Extreme E | Males And Females Racing Together
Extreme E is a radical new off-road racing series founded by the creators of Formula E. Each team’s race car is driven by a woman and a man through challenging race tracks in extremely remote locations around the world. The new motorsport championship is launching with high sustainability standards and the goal of raising awareness about environmental issues. And this is bringing a seven-time Formula 1 world champion on board.
Electric SUVs compete in extreme areas around the world. Those are already damaged or threatened by climate change and environmental issues due to a number of serious problems such as melting ice caps, deforestation, desertification and rising sea levels. The five-race global journey is designed to shed light on the effects of climate change and promote the use of electric vehicles.
The racing series aims to achieve a net zero carbon footprint by the end of its inaugural season and to establish initiatives at each destination on its calendar that help to protect ecosystems affected by climate change.
Alongside Nico Rosberg, Jenson Button and other well-known personalities from the world of motorsports, Formula 1 multi-champion Lewis Hamilton is joining Extreme E. His Team X44 and the other Extreme E competitors will race electric vehicles in five remote, extreme locations at high risk from climate change. In the Arctic, in the desert, in the rainforest, on glaciers and on the coast.
“Extreme E is an exciting new sustainability initiative, and this is a great opportunity to be involved from the outset as a team founder. Of course, my ambitions and commitments with Mercedes in Formula One mean that I won’t be operationally involved in X44, but I’m excited to play a different role in this new series, one that brings my vision for a more sustainable and equal world to life.”
Named in reference to Lewis’ own race number in Formula 1, the X44 SUV will enter Season 1 of the Extreme E Championship, whose first X-Prix race will take place in April 2021.
As founder of the team, Lewis Hamilton will not take the place behind the wheel himself, but will put the knowledge gained from his motorsport career into practice to help build a dedicated and competitive team. The X44 will be driven by Dakar Rally experienced Spanish racer Cristina Gutiérrez and Sébasten Loeb. The Frenchman is known in motorsport as one of the most successful rally drivers of all time.
Extreme E is promoting gender equality
Extreme E is the first motorsport championship to focus on female drivers and male drivers alike. Top female drivers such as Sara Price, off-road truck champion and Molly Taylor, Australian rally champion, will have the chance to make their mark on the racing series from the first season.
Jamie Chadwick will drive the off-road SUV for Veloce Racing, she is one of the UK’s brightest young talents in motorsports.
As a Williams F1 development driver and W Series champion, Chadwick brings experience to the team. After taking her first steps in motor racing in the Ginetta Junior Championship, she made a spectacular breakthrough when she won the British GT Championship in the GT4 class in 2015. “Winning the W Series was fantastic – and huge for my career – but I want to prove that I can beat everybody at this kind of level, which means men and women alike. The prospect of going up against the likes of Jenson Button and Sébastien Loeb – I mean, these guys were heroes to me when I was growing up – is incredible. If you want to succeed in sport, as in life, you must be prepared to really push yourself. That is exactly what I am doing in Extreme E and I cannot wait to get started!”
Extreme E founder and CEO Alejandro Agag commented, “We are striving for equality, and Extreme E’s sporting format is the truest reflection of that goal. Everybody will race together, and only the most effective combination of drivers, team, engineers and car will rise to the top. I believe that our race format will challenge all of the drivers, male and female, which is what makes this concept so exciting. There is no shortage of women drivers good enough to take the seats!”
Agag’s ultimate goal, however, is to end the emphasis on the gender of those who drive the race car: “My aim is that one day, female participation and achievement throughout motorsport will be at such levels where it simply is not a story – then I will be happy.”
The influence of motorsports and the sports industry
In addition to raising awareness of “Gender Equality” and “Climate Change,” the series has launched a legacy program that includes working with communities at the sites to make positive impacts dependent on local needs. Overseen by an independent scientific committee made up of leading climate experts from Oxford and Cambridge Universities, Extreme E aims to provide a model for how motorsport and the wider sports industry can have a positive impact on the planet.
The command center for the championship will be located aboard the RMS St. Helena. The ship has undergone a multi-million dollar transformation to minimize emissions and to transform it into the race series’ operations, logistics, accommodation and garage base. To minimize environmental impact, the races will not be physically accessible to the public. Instead, spectators will be able to follow the action through live broadcasting on television and social media.
The production vehicle, manufactured by Spark Racing Technology, is an E-SUV called ODYSSEY 21, capable of accelerating 0-100km/h in 4.5 seconds, at gradients of up to 130 percent. Each vehicle comprises a common package of standardised parts, manufactured by Spark Racing Technology with a battery produced by Williams Advanced Engineering. This encompasses a niobium-reinforced steel alloy tubular frame, as well as crash structure and roll cage, whilst tyres, built for the extreme conditions are designed by founding partner Continental Tyres.
Extreme E is also pioneering hydrogen fuel cell technology that allows it to charge its racing fleet with zero-emission energy. This innovative solution from AFC Energy uses water and the sun to generate hydrogen energy. Not only will this process emit zero greenhouse emissions, its only by-product will be water, which will be utilised elsewhere on-site.
Extreme E’s inaugural season will take place in five environments: the Arctic, the desert, the Amazon on a glacier and the coast.
Schedule Extreme E Season 1 / 2021
03.-04. April: Desert X-Prix Wadi Rum, Alula, Saudi Arabia
29..-30. May: Ocean X-Prix, Lac Rose, Dakar, Senegal
28.-29. August: Arctic X-Prix, Kangerlussuaq, Greenland
tbc: Amazon X-Prix
tbc: Glacier X-Prix
The race teams include Chip Ganassi Racing and Andretti United from the USA, Abt and HWA from Germany, Team TECHEETAH – Indonesia, Acciona Sainz – Spain, Veloce Racing and X44 from the UK. View all teams here.
“Star Wars Pod Racing meets Dakar Rally”
Extreme E has developed an innovative format unlike any other. It is designed for short and sharp wheel-to-wheel races.
Each race, called an X-Prix, includes two laps over a distance of about 16 kilometers. Each male and female driver will complete one lap behind the wheel of the ODYSSEY 21 electric SUV. The fastest combination of team, drivers, car and engineers can cheer at the end, and will then be crowned X-Prix winner.
Extreme E not only aims to demonstrate the power and capabilities of modern electric off-road vehicles racing over this rugged terrain in awe-inspiring conditions, Extreme E also aims to work closely with its Scientific Committee of experts in each region to promote global awareness and education on the specific issues facing each environment, such as rising carbon emissions, melting ice caps, deforestation, desertification, droughts, plastic pollutants and rising sea levels.
Extreme E uses its sports platform to promote electrification, sustainability and equality. The series aims to highlight the impact of climate change in some of the world’s most remote areas, encourage the adoption of electric vehicles to pave the way for a lower-carbon future, and create a unique platform for gender-equal motorsports.
All informationen about the electric motorsport championship: www.extreme-e.com
Images: (c) Extreme E77 Likes