacularly jumping high together over sections of the course, until the RXR ODYSSEY 21 was slowed by technical issues from a jump landing and the Andretti United team ran free to claim its first victory.
Having won the Crazy Race earlier in the day, the JBXE team flew in the final, Kevin Hansen completing the first lap before handing the controls to Swedish compatriot Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky and, fighting back from difficulties during qualifying, the pair finished second.
A solid run for ACCIONA | Sainz XE duo Carlos Sainz and Laia Sanz was rewarded with a podium finish in third, with X44 classified fourth and RXR fifth. The SEGI TV CHIP GANASSI RACING and Xite Energy Racing teams battled in the Crazy Race but didn’t make it through to the final.
Semi Final 2:
1. Andretti United - Catie Munnings / Timmy HAnsen - 13:24.577
2. Rosberg X Racing - Molly Taylor / Johan Kristoffersson - +11.190
3. ABT Cupra - Jutta Kleinschmidt / Mattias Ekstrom - +54.166
Semi Final 1:
1. X44 - Christina Gutierrez / Sebastien Loeb - 13:18.923
2. ACCIONA | Sainz XE - Laia Sanz / Carlos Sainz - +0.729
3. Veloce Racing - Emma Gilmour / Stephane Sarrazin - +3.175
1. Rosberg X Racing - Molly Taylor / Johan Kristoffersson - 14:26.647
2. X44 - Christina Gutierrez / Sebastien Loeb - +10.951
3. Andretti United - Catie Munnings / Timmy HAnsen - +14.917
1. X44 - Christina Gutierrez / Sebastien Loeb - 13:45.235
2. ABT Cupra - Jutta Kleinschmidt / Mattias Ekstrom - +3.712
3. Chip Ganassi - Sara Price / Kyle Leduc - +6.396
Extreme E: South American races update
Extreme E, the electric off-road racing series, has confirmed today that it is actively seeking alternate destinations for the final two races in Season 1 due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation in South America.
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Extreme E was due to hold its Amazon X Prix in the Brazilian state of Pará, October 23-24, before heading further south to the Glacier X Prix in Patagonia, Argentina, December 11-12, however having monitored the global situation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, it has decided to postpone visiting the region until Season 2.
Alternative race locations are currently under exploration and will be announced in due course. Options include the possibility of the Western Isles, Scotland ahead of Glasgow hosting COP26 in November.
Extreme E has already completed two of its five X Prixs in its inaugural season – the Desert X Prix in Saudi Arabia and Ocean X Prix in Senegal – and is now in full planning mode for its Arctic X Prix, taking place in Greenland at the end of August.
Each X Prix event uses its sporting platform to highlight a different issue facing our planet, and as well as raising awareness of these problems, also highlights solutions and leaves a long-lasting positive impact in its race locations through its Legacy Programmes. These programmes include planting one million mangroves in Senegal, turtle conservation in the Red Sea, the empowerment and education of children on climate change in Greenland in collaboration with Unicef, and agroforestry initiatives and reforestation in Pará in partnership with The Nature Conservancy.
Alejandro Agag, Founder and CEO of Extreme E, said: “We’ve been closely monitoring the situation regarding all Extreme E locations for 2021 and have chosen to make this pre-emptive decision on racing in South America this year. As a new series embarking on our opening Season, our priority is to deliver a five-race calendar of events which are safe and responsible for our global participants, partners and staff to travel to and attend.”
“This was not a decision made lightly, however current travel advice and restrictions have also meant we have been unable to visit the race areas in advance to undertake the necessary reconnaissance visits, which are especially vital due to the remote nature of our operations. We will of course continue to support our important reforestation and agroforestry initiatives which are already well underway in the region thanks to the help of Dr Francisco Olivieira and our partnership with The Nature Conservancy in Brazil. We would also like to thank the local authorities in Brazil and Argentina who have been supportive throughout the whole process and we hope we can return in 2022.”
McLaren Racing to enter Extreme E in 2022
McLaren Racing will open a new motorsport chapter in 2022 when it enters a team into Extreme E, the innovative all-electric off-road series which aims to use racing to promote sustainability and diversity.
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The team will compete in the five-race global championship, helping to accelerate McLaren Racing’s own sustainability and diversity agenda, while reaching new fans and partners, and growing the McLaren Racing brand and franchise.
The decision to enter Extreme E follows a detailed evaluation of the series by McLaren against a set of strategic, economic and operational criteria. These were underpinned by a clear imperative for accelerating McLaren Racing’s own sustainability mission, which places carbon reduction, the recycling, reuse and elimination of waste, and diversity, equality and inclusion at its core.
Extreme E highlights the impact of climate change in some of the world’s most remote environments, promotes the adoption of electric vehicles to pave the way for a lower carbon future, and provides a world-first gender-equal motorsport platform.
Extreme E aims to minimise environmental impact but maximise awareness, racing in places that have already been damaged or affected by climate change, taking fans deep into the heart of the most pressing environmental issues facing the planet. At the same time, the series has built-in equality and diversity, with each team fielding one male and one female driver.
In parallel, Extreme E is helping the car industry to develop future-facing technology using racing as a platform for mobility innovation, which motorsport has long been associated with as an accelerator of research and development.
McLaren Racing has been a leader in electric motorsport from the outset, supplying the battery powertrain to the FIA Formula E Championship for the Gen 1 and Gen 2 seasons, employing the same technology pioneered in the McLaren P1 hypercar. With its move from supplier to team, McLaren Racing will continue to build its know-how and expertise in the all-electric racing space.
Simultaneous competition in different series has been embedded in McLaren Racing since the founding of the team, with Can-Am, Formula 1, INDYCAR and Le Mans all forming part of the McLaren legacy of motorsport competition and innovation. Extreme E will add to the diverse McLaren Racing portfolio, with Formula 1 firmly at the centre, together with INDYCAR and esports.
The team will be operated by McLaren Racing using both existing personnel from outside the Formula 1 programme and additional specialist resource. Like all teams, McLaren Racing is limited to four mechanics and one engineer at each event for the one-make car and its two drivers, transported by Extreme E as part of the overall franchise package.
