Extreme E completes first collective test in Spain
The first collective test of the brand-new Extreme E championship went underway at Aragón, Spain, with most of the teams and all the announced drivers to date. Drivers of the likes of Cristina Gutiérrez, Laia Sanz and Jamie Chadwick marked the first meet-up of the new electric series.
The first Extreme E test with the new 400kW (550bhp) ODYSSEY 21 electric SUVs has been completed in Spain, few weeks after most of the drivers announcements.
Among names like Carlos Sainz, Sébastien Loeb and Mattias Ekström, the female drivers set to compete in the inaugural all-electric series took to the track at MotorLand Aragón.
Eight of out of the nine female drivers have been announced so far and all of them entered the first collective test; only Team Techeetah were missing, as its lineup is the only one yet to be confirmed.
Here are the words from the female racers after their first feel of theit car's full potential!
Cristina Gutiérrez, X44 Team
“Testing has been brilliant and I’ve loved adapting to the new car and figuring out how it works. Each hour I’ve been here has been better than the one before and I’ve been able to learn so much already from Sébastien and the team. He’s an incredible person to have as a co-driver and has been giving me lots of advice – I’ve been trying to be like a sponge so I can soak it all up! It’s a dream to be able to learn from one of the best drivers in the world."
“I can’t wait for next year and to be able to start racing. Being surrounded by such a professional and expert team has really inspired me and I’m even more excited than I was before.”
Molly Taylor, Rosber Xtreme Racing
"It's been a fantastic two days with the team and driving the RXR ODYSSEY 21 in Spain. It's mine and Johan's first time driving the car at full power and to drive it across two very different track layouts has been very useful and a lot of fun."
“We seem to be learning a thousand things every kilometre which is super useful at this point in our development programme. The car is mega - really fun to drive - and I can’t wait to get it sideways at all the amazing locations we’ll be visiting in 2021.”
Claudia Hürtgen, ABT CUPRA XE
“It was great to meet the entire Extreme E family for the first time. The atmosphere and mood in the paddock are unique: Everyone is very relaxed but excited at the same time about starting this new adventure. We had a lot of time to get to know the car even better. It‘s perfect to have such an experienced partner at my side in Mattias. He shares all his tricks and experience with me, which of course helps enormously.”
Laia Sanz, ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team
“Everything was new for me, but it was great fun adjusting myself to the Extreme E car. My previous experience in off-road racing will definitely come in handy and I have also a great teammate to make sure we are up there when the season begins”.
Catie Munnings, Andretti United Extreme E
“It's been awesome to finally have a full test with the team, it feels like it's all coming together now and having the car at full power was super useful, not just for the drivers, but also the engineers to understand all the different mappings, which has been really important as this is very different to the world of combustion engines."
“We had some close contact racing which has been great to see, and it's cool to see the cars side by side, as so far we've only seen one at a time. It's starting to bring everything together and I’ve enjoyed meeting the Extreme E family and the people that we are going to be travelling to these amazing locations with. I'm just really excited now to start the season.”
Sara Price, Chip Ganassi Racing
“We just got done with our first full field test with our Extreme E Odyssey 21. We tested on two courses this weekend. We were able to experience a lot of drifting around the corners. During the first lap I was getting a feel for the car. This is the first time with 100% power and driving an electric SUV is a bit different; you really have to be smooth. Finding traction was tough, so the more aggressive we got, the better it felt. Overall, the full field test was successful and I think we have what it takes to win.”
Christine Giampaoli, Hispano Suiza Xite Energy Team
“These two days have been great fun! Finally, I had the opportunity to drive “the Beast” and I’m really looking forward to racing next year! So grateful for the awesome job the whole team of HSXE has done to keep the car perfect and all the support given.”
Jamie Chadwick, Veloce Racing
“It’s been a great couple of days being able to drive the Extreme E car at full power for the first time. Unfortunately, the fog meant we didn't get as many laps as we would have liked but either way I'm always smiling when I drive this car. Lots to take in and be able to work on going into the season start next year. ”
Now it is time for the teams to make its final adjustments before the Odyssey 21 SUVs are brought onboard of the St. Helena, the series floating paddock and hub. The championship will in fact move to Saudi Arabia, where the first ever Extreme E event out of the five scheduled rounds will take place in March.