Extreme E’s first ever race is just one month away, and with ten teams ready to compete, fielding a legendary line-up of champion drivers, the series is gearing up for an epic opening weekend of action when it all kicks off in AlUla, Saudi Arabia, 3-4 April.
Alejandro Agag, Founder and CEO of Extreme E, said: “Wow, just one month to go until Extreme E’s race weekend, and what a spectacular place to start our adventure.
Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Sports Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal said: “Saudi Arabia is a country where motorsports is beyond a passion for millions of people. We are a motorsports obsessed nation, with a long and proud history of hosting some of the world’s most famous rallies, and of our own drivers participating internationally. We have been honoured by Extreme E choosing the dramatic natural landscape of AlUla to host its maiden race in April and we can’t wait to offer all of our support to ensure it goes down in history as an unforgettable new chapter for motor-racing.”
There are ten teams signed up for Season 1 including three owned by current and former Formula One World Champions, with Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg and Jenson Button founding X44, Rosberg X Racing and JBXE respectively. Joining those teams will be ABT CUPRA XE, ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team, Andretti United, Chip Ganassi Racing, Hispano Suiza Xite Energy Team, Team TECHEETAH and Veloce Racing.
The Extreme E driver line-up brings together champions from a variety of motorsport disciplines spanning single-seaters to rallying, rallycross, Dakar and sportscar racing: Mattias Ekström and Claudia Hürtgen (ABT CUPRA XE); Carlos Sainz and Laia Sanz (ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team); Timmy Hansen and Catie Munnings (Andretti United); Kyle LeDuc and Sara Price (Chip Ganassi Racing); Oliver Bennett and Christine Giampaoli (Hispano Suiza Xite Energy Team); Jenson Button (JBXE); Johan Kristoffersson and Molly Taylor (Rosberg X Racing); Stéphane Sarrazin and Jamie Chadwick (Veloce Racing); and Sébastien Loeb and Cristina Gutiérrez (X44).
Not only will Extreme E bring short, sharp wheel-to-wheel racing to a global audience through its more than 40 international broadcasters, it has a wider purpose – to highlight the climate emergency affecting everybody worldwide. Through motorsport, the series will showcase electric SUVs racing in some of the most remote corners of the planet that have all been damaged by climate change.
Each destination has been chosen with a different environmental issue in mind: the Desert X Prix in Saudi Arabia will highlight desertification, the Ocean X Prix in Senegal rising sea levels, the Arctic X Prix in Greenland the melting ice cap, the Amazon X Prix in Brazil deforestation and the Glacier X Prix in Patagonia glacial recession.
The vast goals of Saudi Vision 2030 have driven considerable investment by the Kingdom into hosting some of the world’s biggest sporting events. The ambition is to introduce millions of Saudis to sport and promote wider sporting activity nationwide to ensure a healthier, more active population.
The Governor of the Royal Commission for AlUla, His Highness Prince Badr bin Abdullah Al Saud, looking forward to offering AlUla’s vast desert landscape for the inaugural Extreme E X Prix, said “As a newly developing tourism destination, AlUla is uniquely positioned to get the foundations right from the outset. There are many initiatives underway in alignment with our 12 key strategic principles to develop a responsible tourism destination that focuses on safeguarding the natural and cultural landscape, sustaining eco-systems and wildlife and light-touch tourism experiences."
“Our intention is to future proof the destination for the enjoyment of future generations of visitors and residents and the Extreme E platform offers us a perfect opportunity to tell the world about our vision for AlUla. Not forgetting the great entertainment value of this exciting race", he added.
Members of Extreme E’s Scientific Committee have been working with the championship over the last two years to ensure the series leaves a long-lasting positive impact in each location through Legacy Programmes, which include planting one million mangroves in Senegal and reforesting 100 hectares of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil. The Legacy Programme plans for Saudi Arabia will be revealed in the days leading up to the first race.
The Desert X Prix, AlUla, kicks off on Saturday 3 April with the qualification rounds, and the final plays out on Sunday 4 April. Extreme E X Prix races are not open to fans to attend in person, but qualifications will be shown live on the Extreme E website, with the Finals broadcast live on MBC in the Middle East.
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 remote locations and promotes the adoption of electric vehicles in the quest for a lower carbon future for the planet.
To minimise local impact, Extreme E races will not be open to spectators, with fans instead invited to follow the action through live TV broadcast, and on social media.
The St. Helena, a former passenger cargo ship, has undergone a multi-million Euro refit to minimise emissions and transform her into Extreme E’s operations hub. The ship will be used to transport the championship’s freight and infrastructure, including vehicles, to the nearest port, minimising Extreme E’s footprint, as well as being used to facilitate scientific research through its on-board laboratory.
Extreme E is also pioneering hydrogen fuel cell technology which will enable its race fleet to be charged using zero emission energy. This innovative solution from AFC Energy uses water and sun to generate hydrogen power. Not only will this process emit no greenhouse emissions, its only by-product will be water, which will be utilised elsewhere on-site.