Zak Brown, CEO, McLaren Racing, commented: “From the moment Extreme E was announced we have been following the progress of the series closely. Our attention was immediately drawn by the innovative format of this motorsport platform, in particular the ability it gives us to accelerate and boost our own overarching sustainability agenda, which shares the same priorities of decarbonisation, waste reduction, diversity and equality. At the same time, it will enable us to reach a new audience with an innovative race format, connect with a new generation of fans through content served across a variety of channels and provide partners with a purpose-led competition platform to align with and share in a positive, powerful narrative.”
“From the outset, McLaren has always been at the forefront and never afraid to push new boundaries. This new venture is true to our roots of participating in a variety of categories, innovation and bravery. Extreme E is paving new ground in motorsport as a force for good in confronting some of the biggest challenges facing our world today and in the future. While Formula 1 will always remain at the centre of our world, like INDYCAR and esports, our entry into Extreme E is additive to the McLaren Racing franchise and will complement and help support all our programmes. We will be competing against big names we’re very familiar with from F1 and INDYCAR but, like all series we compete in, the competition objective is clear: we are there to win.”
Two from two for Rosberg X Racing AFTER SENEGAL
Rosberg X Racing teammates Johan Kristoffersson and Molly Taylor reigned supreme once more at Extreme E’s second event in Lac Rose, Dakar, Senegal to win the first-ever Ocean X prix.
PHOTO: extreme e
The pioneering electric SUV, off-road racing series backed up its dramatic curtain-raising Desert X Prix at the beginning of April by delivering even more spectacular moments and overtakes against the stunning backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean.
It was low tide but high drama in the grand final with two of the four cars retiring at the first corner, that left Rosberg X Racing to extend their championship lead and Veloce Racing to snatch a surprise result, bouncing back from their disastrous Desert X Prix.
The tight and technical Ocean X Prix course was a hit with the all-star field of Extreme E drivers and yielded close racing and several options for alternate routes which were deployed throughout the two days of competition.
It was Segi TV Chip Ganassi Racing’s Kyle LeDuc that took the Super Sector title, earning an extra five points for his team setting the fastest time of 1m50.891s - 1.289 seconds ahead of X44’s Sébastien Loeb.
Rosberg X Racing (Johan Kristoffersson / Molly Taylor) 2 laps
Veloce Racing (Stéphane Sarrazin / Jamie Chadwick) +14.676s
JBXE (Kevin Hansen / Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky) DNF
X44 (Sébastien Loeb / Cristina Gutiérrez) DNF
Rosberg X Racing(Johan Kristoffersson / Molly Taylor) 71 points
X44(Sébastien Loeb / Cristina Gutiérrez) 57 points
JBXE(Jenson Button / Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky) 44 points
Andretti United Extreme E(Timmy Hansen / Catie Munnings) 37 points
XITE ENERGY RACING(Oliver Bennett / Christine GZ) 37 points
ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team(Carlos Sainz / Laia Sanz) 36 points
ABT Cupra XE(Mattias Ekström / Claudia Hürtgen) 35 points
Veloce Racing(Stéphane Sarrazin / Jamie Chadwick) 31 points
Segi TV Chip Ganassi Racing(Kyle LeDuc / Sara Price) 30 points
Molly Taylor, Rosberg X Racing driver, said: “It’s so fantastic to have won today! Coming here, it felt like we had a lot of work to do over the weekend, and it certainly didn’t come easy, but with every session we just kept our heads down and just saw where we needed to improve, and everything totally paid off in the end. It’s difficult to predict anything in Extreme E even when you have the best laid plan, but the team was awesome, and Johan really did a phenomenal job too. Obviously, we didn’t get to choose our grid position for the final, so we were where we were and that for me was on the inside, so it was all about trying to get the track position - I really just tried to get that established as early as I could and then hold onto it. It’s a steep bank and pretty tight coming into turn one, and as I went through, I made some contact, but this is close racing and that can happen. A really huge thanks to the team who did an incredible job and to Johan, equally incredible. I’m just really delighted to have won and it’s been an amazing weekend!”
Johan Kristoffersson, Rosberg X Racing driver, said: “I’m super happy to be Extreme E winners for the second time! Molly executed everything perfectly, she did an amazing job taking care of the traffic in her lap - I was really impressed with that. The team also did a fantastic job, I have to say a big thanks to them for bringing me and Molly up to speed over the weekend, as we really weren’t the fastest coming into this event but in the end, we were quick where we needed to be and got good starts, so we couldn’t wish for more than that. It’s very important as well to keep the car in one piece as you get heavily penalised if you aren’t able to finish a race – so that in itself can be challenging as the racing is close here and there’s always the possibility of contact plus of course there’s the terrain which is hard on the cars – but it all makes for a great spectacle which is great. When I got in the car for the standing start for the final, the steering was a little bit off, so when I hit hyperdrive early on, it was a struggle to hold on to it - unfortunately this led to a bit of contact with Jamie which was not intentional at all. But from there on, the car was working really well, and I could do what I needed to do. And here we are as winners - happy Days!”
Jamie Chadwick, Veloce Racing driver, said: “Honestly I’ve just really enjoyed the weekend. We went into the weekend with a bit of a plan, we needed the track time, the car wasn’t where we needed it to be at the beginning and I think we lacked a bit of seat time so our pace wasn’t outright quickest so we just focussed on our plan. This is very different to driving single seaters and I’m constantly learning and I can’t really underestimate that but I think everyone is, it’s new for everyone. I’m really really enjoying the challenge and I think the coolest thing for me this weekend was I nearly had the chance to be racing wheel to wheel with the likes of Sébastien Loeb and Johan Kristoffersson. To ever have thought that was going to happen is crazy. I think Extreme E’s such a crazy crazy championship that to take P2 with the alternate strategy was great. A massive, massive thanks to the team, I’m so grateful we’ve managed to get through the weekend and get a podium. Over the next three months we will be pushing hard to train, and Greenland will present a new challenge. I want to be able to jump in anything and be quick.”
Stéphane Sarrazin, Veloce Racing driver, said: “This weekend the plan was to really not make any mistakes. We’ve improved the set-up of the car run-by-run and we need milage, we need to learn the car, and the team do also. We are happy, it’s just amazing. To improve during the weekend we had to look at the various lines and improve the car and in the end we found a really good line. This stage was really good as we found a different line to overtake.”
