Extreme E, the new electric SUV off-road racing series, has today launched its Drivers’ Programme, with a roster of world-class names expressing their interest in joining the groundbreaking new championship.
The first to commit include multiple FIA World Rally Championship title-winner Sebastian Ogier; FIA World Rallycross frontrunners Andreas Bakkerud and Kevin and Timmy Hansen; double DTM champion and FIA World Rallycross driver Timo Scheider; W Series winner Jamie Chadwick; leading female racers Katherine Legge and Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky; 2016 ABB FIA Formula E champion Lucas di Grassi; fellow Formula E racer and Le Mans winner, Andre Lotterer; and Sacha Prost – ice racer and the youngest son of Formula 1 legend, Alain.
Alejandro Agag, Founder of Extreme E, said: “We have revealed the car, and our first race location, but any good championship needs top driver talent in order to be truly successful.
“This world-class list of drivers, representing the very best male and female talent from multiple disciplines across top-tier motorsport, illustrates Extreme E’s serious sporting credentials. It certainly marks another very important step as we continue the development of our exciting new series.”
Extreme E, which recently unveiled Greenland as its first confirmed location, is set to revolutionise motorsport and entertainment with its E-SUVs racing across five of the world’s most remote and formidable environments that have been severely damaged at the hands of climate change or human interference – with the goal of raising awareness and inspiring action.
The Drivers’ Programme is designed to promote professional drivers and assist teams and prospective entries – with Venturi, ABT and HWA already signed up to the championship – for the inaugural campaign, which gets underway in February 2021.
Series organisers will recommend prospective competitors from its Drivers’ Programme to teams looking to contest the series, however, if teams prefer, they will also have the autonomy to select their own drivers from outside the pool.
Using the spectacle of top-tier motorsport, cutting-edge cars and the highest level of sporting competition to achieve that goal and drive change is a major factor in six-time WRC champion, Sebastien Ogier, joining the fold as Extreme E Ambassador and Drivers’ Programme member.
He said: “Extreme E is unlike anything else we have in motorsport, so it is incredibly appealing to me. The short stages, the power and performance of the ODYSSEY 21, the head-to-head format and of course the spectacular, unique locations, will make the racing extremely intense and very exciting for drivers and the fans watching from home.
Adding, he said: “I’m in love with nature and the planet, and also being a father makes the future protection of our planet a very important fight to me personally. I want us to try and change our habits, and Extreme E’s mission to promote electric future is crucial to that goal.”
Drivers’ Programme members will be given the opportunity to drive and test the Extreme E car, ODYSSEY 21, which was unveiled at the Goodwood Festival of Speed back in July. Simulator time will also be provided as well as a full technical rundown of the nuances of driving the innovative new E-SUV.
Explaining why Extreme E attracted him, Andreas Bakkerud, current FIA World Rallycross leader, said:
“The series looks incredibly exciting from a sporting point of view, but as a lover of nature, it is equally important to me that I do my bit to help make the world a better place.
“Norway, where I live, is a beautiful country, but I’m noticing more and more that when you see the ocean, you see trash and it’s clearer than ever that humans and our actions are destroying the world. It was great for me to hear that Extreme E will use motorsport to help focus on these issues in a positive way.”
Races during Extreme E’s five race meetings will take place over three days, within an area no larger than 10km2, creating highly entertaining head-to-head action, built for both short snap-chat style social coverage, and longer form broadcast, in a tournament, knockout style.
Track designers have been tasked with carefully selecting course options, which provide the most challenging, exciting racing action for drivers and fans alike whilst crucially generating no negative impact from either environmental or social perspectives. Routes will be designed to incorporate existing obstacles and features with elevation changes and jumps without the need to adapt the environment.
Group testing will take place in mid-2020 before teams board Extreme E’s floating paddock – RMS St. Helena – ahead of the opening race in early 2021.
To learn more about Extreme E, visit: www.Extreme-E.com
About Extreme E:
Extreme E is a radical new racing series, which will see electric SUVs competing in extreme environments around the world which have already been damaged or affected by climate and environmental issues. The five-race global voyage highlights the impact of climate change and human interference in some of the world’s most fragile ecosystems and promotes the adoption of electric vehicles to help preserve the environment and protect the planet.
Extreme E is operated in association with Formula E – the organiser of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship. Extreme E is committed to sustainability and minimising environmental impact – as well as playing its part in re-building and restoring areas already impacted by climate change.