All set for Extreme E to kick off this Weekend
In a few days, we will witness the historic launch of the all-new Extreme E series.
Here is all your handy guide to follow the electric SUVs in their journey to fight climate change and to tackle gender imbalance in the sport!
Extreme E will be the first motorsport championship to pioneer a mixed-line up concept: each team will field both a male and a female driver, as they will take turns in the driving and in co-driving seats during the races.
The drivers will compete together in the two-lap races, each completing one lap of the course at the wheel of the ODYSSEY 21 electric SUV. This innovative format will allow teams to experiment with strategies but, most importantly, it will bring Extreme-E at the forefront of gender equality in motorsport.
Quali & race format
Each racing weekend will be contested over two days and each team will race twice on Saturday in Qualifying's round 1 and 2. The semi final 1 and 2 (called Crazy Race) and the final will take place on Sunday. It will feature two laps: one for the female and one for the male driver; results are based on the race finishing positions and not on times.
On Saturday, each quali round will feature two races – meaning four races on the first day of the race meeting. Qualifying Round 1 & 2 (race 1) will see five cars competing, while on race 2 we will get to see four cars battling out. The starting positions for the quali round will be decided by lottery. For each round, the teams will score points (4, 3, 2, 1 and 0) and the top four point-scorers will automatically qualify for the first semi final and the remaining five for the second semi final.
From Semi Final 1, three cars will qualify for the Final – just like for Semi Final 2. The starting grid for these races will be based on the scored points from the qualifying round. On the other hand, the order for the five cars entering the Final will be voted by the fans through the GridPlay voting system.
Point systems for the main race will be the usual FIA regulated system, with 25 points awarded to first place down to 1 point for the 10th place finisher.
Should a team be disqualified from a Semi Final or the Final, they will receive no points for the race.
It will be the team's decision in which order the drivers will alternate during the race – with the teams' strategies only becoming public at the start line.
In addition, a Hyperdrive boost will be available to each driver during their lap and, when activated, it will result in a power increase for a fixed amount of time.
GridPlay will give the fans a chance to be involved in the racing action: the teams with the most votes will choose their slot on the starting grid in the Final race. Each fan will be able to vote for their favorite driver and these votes will be counted to calculate a score. It is interesting to note that the four teams that won´t reach the Final will hand their votes to a team of their choice – so every vote is important!
Voting will open four days before the race and will close one hour after the start of the Crazy Race. You can vote for your favourite driver twice per day via the Extreme E website and on Twitter using #GridPlay #DriverName.
Timo Scheider & Jutta Kleinschmidt: two legendary names in motorsport that will take on the roles of Joker driver and race course advisor. This also means that they will be reserve drivers for the female/male colleagues and will contribute to the design of the courses at each location.
The season will kick-off on April 3rd in AlUla, Saudi Arabia and the season finale is scheduled for December 12th in Tierra del Fuego, Argentina.
Each Saturday will start with the quali rounds, followed by Semi Finals, Crazy Race and the Final on Sunday, 24 hours later. While the races will not be open to spectators on location, all the action will be shown by the broadcaster for your selected geographical area (you can see the full list here).
Climate change work
An electric racing series needs energy to run and Extreme E will work with a hydrogen fuel cell generator, allowing the series to charge the race fleet while using zero-emission energy and with water being the only by-product for later reuse at each of the five race events.
Additionally, Extreme E teamed up with 3devo to create the championship trophies from consumer plactic waste. The Netherlands-based company works with a full material-recycling and processing solution to enable the transformation of plastic waste into filaments for 3D printing applications, in order to shape the winner trophies – whose design was selected in a competition.
"After much deliberation and discussion, they chose Mariano’s design who is from Uruguay. The concept is simple and bold, and the trophy itself uses the shape of the Extreme E logo to work as a sculpture. Each of the five X Prix trophies will use a different material inspired by the environmental issue the championship is highlighting in that location; stone for the desert and water scarcity, recycled plastic for the ocean, recycled mirror for the arctic, burnt wood for the Amazon rainforest and recycled glass for the thinning ice sheets in glaciers. The final result is a bold trophy aligned with Extreme E’s purpose of raising awareness of the climate crisis using recycled materials."
The cars and all the equipment needed to run the ODYSSEY 21 SUVs at the race locations – such as the Continental tyres, the Air Shelta tents which will act as team garages, the podium, the start gantry, all the TV and broadcast equipment, three machines from 3devo to turn plastic waste into the championship’s trophies, two custom BRIG Eagle 8 carbon black support boats, a hydrogen fuel cell for zero-emission car charging created in collaboration with AFC Energy, plus a variety of Bosch tools – will be transported by the Extreme E ship St. Helena.
An all-star broadcast team is ready to tell the story of the first ever Extreme E season. Jennie Gow and Andrew Coley will lead the commentary line-up in a studio based in London, while Layla Anna-Lee will host the "Electric Odyssey" magazine with behind-the-scene content.