HRH The Duke of Cambridge goes electric with Extreme E
Prince William was given a masterclass in electric racing today at Knockhill Racing Circuit, Scotland, with Extreme E, the pioneering, purpose-driven series using sport to highlight global climate change issues.
PHOTO: extreme e
The test drive was organised ahead of COP 26, which takes place in Glasgow later this year, as The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are visiting innovative projects in Scotland which aim to positively turn the dial on the climate emergency during Lord High Commissioner’s Week.
As well as understanding more about the series’ electrification, environment and equality background, the visit provided an opportunity for Prince William to take a look at Extreme E’s hydrogen fuel cell - created in collaboration with British-based AFC Energy – which charges its electric race fleet using zero-emission energy.
Prince William was hosted by Extreme E CEO and Founder Alejandro Agag, a driving force behind the electric motorsport revolution, Adam Bond, CEO of AFC Energy, along with members of two of Extreme E’s British teams; George Imafidon, a Junior Engineer on Lewis Hamilton’s X44 team; and driver Catie Munnings, who races for the Andretti United team, who was on hand to show the Prince how to get the best out of the series’ electric race vehicle.
The AFC Energy fuel cell innovation is just one of a selection of technologies utilised by the sport for purpose series with the aim to run the most sustainable motorsport championship possible, and also fits with the spirit of The Earthshot Prize, a global environmental prize founded by Prince William in October 2020, which aims to discover and scale the best solutions to help repair our planet over the next 10 years.
Catie Munnings, who competes for the Andretti United Extreme E team, which finished on the podium in last month’s Desert X Prix, said: “Today will certainly be one of those days that I won’t forget in a hurry! It was an absolute honour to meet The Duke of Cambridge and to teach him about the ODYSSEY 21 and some of the key attributes of these incredible machines. Prince William grasped the basic skills quickly and seemed very at ease with driving electric vehicles, maybe my Andretti United team-mate Timmy [Hansen] should be feeling a little threatened! Sustainability is a central messaging pillar of Extreme E and with the Earthshot Prize, it’s fantastic to see that we are all working towards a common goal of a cleaner, more environmentally-friendly future.”
JBXE announces driver swap for Senegal: JB OUT, HANSEN IN
Rallycross racer Kevin Hansen will drive for the JBXE team in the upcoming Extreme E Ocean X Prix at Lac Rose in Dakar, Senegal, with Jenson Button working as Team Principal for Round 2 of Extreme E
PHOTO: extreme e
Kevin Hansen is no stranger to the series having joined the Drivers’ Programme in 2019 and has been instrumental in the testing process alongside teammate Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky, and his brother, and Andretti United driver, Timmy Hansen. The trio were the first to drive the ODYSSEY 21 back in 2019 at Chataeu de Lastours in France.
Kevin has been a fixture in the FIA World Rallycross Championship for a number of years, securing event wins and multiple podiums for Team Peugeot-Hansen. He has a strong rallycross pedigree in his family from his father Kenneth Hansen - so it is no surprise he has had so much success.
Earlier in his career, the 22-year-old Swedish racer secured the 2015 RX2 title and won the 2016 FIA Rookie of the Year award for best up-and-coming driver across the governing body’s championships following his FIA European Rallycross Championship win that year – the youngest driver ever to do so.
Jenson Button, Founder of JBXE said: “I’m delighted to announce that an opportunity has arisen for Kevin Hansen to compete for JBXE in Senegal. I’m obviously wearing two hats with JBXE as both a driver, but also team owner, and it’s the latter which means having the opportunity to put Kevin in the car for this race was one I didn’t want to pass up. Brother of course to Timmy Hansen and son to Rallycross legend, Kenneth Hansen, Kevin has a fantastic pedigree and has already achieved so much in the world of rallycross at such a young age. He’s an exciting driver and I can’t wait to see him representing JBXE in Senegal and I look forward to being back behind the wheel in Greenland.”
Kevin Hansen, JBXE driver said: “I’m really excited to join Formula One World Champion Jenson Button and his JBXE team for the Extreme E X Prix - it's a huge opportunity.
“I've been so involved in the series and developing the car since the beginning, from the early testing programme right to Aragon last year, so to get this opportunity now with Jenson is so nice and I'm super excited to get to Senegal and see what I can do. I’m so happy to be joining Mikaela also. I hope together we can be strong as I believe she is one of the strongest drivers in the championship and I've known her for a very long time. She's very talented so this is a huge opportunity for us to be working together, and we have so much history in sharing the car together so it is going to be nice to be with her in this event, and I think we can do a good job together.”
His teammate for Senegal, Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky, added: “I’m so excited to be racing with Kevin in the Ocean X Prix, he is super eager to have some good results so I think this will be a great collaboration. We are actually doing some driving practice in Sweden in the coming days. I’ve known Kevin since we were around 10 years old as we have raced together in the Swedish National Team and worked together in developing the Extreme E car over the last couple of years. We’ve actually raced against each other too in Rallycross so I’m looking forward to getting some good results with Kevin.”
The all-Swedish driver line-up is set to take on the Ocean X Prix next weekend (29-30 May) in Dakar, Senegal. JBXE currently sits sixth in the overall standings following the inaugural X Prix in Saudi Arabia in April.
Desert X Prix: Rosberg X Racing Wins the first X Prix!
Perfect drive from Kristoffersson in the first lap and then from Molly Taylor after the change got the first X Prix win of the season for Rosberg X Racing
PHOTO: extreme e
Two fastest teams from the Semi-Final and and the winning team of the Crazy Race went head to head. GridPlay was also an important factor and the Andretti United team got the pole-position, which Timmy Hansen used to great effect and got away really quick and pulled a gap. It was, in the end, short-lived, because Johan Kristoffersson managed to do the same thing as in the Semi-Final, went wide and with the tighter entry got past Hansen, who lost traction at the exit of Gate 2. After that Kristoffersson pulled a gap and the order remained the same until the swtich. Molly Taylor took over for Kristoffersson, and drove really good to get the Rosberg X Racing Odyssey 21 to the finishing gate first.
Catie Munnings, who picked up the steering wheel from Hansen also drove really good to, after a lot of problems on the first day, get second place for Andretti United, with X44 team of Sebastien Loeb and Cristina Gutierrez suffering the power-steering issue in the opening lap and they couldn't close up to their competitors in front, and finished the Final in 3rd place. Next Championship Round, the Ocean X Prix, will be driven at Senegal on 29th and 30th od May, 2021.
