- E​xtreme E racing down a perilously steep slope

Extreme E off-road racing promotes electrification, the environment & equality

A​ new off-road racing series to inspire people of the world & help restore our planet

1w ago
15.2K

The word extreme conjures up visions of being at the very edge of what is possible. Extreme E is an extreme, new, global, off-road racing series that highlights the climate emergency and encourages positive changes, to help make our world a better place.

Demonstrating by example, Extreme E promotes sustainable vehicle electrification, to significantly reduce the damage being done to our environment. The locations of the events are chosen because of their problems with the environment, and to address them, bringing renowned scientists to conduct scientific research and mitigation on-site. Extreme E also addresses the serious societal challenges of gender inequality, in what has traditionally been male-dominated motorsports.

The inhospitable s​ite of the Desert X Prix, Saudi Arabia, April 3-4, 2021

The inhospitable s​ite of the Desert X Prix, Saudi Arabia, April 3-4, 2021

E​xtreme E drivers and CEO Alejandro Agag

E​xtreme E drivers and CEO Alejandro Agag

Extreme E features cutting edge, state-of-the-art, purpose-built, powerful, fully electric SUVs, powered by renewable electricity. They are skillfully and courageously raced by the very best male and female racing drivers in the world, in the most extreme, harsh, perilous conditions imaginable — many miles from civilization.

Extreme E’s CEO is Alejandro Agag, the founder of the Formula E open-wheel electric racing series.

E​xtreme E CEO Alejandro Agag

E​xtreme E CEO Alejandro Agag

Extreme E utilizes the latest in TV technology to bring the racing to us, intentionally discouraging large, live, in-person audiences that would negatively impact the environment.

Each of the race teams is comprised of one man and one woman, sharing one vehicle with a driver change in-between.

P​reparing for the team's driver change

P​reparing for the team's driver change

P​erforming the driver change

P​erforming the driver change

The competitors come from the world of motorsports: predominantly rallying, in its various forms. Familiar names include Sébastien Loeb, Carlos Sainz, American Kyle Leduc and F-1 champion Jensen Button. Less familiar, but no less skilled and motivated to win, are the women, including Molly Taylor, Jamie Chadwick and American Sara Price.

J​enson Button (GBR), JBXE Extreme E Team

J​enson Button (GBR), JBXE Extreme E Team

Familiar partners in the race teams include Chip Ganassi Racing and Andretti Autosports. Team principals include motorsports luminaries, including multiple Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton, who sees Extreme E as a means to having a positive impact on saving our planet and promoting diversity through motorsports; and former fellow Mercedes F-1 driver and World Champion Nico Rosberg.

Each race team shares one fully electric, off-road, high torque, ODYSSEY 21 racing SUV. Their high-performance stats include 0-62mph in 4.5 seconds, at gradients of up to 130 per cent! The battery is produced by F-1’s Williams Engineering.

The crash structure —which would be tested in a spectacular, scary barrel roll in the very first event — is a high-tech, niobium-reinforced steel alloy tubular frame. The tires are also purpose-built, designed specifically for the extreme conditions by founding partner Continental Tires.

The strong focus on the environment and sustainability are exemplified by such things as zero-emission, hydrogen fuel cell vehicle charging.

T​he garage area

T​he garage area

Serving as the freight and logistics hub is the extensively refurbished and modernized historic ship, the St. Helena, so that jet aircraft need not be used to transport people, equipment and the fully equipped, staffed, on-board science laboratory for environmental research.

T​he St. Helena, freight & logistics hub for Extreme E

T​he St. Helena, freight & logistics hub for Extreme E

The awe-inspiring setting for the inaugural Extreme E race weekend was the remote, inhospitable, massive Saudi Arabian desert. It looks like an alien planet, with huge, dark, ominous, craggy boulders; sweeping sand dunes and not another living being in sight.

