The first group test for the all new off road electric racing series Extreme E has just been completed in Aragon, Spain.
World calibre drivers such as Carlos Sainz Sr and Sebastien Loeb among other superstars got their first taste of the ODYSSEY-21 electric SUV with their teams in preparation for the first X-Prix in March 2021.
The teams and drivers are due to be tested to the “Extreme” during the 2021 season racing in such climates including the desert, the Arctic and the Amazon rainforest.
Alejandro Agag, Founder and CEO of Extreme E, said: “We’ve been working towards this day for over two years. The dream is finally becoming a reality and it’s certainly been a proud moment to see such a talented group of drivers all together. This championship has one of the strongest line-ups of drivers anywhere on the planet.”
These drivers include the aforementioned 9 time WRC champion Loeb and 2 time WRC champion and 4 time Dakar winner Sainz. Joining them are WRX champions Johan Kristoffersson, Timmy Hansen and Mattias Ekström,Dakar Rally hotshots Cristina Gutiérrez and Laia Sanz, W Series Champion Jamie Chadwick, and Australian Rally Champion Molly Taylor.
Also attending were Claudia Hürtgen, Albert Fabrega and Catie Munnings along with Kyle LeDuc, Sara Price, Oliver Bennett and Christine Giampaoli.
All the drivers tested on two circuits arranged on the off road course at Aragon, a longer 3.1km course as well as a quick and fast 1km circuit. Their talent was required when the weather came to bite with unexpected foggy conditions proving a test as Race Director Scot Elkins said: “We battled the weather a little bit as we had strange conditions with the fog, but overall it’s been really really good.
“The cars have been really reliable and it’s exciting to see them running at full power and seeing the drivers all getting a chance to try out the new machinery. We’ve achieved exactly what we wanted to.
“We have used two courses during the test, the first was much longer and much more open, it’s actually more suited to what we’ll see on the real events in terms of having the course laid out by markers and typical designations, whereas the other course was more of a closed course; it’s a single material so it’s just dirt as opposed to the other, which has some different materials to deal with on the races. The test has given everybody a good opportunity to see the different environments that we’re going to be racing in next year.”
Now the cars go back to each teams’ factories and workshops for final changes before boarding the St Helena floating paddock to depart in February for it’s first global voyage to Saudi Arabia in March, Senegal in May, Greenland in August, Brazil in October before wrapping up year 1 in Patagonia in December.
Agag was extremely happy and spoke about how excited he is: “Testing has been a huge success and a great way to end out what has been a challenging year in so many ways. 2021 is set to be the year where the world can see the realisation of all our hard work and I cannot wait to show-off one of the most innovative motorsport formats the world has ever seen.”