1. Rosberg X Racing, Kristoffersson / Taylor, 2 laps, 11:29
2. Andretti United, Hansen / Munnings, +23.73
3. X44, Loeb / Gutierrez, +1:38.09
1. Rosberg X Racing, 35 points
2. X44, 30 points
3. Andretti United, 28 points
4. Acciona Team Sainz, 26 points
5. Hispano Suiza XITE, 20 points
6. JBXE, 17 points
7. ABT Cupra, 13 points
8. Chip Ganassi, 12 points
9. Veloce Racing, 8 points
Driver Quotes after the race:
Sebastien Loeb reflected on his power-steering problem and he said that he is happy with the weekend overall:
"Even though we had a great weekend, I am little bit disappointed because of the Final. We are still discovering our pace and what we can do together. We showed that we are a good team, and we were both fast and that we can get to good results. The challenge was to keep the car in the straight line, because if it starts to slide to much, you will roll. It was quite tricky especially when the stage started to be rough. Our suspension is not perfect at the moment, so that is something we will have to work on in the future. To be on the limit with this car is really tough, and the main challenge is to finish the stages, pushing hard and without mistakes."
Timmy Hansen said that he wouldn't believe if people told him that Andretti would finish second:
"I am very happy with the lap and with what we displayed. If anyone told me that we will be second, I wouldn't believe them. First grid slot was very good for us, and I feel like it will always be an advantage in the future. I am very grateful to the other teams for giving us pole-position and I feel like I need to buy them all a bear"
Catie Munnings emphasized the importance of learning and strategy:
"This is different to anything we have driven before and we are learning on the job. This result massively means to me. No one knew what to expect and finishing the race this way is super positive. We know we can be faster and we will keep our heads down and prepare for Senegal."
Johan Kristoffersson said that the team was instrumental in preparing their car, so that he and Molly Taylor could get these results:
"Car is a handful to drive, and we had limited running on the track. Had a quick chat during the change with my teammate, but sharing the moment when the car is finishing first, is something I haven't experienced since competing in GT racing. It's about the team to do the right preparation, so that we can do the right preparation. We were always learning throughout these three days.
Desert X Prix: Rosberg X Racing, X44 and ANDRETTI UNITED IN THE FINAL
The action of day two started with the Semi-Final and the Crazy race, which gave us three teams that will compete in the Final for the overall win in the Desert X Prix
PHOTO: extreme e
First three cars that hit the sands of Saudi Arabia were the top three cars in yesterday's qualifying, and the start was pretty eventful. Johan Kristoffersson had the best start for Rosberg X Racing, but he had Carlos Sainz of Acciona Sainz Team hot on his heel, and the double World Rally Champion managed to get in front. Kristoffersson took a really wide line approaching the Gate 2, while X44's Sebastien Loeb managed to overtake Sainz on the inside. Kristoffersson's line has put him in prime position to get passed both his competitors, and after Gate 2, the order was more-less decided. Since the visibility is very bad behind the lead car, the Rosberg X Racing driver pulled away from his competitors, and after the driver switch, the field remained in the same positions and in more-less the same gaps. Molly Taylor took the RXR Odyssey 21 to the end gate first, ahead of X44's Cristina Gutierrez and Acciona Sainz driver, Laia Sanz.
Semi Final Results:
1. Rosberg X Racing, Kristoffersson / Taylor, 2 laps
2. X44, Loeb / Gutierrez, +28.91
3. Acciona Sainz, Sainz / Sanz, +1:06.82
Crazy race started with a great launch from Andretti United driver, Timmy Hansen, who got away from his competitors and opened up the gap. Oliver Bennett managed to stick close to Hansen in the first couple of gates, but the 2019 WRX Champion pulled the gap of about 30 seconds and controlled the race. Jenson Button tried the similar thing to Kristoffersson, trying to go with a wide line, but couldn't get closer. Similar to the Semi Final, once the drivers exited Gate 2, the order remained the same until the end of the race. After the switch, Catie Munnings drove really precisely and got the Andretti United team into the Final with RXR and X44. Christine Giampaoli Zonca drove a really good lap but it wasn't enough for her to get close to Munnings. Mikaela Ahlin Kottunlinsky ended the Crazy Race a minute behind Munnings for JBXE team.
Crazy Race Results:
1. Andretti United, Hansen / Munnings, 2 laps
2. Hispano Suiza, Bennett / Giampaoli Zonca, +30.34
3. JBXE, Button / Ahlin-Kottulinsky, +1:06.66
Desert X Prix qualifying: X44 strike first in AlUla
First two competitive sessions of the Championship have given us the running order for the race day - Sebastien Loeb and Cristina Gutierrez displayed precise and quick driving
PHOTO: extreme e
The sands of AlUla saw the first Qualifying session that was full of action. Stephane Sarrazin of Veloce Racing rolled his Odyssey 21 and couldn't continue his lap, so the Veloce team didn't complete a single lap in Q1, and because of that, his teammate, W Series Champion, Jamie Chadwick had to wait until the Q2 to drive the first competitive lap after Shakedown, which happened the day before. In the end, it turned out that they didn't get an opportunity to drive in the afternoon as well. The Andretti United team had a great lap from Timmy Hansen, but then when starting her run, Catie Munnings had a flat tire but managed to drive a really good lap which had put them in 4th place.
The biggest incident was the one that has happened to the Abt Cupra's Claudia Hurtgen, after her Odyssey 21 rolled a couple of times, she was ok but the team could not run in the afternoon. The Chip Ganassi crew had a problem with their Power-Steering, but the technical gremlins came back to haunt them in Q2 and they didn't start their Q2 lap.
The story of Q2 was the one of time penalties for the driver change period. Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky could not engage the pit-limiter on her JBXE car and as the result of that, the afternoon run of her and Jenson was penalized with 175 seconds which put them at the back of timesheets. Similar thing happened to the Rosberg X Racing team, who after topping the morning session now received a 60 second penalty and from again being fastest dropped to fifth. As the qualifying results are aggregated, after being precise and really quick on both runs, team X44 was at the top of the timesheets, with Acciona Sainz Team 41 seconds behind.
