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Extreme E, ready to start in the Easter weekend in Saudi Arabia

Only 3 days to the start of the Extreme E season 2021. The Desert XPrix in Saudi Arabia will be the first round of the newborn Extreme E Championship the electric off roading series on this Easter weekend.

A 2021 season that will begin in Saudi Arabia, in the Al Ula area, in Wadi Rum, and will then continue in Senegal, on the beach of Lake Rosa on 29 and 30 May, 28 and 29 August in Greenland in Kangerlussuaq, in Brazil to Santarem on 23 and 24 October to end in Argentina in Tierra del Fuego in December, on 11 and 12.

WHO

Initially there were eight participating crews but at the very last moment - two days ago - arrived the JBXE of Jenson Button together with Lotus Engineering that will act as technical sponsor of the team.


ABT Cupra XE : German team with Claudia Hürtgen e Mattias Ekström.

ACCIONA SAINZ XE TEAM : Spanish crew with Carlos Sainz and Laia Sanz.

ANDRETTI UNITED EXTREME E : the team formed by Andretti Motorsport and the United Motorsport will be at the start with Timmy Hansen and Catie Munnings.

HISPANO SUIZA XITE Energy Team : a mix between Spain and UK with Oliver Bennet and Christine Giampaoli Zonca.

JBXE : the latest addition, with Jenson Button, Formula 1 driver, owner of the team and Mikaela Ahlin Kottulinsky.

ROSBERG X Racing : again a Formula 1 driver but this time he is just the owner of the team. Inside the car we'll find Johan Kristoffersson and Molly Taylor.

SEGI TV GANASSI Team: the famous Chip Ganassi decides to engage in this new discipline with a team that will join on track Sara Price and Kyle Leduc.

VELOCE RACING : Stephane Sarrazin and Jamie Chadwick are the crew of this team coming from UK.

X44 : also in this case big names side by side and not only because this is the team wanted and created by the multiple Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton. It’s with this team in fact, who will race Sebastien Loeb, the nine-time world rally champion, and Christina Gutierrez, met in Dakar this year with the OT3 Overdrive.

THE CAR

The name is Odissey 21. Alejandro Agag, the series’ Founder and CEO placed a tight timescale on production of the prototype, with Spark managing an initial build time of less than two months. The demands: all-electric, all-terrain, huge power, massive torque, and more capable than anything in its class. The E-SUV rolled out of Spark’s factory, South of Paris, a week prior to its public unveiling, and Alejandro was on hand, alongside Gil de Ferran, to proudly pull the covers off his new ‘beast’ before it completed demonstration runs up the famed Goodwood Hillclimb, right in front of Goodwood House. The series ODYSSEY 21 is an all-electric 400kw (550hp), 1650-kilogram, 2.3-metre wide beast capable of firing from 0-62mph in 4.5 seconds, at gradients of up to 130 percent.

Rounding out the series’ first 12 months Extreme E’s five-race global voyage, with its Rainforest, Desert, Coastal, Arctic and Mountain rounds unveiled in December 2019.

It’s made up of 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, for both extreme winter and summer requirements, supplied by founding partner Continental Tyres.

An intense testing schedule followed that initial display run, with Official Tyre Partner Continental Tyres putting the car and its bespoke rubber through their paces with a comprehensive week-long test programme in the south of France at the Château de Lastours proving ground – a site regularly chosen by Dakar and FIA World Rally Championship entrants aiming to put their machinery through the ringer.

RULES AND RACE FORMAT

Every race will develop in a two days of racing, Saturday and Sunday.

Each team races twice on Saturday, in Qualifying Round 1 and Qualifying Round 2 and continue on the Semi-Final 1 and Semi-Final 2 (Crazy Race) and Final on Sunday.


Each race is two laps – one lap driven by the female and one lap driven by the male.

All results based on race finishing position, not race time. Four races held on Saturday:

Qualifying Round 1 (two races)

Qualifying Round 2 (two races).

Qualifying Round 1, Race 1 will field five cars and Qualifying Round 1, Race 2 will have four cars competing.

Choice of starting position for Qualifying Round 1 based on lottery draw.

Saturday event points for each race (to calculate Sunday starting positions):

1st: 4 points ; 2nd: 3 points ; 3rd: 2 point ; 4th: 1 points ; 5th: 0 points

Top four point scorers after Saturday’s races qualify for Semi-Final 1 and the remaining five teams qualify for Semi-Final 2 (Crazy Race).

Three races held on Sunday: Semi-Final 1, Semi-Final 2 (Crazy Race) and the Final with four cars in Semi-Final 1 and five cars in Semi-Final 2 – the Crazy Race - and the Final.

Choice of grid starting position for Semi-Finals based on points order after Qualifying rounds; top three teams from Semi-Final 1 and the first and second placed teams from Semi-Final 2 / the Crazy Race qualify for the Final.

Starting position for Final will be decided by fans through the GridPlay voting system (https://gridplay.extreme-e.com).

Standby team for the Final to be the fourth placed team in Semi-Final 1. Teams will field one male and one female driver, promoting gender equality and a level playing field amongst competitors.

Each driver will complete one lap behind the wheel, with a changeover – the ‘Switch’ incorporated into the race format. 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 cars reach the start-line. Contests between males and females will therefore be ensured. 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.

Credits phots: Extreme E, Charly Lopez.


 

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