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Extreme E, radical new EV motorsport coming to Saudi Arabia 2021

Saudi Arabia test event

The amazing folks behind the Formula E are bringing a new edition of EV motorsports to the world, the Extreme E. The new off-road series will take the series electric SUVs to five extreme environments across the globe, and one of the stops is in Saudi Arabia! YES! YES! YES!

Saudi Arabia is proving to be a big hit with E motorsports, since they already have the Formula E in Riyadh. We love that an oil producing nation is attracting such events to the Middle East. Who knows, maybe the UAE will host a similar stop for Extreme E… extreme environment being the malls!

The global event voyage, we say this as the entire race shifts via a massive ship, hopes to increase awareness of sustainability, equality and electrification. It’s main goal as far as we see is to highlight the impact of global climate change.

We really believe them when they say they built it out of social purpose, which is the first of its kind ever. What better way than to flag damaged or affected areas by climate change than to host the actual event there. No better way than to show people the exact impact than by taking fans deep into the heart of the most pressing issues facing our planet’s future. With the first race scheduled in January 2021, the five environments are Arctic, Desert, Amazon, Himalayas, and Coastal locations. If Covid-19 doesn’t continue to ruin our lives, and 2021 is 0.00000001% better than 2020 has been, the Extreme E Season 1 calendar looks like:

Race map

EXTREME E – WHERE STAR WARS MEETS DAKAR RALLY

Like the title says, that’s what Extreme E hopes to produce. An innovative race made purely for short thrilling racing action.

Dubbed ‘X Prix’, each race will consist of two laps over a distance of 16 kilometers. Here’s a good part, that focuses on the aforementioned equality, four teams compete with two drivers, where one must be male and the other female with each completing a lap. Also, each driver will complete one lap behind the wheel of the SUV, with a changeover incorporated into the race format.

Qualifying takes place on day one to determine the top four runners who will progress through into Semi-Final 1 and the bottom four competitors who will go on to take part in Semi-Final 2: the unique ‘Crazy Race’.

The crazy race will be a tooth-and-nail, all-or-nothing fight, with only the quickest team progressing into the Final, while the top three will make it through from Semi-Final 1. The winner of the Final – the fastest combination of team, drivers, car and engineers over the epic two-day battle – will then be crowned the X Prix Winner.

Taking it to another level of action, the race will feature Hyperdrive. The team that performs the longest jump on the first jump of the race is awarded an additional boost of speed. The best part, they use the Hyperdrive power at any point in the race. This is stuff that we used to dream of, and pretty much hope for while watching those movies a couple of decades ago!

MEET THE ODYSSEY 21 FULLY ELECTRONIC SUV

Odyssey 21 Specs

The championship car is a fully electric SUV, named ODYSSEY 21. In order to withstand the harsh conditions, the car’s peak 550hp output is capable of launching the 1650-kilogram, 2.3-metre wide electric SUV from 0-100Kph in 4.5 seconds, at gradients of up to 130 percent.

The vehicles come with a common package of standardized parts manufactured by Spark Racing Technology. Williams Advanced Engineering produce the batteries. This also includes niobium-reinforced steel alloy tubular frame, as well as a crash structure and roll cage. Founding partner Continental Tires have purpose built and designed the tires for the cars to cope with the extreme conditions.

Season 1 will provide teams with their choice for the bodywork. They can use the one provided by Extreme E, build their own or work with an OEM to customize a road-going bodywork to utilize the race to familiarize the vehicle with the everyday Joe. Imagine one of these beasts looking like a Raptor.

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT

In line with the five core principles enshrined in the Framework and the aims of the Paris Agreement, Extreme E strives to:

SCIENTIFIC COMMITTEE

Scientists

As well as demonstrating the performance and capabilities of cutting-edge electric SUVs racing across these harsh terrains in formidable conditions – Extreme E will also work closely with its Scientific Committee of experts in each region to raise global awareness and education for the specific issues each environment faces, such as rising carbon emissions, melting ice caps, deforestation, desertification, droughts, plastic pollution and rising sea levels

The leading academics come from The Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, who are tasked with advising the series’ climate research and practice. Praise the Good Word.

RMS ST HELENA

RMS St Helena

So, you are probably thinking well what the hell, to get this race across the five locations will cause so much pollution that nothing will be sustainable. WRONG! To minimize the carbon footprint of the series, all Extreme E freight and logistics equipment will travel by sea.

As the picture shows, the organizers spent a pretty penny (millions of pounds) to renovate the historic former Royal Mail Ship (RMS) St. Helena and make it more efficient to minimize emissions. This floating garage of 7000 tons will also be an operational base for the series. They estimate that travelling by sea will lower freight emissions by two thirds in comparison to air travel.

EXTREME E TEAMS

Racing teams

Not bad of a line-up. If you haven’t seen the news, none other than Six-Time Formula One World Champion, Lewis Hamilton recently announced the creation of his very own race team, X44. Named with reference to Lewis’s own racing number, X44 will enter Season 1 of the Extreme E Championship.

Lewis Hamilton

X44 will provide opportunities to the next generation of drivers, engineers and technicians and will be dedicated to developing world class talent, providing an inclusive culture and promoting diversity. The on-event race team will be made up of seven personnel including a professional female and male driver.

Here, enjoy some of the racing team liverys

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