Combined Timesheets of both Qualifying Runs look like this:
1. X44, Sebastien Loeb / Cristina Gutierrez, Q1: 10:48.067, Q2: 11:07.931, 4 laps, TOTAL: 21:55.998
2. Acciona Sainz, Carlos Sainz / Laia Sanz, Q1: 11:16.231, Q2, 11:20.864, 4 laps, +41.097s
3. Rosberg X Racing, Johan Kristoffersson / Molly Taylor, Q1: 10:43.565, Q2: 12:03.258, 4 laps, +50.825
4. Andretti United, Timmy Hansen / Catie Munnings, Q1: 11:31.603, Q2: 11:32.931, 4 laps, +1:08.536
5. Hispano Suiza, Oliver Bennet / Christine Giampaoli Zonca, Q1: 13:09.038, Q2: 12:01.694, 4 laps, +3:14.734
6. JBXE, Jenson Button / Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky, Q1: 12:22.426, Q2: 14:28.452, 4 laps, +4:54.880
7. Chip Ganassi, Kyle Leduc / Sara Price, Q1: 13:33.674, Q2: -, 2 laps, +2 laps
8. ABT Cupra, Matthias Ekstrom / Claudia Hurtgen, Q1: 4:42.210, Q2: -, 1 lap, +3 laps
9. Veloce Racing, Stephane Sarrazin / Jamie Chadwick, Q1: -, Q2: -, 0 laps, +4 laps
Top three teams will compete in the Semi-Final, from which two teams qualify for the Final, while the teams placed between 4th and 6th compete in a Crazy Race, from which one team will proceed to the Final. The bottom three will compete in a Shoot-Out.
With this result, team X44 has scored 12 points, Acciona Sainz scored 11, while Rosberg X Racing has 10 points. All 9 teams score points in qualifying, and they are divided so that every team gets one point less than the previous team, with the 9th scoring 4 points.
PRESS CONFERENCE AHEAD OF THE FIRST X PRIX
The first press conference ahead of the first X Prix has seen some of the drivers share their first impressions of the car and the racetrack that they will be competing on
PHOTO: extreme e
Andretti United driver, Timmy Hansen, said that he was very happy to get back to racing:
"It's good to be on the racetrack, and we are in the middle of a desert. Racing starts without much practice which makes Round 1 very interesting. I am still in love with Rallycross and will combine the two racing programs, it was an easy choice to come to Extreme E, because the car and the tracks look really cool. I am racing for massive names in Motorsport, I am very lucky to be a part of the team, and to present them. My teammate is taking a massive step, and she is very talented. Rallycross will take a similar path from next year, and it shows that electric is the future, so we have to race with electric cars on the racetrack. The philosophy is the same between two championships when driving is concerned."
Next up was Mattias Ekström, of ABT Cupra team, who talked about the track and it's challenges:
"The second sector will be trickiest section of the track, and when going to the top of the dunes, I thought I was a bit too quick and that I missed the gate when approaching the downhill section. You cannot control the jump and the angle of the car, so the thing that scares me is a little is the lack of control. Many forms of motorsport take a lot of time to follow, and the Extreme E will be great to follow since the championship shows a lot of action and the racing doesn't take a lot of time. I have been working with Cupra from 2019 and the Extreme E is a perfect championship for them to be in, since they are also a young brand."
Rosberg X Racing driver Johan Krisoffersson talked about his approach to driving the Odyssey 21:
"The surface is quite different. Some bits you can take from Rallycross, the start procedure, reading the road you can take from rallying, and without a co-driver it is a bit more like circuit racing. I think I could use bits and pieces of the things I have driven before. You have to try and adapt and that's maybe key in the whole championship this year, to be able to adapt quickly to everything that is happening. There are many new things for everyone in the paddock. What happens during the weekend is very similar to Rallycross."
Nico Rosberg was also present and he talked about what motivated him to form his racing team in this Champioship:
"After my Formula 1 career I have been focused on sustainability, which is at the core of this Champioship. We cannot make that big of an impact with our actions that we took the day before, but we can raise awareness of the problems that the Earth is facing at these locations. We have some of the World's leading scientists, and we are having panels and learning something, and that is what I love a lot. I haven't tried the car, since I don't want to make Johan look slow, but I will try the car at some point, and I think it will be enjoyable. Saying that, yesterday when I saw that drop, I was happy that I am the team boss. I have two great drivers, and the way they work together. In my sport, my team-mate was my biggest enemy in the world, so that team collaboration was the opposite."
Carlos Sainz said that he had a problem with power-steering on his shakedown lap and he could not learn much:
"I tried to be positive, normally I would be very upset and frustrated, knowing that tomorrow I will be missing most of the track and going directly into qualifying. I would like to keep the positive approach for now, but on the sporting side, I am worried and not very happy because of what happened. I will try and teach my teammate, who makes a transition from motorbikes to cars as much as I can. I am happy to make this step, and the fact that I am a team owner gives me a different perspective. Here we have a new format, new cars, and at the moment I am watching. We didn't have a good start, but I hope things can get better. Tomorrow after the first run we will have a better picture, and then try to improve."
The driver of the other F1 World Champion was also present and the nine-time WRC champion, Sebastien Loeb was quite happy with that he achieved during his shakedown:
"I managed to do the full lap, getting the feeling in the car and of the track, and just taking some experience today. The car was working well, it's very fast and it's quite tough. We never drove as fast with this car because the test we did in Aragon was very different, it was more twisty, and here we are with some fast sections and crest. It's not easy to keep the car straight, but hopefully we can continue to do well tomorrow. At the end of my run I wanted to do a practice start, the shakedown was not important for me, since I didn't want to destroy the car, but to test everything. I am proud that the best Formula 1 driver of the World today took me as the driver of his team. I will try my best, and we talked overall about the message and the strategy a little bit."
TEAMS AND DRIVERS FOR SEASON 1
Each Extreme E team taking on Season 1 will field one of the championship’s cutting-edge ODYSSEY 21 E-SUVs across the epic five-race global voyage promoting sustainability and the adoption of electric vehicles to help protect the planet.
PHOTO: extreme e
ABT CUPRA XE (GERMANY)
The German company has enjoyed multiple championship successes across disciplines at the very highest level of motorsport over seven decades. It sealed no fewer than five Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) titles, and it was the team behind Lucas di Grassi’s ABB FIA Formula E Championship triumph in 2016-17.