Driving skill, race strategy and courage are the keys to victory. At the start of the weekends final races, the raced side-by-side, calling upon all their years of experience and skill in a battle to win the coveted lead position, in order to leave their fellow competitors in their dust.

Those who followed closely were blinded by thick clouds of sand dust, forcing them to either back off or risk bold strategies to retake the lead for themselves.

B​linding sand dust for those not in the lead

B​linding sand dust for those not in the lead

Since there were no track limits – only occasional gates that must be driven through — the racers explored different, shorter racing lines, ever mindful and aware of the critical need to avoid obstacles in their paths that could suddenly and unforgivingly send them crashing out.

One of the​ mandatory gates to drive through

One of the​ mandatory gates to drive through

They launched high into the air, cresting the rugged terrain...

... perilously weaved their way in between enormous, towering boulders...

... and dived, plunging headlong at extreme, breakneck speed, down the long, dangerous, remote backside of an enormous sand dune, knowing full well that if they got sideways on the descent they might tumble down the slope in a perilous barrel roll.

E​cstatic race winners Molly Taylor (Australia) & Johan Kristoffersson (Sweden), beside Rosberg X Racing's Team Principal Nico Rosberg (on left)

E​cstatic race winners Molly Taylor (Australia) & Johan Kristoffersson (Sweden), beside Rosberg X Racing's Team Principal Nico Rosberg (on left)

Next race: Senegal, May 29-30. For additional information, visit www.extreme-e.com/

Copyright © 2021 by Jan Wagner – AutoMatters & More #686

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Comments (31)

  • Excellent and informative article, Jan. I don’t follow rally style racing, but for those who do, I can see that this will be exciting. Also, the backing by famous racing names is impressive.

    The only downsides I can see are the rather desolate locations, and the absence of spectators. The spectators here are watching on TV, which is no substitute for being at the side of the road as the cars scream by, just on the edge of control.

    Also, there seem to be quite a few new eSeries starting up, competing for the same audience and funding. For example, how is the launch of the eSkootrz coming along?

      8 days ago
    • Thanks David,

      I agree that the almost total lack of in-person spectators is problematic. I still remember, many years ago, watching amateur club rallying in Canada while standing dangerously close to the side of the backwoods race...

      Read more
        6 days ago
  • That’s really interesting! I caught some of the highlights, and it was good racing. Kind of a more presentable Baja rally. And the social initiatives side of it is interesting to me, since NASCAR lost some fans (and gained some others) when it pushed social initiatives so I’m interested to see if this can be mainstream popular with that. But either way it’s a fun niche.

      8 days ago
    • I agree, Owen. I'm lucky I knew about it in advance, and that it was available on one of my cable channels (FS1). There was more programming available on premium channels that I do not have (FS2).

      Jan

        8 days ago
  • It does seem pretty interesting

      6 days ago
    • I like that you like my comments about others' vague posts. Unfortunately, none of those commenters replied with an answer.

      Jan

        5 days ago
    • I don't think they will answer,they seem to be trolling.

        5 days ago
  • Sigh...

      6 days ago
    • Miguel,

      Your "Sigh..." could mean so much. What does it mean?

      Jan

        6 days ago
    • Josh Wilkerson was more on track as this is presented in a pandering and intellectually insulting manner.

      Long story made REAL SHORT...(an attempt at least).

      Go race in areas where all chemicals/materials used to make batteries and...

      Read more
        5 days ago
  • It seems the tech specs list the wheelbase as 3.001mm!? Is this a matchbox?

      7 days ago
    • Matt,

      Good catch! The Odyssey 21 may well be rendered as a Matchbox someday, but no, these examples of it are full-sized vehicles that are driven by actual human beings.

      As a several decades-long professional writer, I am all too well...

      Read more
        6 days ago
    • I too am constantly plagued with typos. I do all my typing with the stubby middle finger of my left hand. Most of my typos are self-enforced and I know why.

      When my iPhone gives me the selection of the next three words, I stab at the word with my...

      Read more
        6 days ago
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