Extreme E announces Eclectic driver lineup
The off road electric SUV series announced a roster of world class drivers for the inaugural championship set to begin in 2021.
A selection of drivers who have earned their mettle in other series, road and off road, have committed and were announced on Thursday by the series.
FIA World Rally Championship winner, Sebastian Ogier, was known to be testing for the series as they develop the car and will compete in the series. The clinching of Ogier is a top name for the series, having won the previous 6 WRC Championships and currently placed 3rd with four rounds to go.
W Series and MRF champion Jamie Chadwick continues her rise in motorsport with other female racers Katherine Legge and Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky. Legge has competed in Formula E, Indycar, DTM and the NASCAR Xfinity series most recently. Åhlin-Kottulinsky is currently fifth in the TCR Scandinavia Touring Car Championship having taken 1 win and 3 other podiums this season.
World Rallycross stars, Andreas Bakkerud, Kevin and Timmy Hansen will also compete in the series as well as DTM Champion and Rallycross driver Timo Scheider.
2016 ABB Formula E Champion and Roborace CEO Lucas Di Grassi will compete in the series alongside fellow Formula E star and Le Mans Winner Andre Lotterer.
Sacha Prost, ice racer and son of F1 royalty Alain Prost, finishes off the announcement of drivers.
These drivers have been described by Founder and electric racing guru, Alejandro Agag, as the “top driver talent” required by “any good championship…in order to be truly successful.”
“This world-class list of drivers, representing the very best male and female talent from multiple disciplines across top-tier motorsport, illustrates Extreme E’s serious sporting credentials.”
The drivers are not signed by any team but the programme is designed to assist teams and prospective entries. Series organisers will recommend these drivers to teams and prospective teams but they will also have autonomy to select drivers from outside the programme if they so wish.
Only Venturi, ABT and HWA have signed up to compete, all with Formula E or DTM experience. The announcement of such a high calibre of drivers will hopefully swing more teams towards the championship before the first event in 2021.
Extreme E is unique among motorsport as its aim is to raise awareness and inspire action to save the planet from the severe damage of climate change. The floating paddock on the RMS St. Helena will sail around the world to some of the most remote locations with Greenland already announced as the first event.
Track design will make the most of challenging obstacles generating no negative impact to the environment or local society. Elevation changes and jumps will be incorporated without the need to adapt the environment at all.
The “spectacle of top tier motorsport” will bring the attention of the need for change to a motorsport audience. The races will take place over three days within a 10km2 radius creating a tournament style event. The series has been made with social media friendly coverage in mind, taking into account the fast paced demands of the social world. Something sister series Formula E has succeeded at with 72% of its followers being under 35.
Group testing begins in mid 2020 and the opening race is scheduled for early 2021.