DRIVERS: Claudia Hürtgen (GER, VLN Endurance Champion 2005), Mattias Ekström (SWE, ambassador for CUPRA, ETCR racer, 2xDTM champion and 1xWRX champion)
ACCIONA|SAINZ XE TEAM (SPAIN)
ACCIONA – which in 2017 led the first team to complete the Dakar Rally with a 100% electric vehicle – announces its return to motorsport, joining forces with rally legend Carlos Sainz and technical partner QEV Technologies. The ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team aims include contributing to global awareness on the effects of climate change and the need to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy.
DRIVERS: Laia Sanz (SPA, Trial World Champion thirteen times and the Enduro World Champion on five occasions, ten Dakar Finishes), Carlos Sainz (SPA, 2x Rally World Champion, 3xDakar Winner)
ANDRETTI UNITED EXTREME E (USA)
Andretti United Extreme E brings together two powerhouses in the world of motorsport, U.S-based Andretti Autosport and England’s United Autosports. Between them they boast some of the biggest names in racing including McLaren CEO Zak Brown and former racing driver Richard Dean on the United side, and racing legend Michael Andretti himself. With a great history which includes IndyCar, Formula E, GT 4 America, British GT, the European and Asian Le Mans series and the Le Mans 24 hr race, this team knows racing.
DRIVERS: Catie Munnings (UK, European Rally Championship Ladies Trophy), Timmy Hansen (SWE, WRX Champion)
CHIP GANASSI RACING (USA)
Chip Ganassi Racing is teaming up with GMC HUMMER EV as they compete in the upcoming Extreme E Series. CGR’s 550 hp electric SUV will feature a unique grille, graphics and bodywork inspired by the GMC HUMMER EV, the world’s first all-electric supertruck. Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2020, Chip Ganassi Racing has claimed eight wins in the Rolex 24 At Daytona, four Indianapolis 500s, the Daytona 500, the Brickyard 400, the 12 Hours of Sebring and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, making Chip Ganassi the only owner in history to score wins in those iconic races.
DRIVERS: Sara Price (USA, Most successful amateur at the X Games), Kyle Leduc (USA, 6x Pro 4 Champion)
Founded by Formula One World Champion Jenson Button, JBXE makes its debut into the world of electric off-road racing. As both team owner and driver, Jenson will be at the heart of the team, on and off the track, and the whole of JBXE will be working alongside Extreme E to help raise awareness of the both the issues at hand but also to highlight the legacy initiatives being implemented at each race location.
DRIVERS: Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky (SWE, Continental Test Driver for Extreme E), Jenson Button (UK, Formula 1 World Champion 2009, SuperGT champion 2018)
ROSBERG XTREME RACING (GERMANY)
Led by 2016 Formula One™ World Champion and sustainability entrepreneur Nico Rosberg, the team is an evolution of Team Rosberg, founded in 1994 by Nico’s father and 1982 F1 World Champion, Keke Rosberg. RXR builds on the team’s success in the German Touring Car Masters (DTM) as well as Nico Rosberg’s post-F1 career as an entrepreneur in the field of sustainable mobility.
DRIVERS: Molly Taylor (AUS, Australian Rally Champion 2016, No1 Ranked International Female Rally Driver 2013), Johan Kristoffersson (SWE, 3xWRX Champion)
TEAM TECHEETAH (INDONESIA)
The TECHEETAH Formula-E team is a Chinese racing team, in partnership with DS Automobiles, in the all-electric street racing series, ABB FIA Formula E. The team is owned by SECA (Shanghai) Limited. This past season 2019/2020 – DS TECHEETAH reclaimed both Championship with Antonio Felix da Costa winning the Drivers Champion and Jean-Eric Vergne finishing in 3rd place. The Extreme E Team will be owned by the Indover Group.
DRIVERS: TBD (), TBD ()
VELOCE RACING (UK)
Veloce Racing, co-founded by the team behind its industry-leading sister organisation Veloce Esports, counts double Formula E champion and former Formula 1 driver Jean-Éric Vergne in its backroom staff with legendary designer Adrian Newey driving the operation on as its ‘Lead Visionary’.
DRIVERS: Jamie Chadwick (UK, W Series Champion, Ginetta Junior Champion), Stéphane Sarrazin (FRA, 6 podium finishes at Le Mans, two Le Mans series titles)
X44, formed by Seven-Time Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton, will make its racing debut in Extreme E. X44 will provide opportunities to the next generation of drivers, engineers and technicians whilst highlighting the most serious issues facing our planet and the solutions we can all be part of. Rather than getting behind the wheel, Lewis will use his role as founder to put his learnings into practise and create a dedicated and competitive team.
DRIVERS: Cristina Gutiérrez (SPA, First Spanish Female Driver to finish Dakar Rally 2017), Sébastien Loeb (FRA, 9xWRC Champion)
Extreme E completes star-studded first group test
Extreme E, the innovative new electric off-road series, has completed its first group test at MotorLand Aragón, Spain, with many of the world’s biggest names in rally and off-road racing joining together.
PHOTO: extreme e
The impressive line-up, which included rally legends Sébastien Loeb and Carlos Sainz, World Rallycross champions Johan Kristoffersson, Timmy Hansen, and Mattias Ekström, Dakar Rally hotshots Cristina Gutiérrez and Laia Sanz, W Series Champion Jamie Chadwick, and Australian Rally Champion Molly Taylor, among more, marked an all-star meet up as the Extreme E teams got their first joint display.
It was also the first chance the drivers had to feel the full potential of the championship’s 400kW (550bhp) ODYSSEY 21 electric SUV as the first X Prix in Saudi Arabia, March 2021, draws ever closer.
Alejandro Agag, Founder and CEO of Extreme E, said: “We’ve been working towards this day for over two years. The dream is finally becoming a reality and it’s certainly been a proud moment to see such a talented group of drivers all together. This championship has one of the strongest line-ups of drivers anywhere on the planet. Testing has been a huge success and a great way to end out what has been a challenging year in so many ways. 2021 is set to be the year where the world can see the realisation of all our hard work and I cannot wait to show-off one of the most innovative motorsport formats the world has ever seen.”
