The all-new electric off-road racing series Extreme E is finally here and the Desert X-Prix starts tomorrow!
The groundbreaking series has developed a hyper-excited following before its first race and has some very interesting figures involved with everybody being pulled in by the message to fight climate change through what we love – racing.
Founder and CEO Alejandro Agag said: “The time has come to go racing and I can’t explain how proud and excited I am.
“A huge amount of hard work under unprecedented circumstances has gone on behind the scenes to get this revolutionary racing series together and I can’t wait to see some of the biggest names in motorsport go head-to-head in just a few days.”
“But Extreme E isn’t just a race for a trophy, it is about something much bigger, the race for our planet is real and there is no finish line in sight. Through the power of sport, we look forward to highlighting some of the environmental challenges the world is facing, and the solutions we can all take.”
Nine teams are competing across the weekend and each team has an exciting lineup that will be brilliant to watch.
So who are all the teams?
ABT CUPRA XE – #125 – Mattias Ekström / Claudia Hürtgen
The Abt team has competed successfully in Formula E and DTM for years now so spreading their fold into Extreme E was a very quick decision for them.
Ekström is a World Rallycross champion and a DTM champion so he is brilliantly suited to Extreme E and has had a relationship with Abt for the best part of 20 years. He will definitely know what he’s doing. Hürtgen has raced sportscars for years and has scored class wins in IMSA and a podium at Le Mans.
ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team – #55 – Carlos Sainz / Laia Sanz
Putting his name to this team is rally legend Carlos Sainz who has been racing off-road for decades. He is a two-time world rally champion and a three-time Dakar winner. Putting his name to Extreme E is testament to the draw of the series and joining him is another Dakar supremo, Laia Sanz.
She has won the Women’s Dakar for bikes three times and the Women’s world trials championship 13 times. She is dominant in her field and definitely knows how to control a vehicle off-road. This is a formidable pairing.
Andretti United – #23 – Timmy Hansen / Catie Munnings
Two big names in racing have teamed up for this new venture. Andretti has been a successful force for years winning in Formula E and Indycar and United Autosports have done the same in their sportscar endeavours winning the latest Le Mans in the highly contested LMP2 category.
Having Rallycross champ Timmy Hansen and world rally star Catie Munnings in their car is a brilliant partnership. They have been training together since November when they were announced and have been seen racing each other on every surface from frozen lakes to dunes to try and get ready to work together at a high level. This team is going to be a lot of people’s favourites.
Segi TV Chip Ganassi Racing – #99 – Kyle LeDuc / Sara Price
Another big American name entering the fray is the hugely successful Chip Ganassi racing. Indycar and IMSA champions, Extreme E is their first electric endeavour.
They were the first team to announce their lineup with off-road champion Kyle LeDuc and Motocross champion Sara Price. These two are excellent at what they do and will go under the radar as they aren’t international names but will have a powerful team behind them.
Hispano Suiza XITE Energy Team – #42 – Oliver Bennett / Christine Giampaoli
One of the last confirmed entries, the Hispano Suiza team marks a return to motorsport for a Spanish brand from the early twentieth century. Oliver Bennett and Christian Giampaoli are up-and-comers in the rally world with Bennett having raced in WRX for the past few seasons. Giampaoli has done the rounds too racing in the fearsome Baja 1000 last year.
JBXE – #22 – Jenson Button / Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky
The most recent team to be announced was Jenson Button’s team, JBXE. He has made no secret that since he left F1 he has been trying to get better at off-road racing because it was the hardest one for him.
He launched a team to race in the Baja a few years ago and has expanded to launch a whole Extreme E team. His credentials are to be seen off-road but an F1 world champion known for smoothness will be an interesting watch.
Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky was one of the first development drivers for Extreme E so she knows the car very, very well and will be very quick at getting up to speed on all the surfaces.
The team has partnered with Lotus Engineering so will have a lot of racing know-how as well.
Rosberg X Racing – #6 – Johan Kristoffersson / Molly Taylor
Oh look, another F1 champion with a team. Nico Rosberg has shown his interest in a sustainable future and is putting his money where his mouth is with this team. He has thrown in the team with a great lineup. Molly Taylor is an Aussie rally champion and Johan Kristoffersson is the reigning WRX champion. Some very good credentials there in management and in the race.
Veloce Racing – #5 – Stéphane Sarrazin / Jamie Chadwick
One of the most exciting teams, the Jean-Éric Vergne-owned Veloce Racing have also involved Adrian Newey. Veloce have been at the front of the Esports boom in recent years and moving into real-life racing is a big step for them.
Not only that, they have some massive names with technical guru Newey on board as lead visionary. They have also teamed up with French race team ART who have been running across junior categories for years.
Jamie Chadwick has a long association with Veloce and as the W series champ, she is a fierce racer. Stéphane Sarrazin is another ex-F1 driver joining the fray. He has experience everywhere in rallying and circuit driving. His experience will be so valuable to the team.
X44 – #44 – Sébastien Loeb / Cristina Gutiérrez
One of the most talked-about teams is definitely the Lewis Hamilton owned X44 team. Founded by F1’s best ever Hamilton, this team has a lot of popularity already. And it will be no slouch. They’ve partnered with rally champions Prodrive who took Colin McCrae to victory in the nineties and have a killer lineup.
Seb Loeb is the most successful driver in WRC history so is going to be one of the best on this field and Cristina Guttierrez is a Dakar stage winner. These two are going to be something else.