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Extreme E 2021: full preview and race guide

8 min read

At first look, the picture of a large SUV crashing more than rugged terrain in the icy wastes of Greenland, the arid desert of Saudi Arabia or the forests of South The usa does not scream ‘environmentally friendly’. But the looks of Extraordinary E are misleading. It is a new job from Formula E founder Alejandro Agag that combines head-to-head electric powered-automobile racing in some amazing places with a programme of education, publicity and assistance for the combat versus weather change and the environmental damage it triggers.

Getting been rumoured due to the fact late 2018, the job was formally declared in early 2019. At the coronary heart of Extraordinary E is a intent-constructed off-highway electric powered racing device, the Odyssey 21. With 536bhp, the 1,650kg SUV can speed up from -62mph in 4.5 seconds, at gradients of up to one hundred thirty for every cent. Every single just one is constructed about a package of standardised elements, with a battery by Williams Innovative Engineering, and Continental tyres.

Originally established to commence in Senegal in western Africa, Extraordinary E’s to start with time was pushed back again because of to delays induced by the Covid-19 pandemic. It’ll kick off in the desert of Al-‘Ula in Saudi Arabia on three-4 April, before the rescheduled Senegal occasion, in Dakar on 29-30 Could. From there, it’s north to Kangerlussuaq in Greenland on 28-29 August, adopted by Santarém in Brazil on 23-24 Oct.

The reshuffled calendar has also viewed a planned occasion in Nepal dropped in favour of wrapping up the to start with 12 months of Extraordinary E in Patagonia, Argentina, on eleven-twelve December. The places, fairly than getting unspoiled, have been chosen since they’ve endured damage, this kind of as deforestation, desertification or retreating ice, in buy to concentrate consideration on individuals concerns.

Talking at a digital launch occasion held before Christmas, Agag claimed: “It’s a tough time to be starting anything new we’ve experienced difficulties and we’ve used time adapting our plans. We’ve been extremely busy, and we’re now additional positive than ever that Extraordinary E is the proper notion. It is the ideal time to begin afresh after a tough 2020.”

Agag and the Extraordinary E group are eager to emphasise that the championship’s ‘legacy programmes’ of environmental initiatives will be additional than just window dressing they’re getting directed by a scientific committee of experts, led by former Scott Institute director Professor Peter Wadhams.

“We think activity in typical, and Extraordinary E in specific, can be component of the solution to weather change,” Agag continued. “Sport is the most important entertainment system
on the earth, so we can both of those entertain and teach our audience. Transport is accountable for 30 for every cent of worldwide CO2 emissions we believe motorsport can engage in a significant purpose in the common adoption of thoroughly clean mobility.”

The main intention, Agag defined, is for Extraordinary E to be not just carbon-neutral, but carbon-good: taking away additional carbon from the ambiance than its activities make. This has pushed a number of factors of the series: there’ll be no followers travelling to go to in particular person, and the Extraordinary E autos will be recharged employing hydrogen generators. The squander drinking water from this will be recycled for use by the group on-web-site.

The ex-Royal Mail ship St Helena is a crucial component of Extraordinary E’s scientific energy. It was picked because of to its capability to have a mixture of passengers and cargo according to the organisers, going the championship’s freight by sea will lessen carbon emissions by two thirds when compared with air freight.

The ship’s pool has even been changed with a exploration laboratory. “Operating maritime exploration vessels is high-priced,” Agag claimed, “so we can donate time to other organisations. The science panel will satisfy routinely to explore takes advantage of for the ship.”

Crucial to the achievement of any new racing series is attracting significant names. Already verified are works entries from Cupra, along with a collaboration amongst US squad Andretti Autosports and Anglo-American group United Autosport.

Andretti’s IndyCar rival Chip Ganassi Racing is also there, as well as motorsport administration team Veloce, and Asian expense firm Techeetah (which is also included with the DS Formula E group).

Globe Rally and Dakar legend Carlos Sainz will drive for the Spanish Acciona group, though there are three F1 champions on the entry checklist, as well. Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg have launched groups and, though neither plans to drive in the series –  Hamilton has secured nine-time Globe Rally winner Sébastien Loeb and Rosberg has three-time Globe Rallycross winner Johan Kristoffersson driving for him – Jenson Button will be finding powering the wheel for his group.

Hamilton claimed: “With my system and position, I have a responsibility to force for change in the earth. I constantly needed to begin my personal group, I just hardly ever knew when or exactly where it would materialize.”

His squad will be regarded as X44, a reference to his race range, and he claims that supplying alternatives for motorists, engineers and mechanics from assorted backgrounds will be a precedence.