The teams completed two days of testing across two off-road circuit layouts; a 3.1km open course and a faster 1km circuit, getting to prove their abilities despite having to contend with foggy conditions and low visibility at times.
The ODYSSEY 21 will be pushed to its limits on some of the toughest terrains during the 2021 race season, including the desert, the Arctic, and the Amazon, and Extreme E’s Founding Partner, Continental Tyres, has worked hard to create a tyre to meet this multitude of demands.
The test was an important opportunity to showcase a new innovation that will be part of the series – ContiConnect – a digital tyre monitoring system meaning greater safety for car and driver. The system collects, measures and analyses data such as tyre pressure and temperature in real time, transmitting that information to the driver on a display in the cockpit.
Founding Supplier CBMM, the world’s leading supplier of niobium products and technology, has also been integral in developing the ODYSSEY 21, which utilises niobium, making it lighter, stronger, more robust and more reliable. This is all while being more sustainable than other materials, as the increased lightness breeds energy savings and improved performance, and the added strength and durability afforded by niobium technology will assist the Extreme E chassis in dealing with the toughest challenges thrown its way.
Following the test, cars will go back to the respective teams’ workshops for final adjustments before being loaded onto the championship’s floating centrepiece, St. Helena, which will depart in mid-February for its voyage around the world. Extreme E’s five-event calendar starts in Saudi Arabia in March followed by Senegal in May, Greenland in August, Brazil in October and Patagonia in December.
Extreme E CHAMPIONSHIP CALENDAR AND RACE WEEKEND FORMAT
Joining Greenland, Senegal, Saudi Arabia and the Brazilian Amazon, Extreme E will race in Patagonia, officially replacing Nepal in the season 1 calendar.
PHOTO: extreme e
The decision to change locations, and delay the start of season 1 by six weeks was made due to a combination of the COVID-19 pandemic affecting series preparations, coupled with the additional complexity of getting to the proposed race region in Nepal, though series organisers remain committed to a visit in future Extreme E Seasons.
Season 1 Calendar:
Desert X Prix: Al Ula, Saudi Arabia
20-21 March 2021
Ocean X Prix: Lac Rose, Senegal
29-30 May 2021
Arctic X Prix: Kangerlussuaq, Greenland
28-29 August 2021
Amazon X Prix: Para, Brazil
23-24 October 2021
Glacier X Prix: Patagonia, Argentina
11-12 December 2021
The new Season 1 finale will take place in Tierra del Fuego in Patagonia, which will play host to the championships Glacier stage in December 2021.
Tierra del Fuego is in the most southern part of Patagonia, which is world renowned for its dramatic glaciers and snowy mountain landscapes, but these areas are undergoing rapid glacial recession, as well as suffering from ice thinning and permafrost reduction. The area is known as one of the world’s final frontiers and this breathtaking spot in Patagonia is home to the town of Ushuaia, often referred to as ‘the end of the world’ due to its location at the very tip of South America, with Antarctica to the South.
RACE WEEKEND FORMAT:
Two days of racing – Saturday and Sunday.
One full battery charge per day for each team.
Each race is two laps – one lap driven by the female and one lap driven by the male.
Four cars contest each race.
Each team races twice (four races) on Saturday, in Qualifying 1 (two races) and Qualifying 2 (two races). Choice of starting position for Qualifying 1 based on lottery. Points for each race (for calculation of Sunday starting positions): 1st: 3 points, 2nd: 2 points, 3rd: 1 point, 4th: 0 points. Top four point scorers after Saturday races qualify for Semi-Final 1 and bottom four qualify for Semi-Final 2 (Crazy Race).
Three races held on Sunday: Semi-Final 1, Semi-Final 2 (Crazy Race) and Final. Choice of track starting position for Semi-Finals based on points order after Qualifying rounds. First three finishing teams from Semi-Final 1 and winning driver from Semi-Final 2 qualify for the Final. Choice of track starting position for Finals based on finishing position in Semi-Finals. Standby team for the Final to be the fourth placed team in Semi-Final 1.
All results based on race finishing position, not time.
Extreme E's Virtual Series Launch marks six month countdown to opening race
Extreme E held its Virtual Global Series Launch today, marking just under six months until the championship’s first race in March 2021.
PHOTO: extreme e
In keeping with the series’ sustainability goals, the launch was virtual and all the teams joined remotely from their various locations including the UK, Germany, Spain, America and Asia as they came together to unveil their car liveries using CGI animation.
Extreme E’s three key pillars - electrification, environment and equality - were highlighted throughout the presentation, which provided details on the championship’s sustainability goals, Legacy Programmes and commitment to raising awareness of the climate crisis.
Extreme E Founder and CEO Alejandro Agag hosted the event, alongside presenter Nicki Shields, and delivered the series overview, including a revised Season 1 calendar which now incorporates a season finale in Argentine Patagonia.
Alejandro Agag, Founder and CEO of Extreme E, said: “Our Virtual Launch has been an incredible format to unveil our Season 1 calendar and the team cars, whilst also refining our virtual experience capabilities – a key theme of Extreme E – particularly during the time of COVID-19. Our team has been working really hard behind the scenes and despite the pandemic and the challenges it has provided, we are on track for our first race in March 2021. The series has gained massive momentum with no less than two Formula One™ World Champions signing up with their own teams alongside other powerhouses in the motorsport world, and there is much more to come as we announce drivers in the coming months.”
On the new race location, Alejandro adds: “We are delighted to confirm that Patagonia in Argentina will feature in our Season 1 calendar, and it will certainly make an incredible race experience for teams and viewers alike. However, of course there is a far more serious reason why Extreme E has chosen to visit Tierra del Fuego. Glacial retreat is one of the devastating effects of the global climate crisis, and unless we act now these incredible places will no longer exist.”
Team representatives who joined the launch were as follows: Lewis Hamilton and Marc Hynes (X44), Mattias Ekström and Thomas Biermaier (ABT), Rupert Svendsen-Cook and Jack Clarke (Veloce Racing), Zak Brown and Catie Munnings (Andretti United), Chip Ganassi and Mike Hull (Chip Ganassi Racing), Adi Surjanto (Team TECHEETAH), Miguel Valdecabres and Joan Orus (QEV), Ulrich Fritz (HWA), and Nico Rosberg and Kimmo Liimatainen (Rosberg Xtreme Racing). Each revealed their unique liveries in a virtual environment which replicated the series’ floating centrepiece, the St. Helena.