Jennie Gow is famous for her work at BBC as both MotoGP and Formula 1 correspondent, while Layla Anna-Lee has experience of many different sports like football, rugby, BMX racing, as well as the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Together with NEP and Aurora Media Worldwide, Extreme E spent 18 months to design a technical solution able to reach the most extreme locations whilst reducing the environmental impact across the entire production. Combined with advanced drone technology, the series has developed live mapping and overlays for the diverse courses, for a whole new experience in motorsport broadcasting.
In addition, Extreme E revealed an innovative Command Centre: it will feature a classic motorsport pit wall, unpacked and operating in a futuristic strategy room. Here, team key players will come together to follow the races and make strategic decisions.
The Command Centre will host representatives from five teams during the race, including drivers, team principals and engineers, who will have access to team radio, TV feed and telemetry.
First racing weekend schedule
Saturday 3rd April (local times, for GMT -3 hours)
9am local time Qualifying round 1 preview
9:30 am Qualifying round 1, race 1
10am Qualifying round 1, race 2
2pm Qualifying round 2, preview
2:30pm Qualifying round 2, race 1
3pm Qualifying round 2, race 2
Sunday 4th April
9am Semi final preview
9:30am Semi final
10am Crazy race
1pm Final preview
3:30pm Post race press conference
Last but not least - the female protagonists
Christine Giampaoli Zonca (HISPANO SUIZA XITE ENERGY TEAM)
Christine comes from a rally background: 2014 was her first full-season of competitions and she achieved her first win in a gravel rally. Additionally, she was the regional champion of the Canary Islands in front-wheel drive vehicles and in group B4. Internationally, Christine drove the 2016 Rally de Catalunya in WRC and won the women's category of the Spanish Gravel Rally Championship. Furthermore, Christine GZ - how she is best known on social media - entered off-road races in the US and Mexico.
Laia Sanz (ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team)
Laia is the queen of Dakar motorbike racing: she competed ten times and finished in all of them, winning the female category every single time. In 2005, Laia finished 9th and achieved the best ever result for a woman in a Dakar event. Moreover, she is a thirteen-times Trial World Champion and has won the Enduro World Championship five times.
Sanz will switch to car racing for the first time with her Extreme-E participation.
Jamie Chadwick (Veloce Racing)
Jamie won the first ever W Series title in 2019 and competed in the Formula Regional Europe Championship in 2020, after a race-winning campaign in F3 Asian Series.
She is also Development Driver for Williams F1 Team and tested the Formula E car on several occasions for both Jaguar Racing and the NIO outfit.
It'll be Jamie's first off-road experience, after making history on racetracks.
Claudia Hürtgen (ABT CUPRA XE)
Claudia competed in touring cars and soon proved her talent by winning the Austrian championship; she was also able to score several victories in sports car racing, including the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Next up after such impressive achievements, Claudia won the VLN championship in 2005 - which made her the first female champion since Sabine Schmitz in 1998.
Cristina Gutiérrez (X44)
Cristina is best known for her journey in Dakar rally. She wrote history as she was the first Spanish woman to finish the legendary race in the car category and finished fifth among the debutants. Until the present day, Gutiérrez has completed the world's thoughest rally four times. In Extreme E, she races for Lewis Hamilton's X44 Team, alsongside rally legend Sébastien Loeb.
Molly Taylor (Rosberg Xtreme Racing)
Molly is a very popular Australian rally driver: she was the first and to this day the only woman to have won the Australian Rally Championship and the youngest ever champion in this series. In 2013, Taylor became the Number One International Female Rally Driver in the World Rally Rankings. Molly wrote history again as she stood on the podium at Rally Finland in Junior WRC: she was the first ever woman to achieve such a result.
Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky (JBXE)
Mikaela is best known in Europe for her STCC achivements, as well as for her succesful participation in the Scirocco R-Cup Germany, Audi Sport TT Cup and ADAC GT Masters. With her rallycross experience, she is well prepared for the 2021 season in Extreme E.
She has also been competing in STCC since 2017 with PWR Racing and was the first woman to ever win a race in the premier Scandinavian championship. She became the first female driver to secure a pole position in the series' history, and she would later
add more podiums to her name.
Catie Munnings (ANDRETTI UNITED EXTREME E)
Catie made her European Rally Championship debut in 2016 at the Ypres Rally and, in the same year, she won the European Championship Ladies Trophy at just 18 years old. Last year she started the Junior WRC season and is the host of "Catie´s Amazing Machines", a childrens' show on CBeebies, as well as being an ambassador for Susie Wolf´s "Dare To Be Different" campaign, which encourages girls to work in the motorsport industry.
Sara Price (Segi TV Chip Ganassi Racing)
Sara started as motocross rider, competed in rally, the X Games and Stadium Super Trucks. She won 17 national motocross championships while she finished her first rally back in 2015 as first among the rookies. With her entrance to Extreme E she was the first driver who was announcend for the series and is the first female driver who will race for Chip Ganassi Racing.