Yet another way Extraordinary E is having a new tack on variety is demanding all groups to subject just one male and just one feminine driver. It is a diverse tactic to that of the women-only W Sequence, but feeds into Extraordinary E’s unique race structure, in which each and every driver from each and every group completes a lap of the study course, this means the strongest mixture must arise victorious.

Along with Claudia Huertgen, Laia Sainz, Sara Price, Christine Zonca, Molly Taylor, Cristina Gutierrez and Williams F1 tester Jamie Chadwick, Briton Catie Munnings, a European Rally Championship common, is amongst the feminine motorists to protected seats, driving for Andretti United.

She claims of Extraordinary E: “It ticks all the packing containers we’re next our enthusiasm, it’s severe racing, but at the we’re also supplying anything back again to the earth.”

Getting tested the Odyssey 21 for the to start with time in France, she claimed: “I commenced out wondering it appeared substantial, but as before long as you drive it, it feels significantly more compact. You really don’t sense like you’re in an SUV it’s light, nimble and responsive. The suspension and brakes are amazing. It soaks up any bumps and stays steady, so you can regulate it with the energy.

“Electric energy is a game changer. In phrases of driving, and experience like you have to have momentum, you can in all probability get away with additional now since you have that quick energy as you press the throttle it’s interesting as a driver to know you can count on that.

“It’s in all probability just one much less factor to think about that there are no gears acquiring raced petrol autos my full daily life, it’s a diverse ball game. There’s other new points: when you locked wheels, the to start with sign made use of to be listening to it, then you’d get opinions as a result of the pedal. But which is absent, so you have to acquire another way of experience it as a result of the auto.”

The Extraordinary E race structure combines aspects of rallycross and the Globe Rally Championship’s ‘super special’ head-to-head stages. Day just one of each and every occasion will consist of qualifying rounds to figure out who would make it into the semi-finals. The top a few groups development from the to start with semi, but in the second semi (which is getting dubbed the ‘crazy race’) only the winner will make it as a result of.

Every single study course will include a bounce, and the group that manages the longest leap on the to start with lap will be presented a energy improve, which can be deployed at any point on the monitor. As with Agag’s prior job, Formula E, followers will be able to affect the action as a result of a technique regarded as Gridplay. The group that receives the most votes will be authorized to pick out their grid position in the last or, if they really don’t make the last, can ‘gift’ their votes to another squad, opening up the likelihood of tactical choices involving championship rivals.

“It’s extremely diverse,” claims Munnings. “Hopefully we’ll be able to do a monitor wander or get GoPro footage or anything, but we’ll have to perform out a technique. It looks like the tracks will be as well long to communicate about in phrases of ‘Turn 1, Flip 2’ like you would a circuit, but also we really don’t get to do a recce like you would with a rally. I think each and every group will carry strengths to the desk in this respect. However you tactic it, you will have to have to be fast out of the box in the to start with qualifying session.”

United kingdom viewers can follow the full Extraordinary E time stay on ITV, starting with this weekend’s Desert X Prix from Saudi Arabia. Coverage starts off at midday on Sunday.

The places

Desert X Prix

three-4 April

In Saudi Arabia, Extraordinary E aims to raise consciousness of the environmental outcomes of desertification, and will perform with area and worldwide experts in the subject on assignments that preserve and restore ecosystems that have been affected by weather change.

Ocean X Prix

29-30 Could

In Senegal, Extraordinary E is teaming up with area NGO Oceanium to plant a million mangrove trees. The job will concentrate on five locations covering a full of 60
hectares, with the aim of reforesting mangroves, supplying education to area populations and increasing social cohesion.

Arctic X Prix

28-29 August

In Greenland, Extraordinary E will perform carefully with Unicef and the renowned Arctic pro Professor Peter Wadhams to assistance perform on weather-change education, serving to kids throughout Greenland to have an understanding of and handle weather concerns, as nicely as supporting exploration into preserving Arctic ice.

Amazon X Prix

23-24 Oct

In Brazil, assistance for The Character Conservancy’s forest restoration programme in the state of Pará will protected 100 hectares of existing forest, restore 100 hectares
of indigenous forest, and manage additional than 200 hectares of cacao-based mostly agroforestry, performing with 50 smallholders.

Glacier X Prix

eleven-twelve December

Tierra del Fuego is a late addition to 2021’s Extraordinary E schedule, having the position of a round initially planned to materialize in Nepal. The series’ science committee
is searching into feasible legacy Initiatives for Tierra Del Fuego, which will be declared more than the coming months.

Check out the opening round of the Extraordinary E series stay on ITV on Sunday at midday…

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