The teams each revealed their ODYSSEY 21 electric SUVs in their liveries, and representatives from each team were on hand to discuss their reasons for being involved in Extreme E and their anticipation for the first season of racing.
The ODYSSEY 21 is an electric SUV, which can go from 0-100km/h in 4.5 seconds, at gradients of up to 130 percent. It is manufactured by Spark Racing Technology, with a battery produced by Williams Advanced Engineering, a niobium-reinforced steel alloy tubular frame from CBMM, and purpose built tyres, designed by Continental Tyres, which are the most extreme the company has ever produced.
Mikaela Åhlin-KottulinskY WILL TEST CONTINENTAL TYRES FOR EXTREME E
Extreme E's Official Tyre Supplier and Founding Partner Continental Tyres chose Swede Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky to provide developmental insight and feedback for its bespoke all-surface tyres.
As Continental’s Test Driver for the series, she is one of only three members of the Drivers’ Programme to have driven the ODYSSEY 21 electric SUV in anger, after joining compatriots Timmy and Kevin Hansen in the Autumn for what she described as an encouraging and productive test. The 27-year-old was also the first to drive the car in public back at its unveiling with a run up the famed hill-climb at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2019.
A pioneer in her own right, in the early stages of her career, Åhlin-Kottulinsky finished second in the FIA Women in Motorsport shoot-out, in so doing earning the opportunity to compete in the Volkswagen Scirocco R Cup. The Swede subsequently became the first woman to win a race in a VW-supported series, and in 2018 repeated that feat in the Scandinavian Touring Car Championship. Her varied experience also includes a stint with Audi Sport in ADAC GT Masters.
“Working with Continental is great and the project has really benefitted from their off-road knowledge and expertise. It’s a huge car but once you’re in it you feel one with it and you know exactly how to handle it, even from the very first test.”
Jumping out of the car following its first shakedown run at Chateau de Lastours near Carcassonne in the south of France – used by a number of World Rally Championship and Dakar outfits as a proving ground – Mikaela was full of compliments.
“As early as lap two I was able to push,” said the Swede after strapping into the E-SUV in October. “The car felt nimble, agile and responsive – it definitely didn’t feel its size. It drifted as you’d want a four-wheel drive car to do then it pulls and recovers nicely when you apply the throttle. I already feel comfortable in the driver’s seat. We tested the tyres to their maximum on a rough, off-road surface and it was a great opportunity to see how much we can push them, where the limit is and how we can improve them. They have to take big impacts, and work across multiple surfaces and in different environments.”
“The whole format of Extreme E is future thinking. The vehicles, the technology, the sustainability and now the equality programme – a first in history with a 50-50 split of male and female drivers – is all so ground-breaking. It’s a great platform for female drivers to grow. It’s about getting the chance to develop and become the best and fastest driver. Nobody gets into the car and is a champion at Round 1. You need to come into a great championship with a great team around you to win and this platform really encourages that."
That is where Åhlin-Kottulinsky hopes Extreme E will have the greatest impact, through its positive legacy initiative and in broadcasting the message far and wide about the necessity to act now to preserve the planet for future generations to enjoy.
“In the end, if every single person makes a small change, that will add up to a huge difference for the whole world,” the 26-year-old stressed. “That is what I believe Extreme E can do – generate excitement as well as awareness of what is happening all around the world due to climate change. Hopefully we can set an example – that’s what I’m hoping this series can help to achieve.”
Extreme e's 400kw all-terrain racer presented at goodwood
Extreme E car breaks cover at the Festival of Speed
Ahead of making its global debut on the world-famous Goodwood hillclimb at the Festival of Speed, Extreme E Founder Alejandro Agag and Chairman Gil de Ferran pulled the covers off the series' new 500bhp, all-electric racer.
With more people buying into all-electric mobility, EV launches are fast becoming the norm in the wonderful world of cars. That said, there's nothing normal about the latest EV launch to take place on the opening Friday of the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Welcome, one and all, to ODYSSEY 21 - the new all-electric, off-road challenger leading the charge in the new all-terrain motorsport series Extreme E.
Launched in February this year, Extreme E is a new racing series designed to highlight the impact of climate change on some of the world’s most fragile ecosystems. Following in the footsteps of its sister series, the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, Extreme E will help promote and accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles to help protect the planet and reduce air pollution.
Pitching electric, all-wheel cars against each other in some of the most testing environments on the planet, the series' founder Alejandro Agag revealed the latest prototype at a launch event at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Made up of standardised parts manufactured by Spark Racing Technology and a battery produced by Williams Advanced Engineering, the 400kW (550hp) ODYSSEY 21 is capable of hitting 100km/h (62mph) in 4.5 seconds, while tackling gradients of up to 130 per cent.
Under the sleek body work, sits a niobium-reinforced steel alloy tubular frame, as well as crash structure and roll cage. Keeping the cars planted is the job of the tyres, designed for both extreme winter and summer requirements, which were developed by founding partner and tyre specialists Continental.
“The Extreme E-SUV ODYSSEY 21 is unlike anything else in motorsport," said Alejandro Agag, Founder and CEO of Formula E - operating partner of Extreme E. "The cutting-edge technology our industry-leading partners have employed in its design and construction has resulted in a stunning car, capable of the highest performance in the toughest and most varied environments on the planet."
After breaking cover, the Spark Racing Technology-built ODYSSEY 21 headed up the world-famous Goodwood hillclimb, completing its first demonstration run in the shadow of Goodwood House. The run comes just one week after the full initial build of the prototype car was completed at the Spark factory in Tigery, France.
From the get-go, teams will be able to test and develop their own powertrain and select areas of bodywork, such as the engine cover, front and rear bumpers, side skirts, and lights to reflect everyday road car models.
“Our challenge was to build a car that could face all the variations in surface and terrain that will be thrown its way, which will include gravel, rock, mud, ice, snow, water and sand, too," said Theophile Gouzin, Technical Director of Spark Racing Technology. "
With races planned in glacial, rainforest, artic, mountainous and desert ecosystems, Extreme E will put the teams, drivers and cars through their paces in some of the most testing but fragile environments in the world.