Extreme E – the new race to shape the world?

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Extreme E is a recent addition to the racing calendar. Storming in and taking many by surprise, the electric car based cross country racing series which was started to raise the constant issues that many of the famous car racing events have seen over the growing climate emergency. The first season, which starts tomorrow on Easter day will have its first race in AlUla, Saudia Arabia based in the desert surroundings there. This will then move onto the other events: a coastal event towards the end of May in Senegal; The Arctic race in Greenland during August, The Rainforest Race in the Amazon (Brazil) and finally the Glacier X Prix in Argentina finishing on the 12th December! (see fig.1 for the world map)

With a packed calendar the excitement is intense and without the need for an audience with many, if not all of the major TV broadcasting companies on board it is very unlikely that you wont have the option to tune into the races!

 

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The batteries have been specially designed by Williams to provide the necessary power output of 400kWh (for those with a less technical mind this is approximately enough to power 250 kettles!) The power needed and the technology to run it has simply not existed before this and the development process has been a long and grueling one. The balance between providing the right amount of power, a low-enough weight, a long enough battery life and then still provide a strong current is hard to keep and tuning these cars for their optimum performance is an incredible feat of engineering.

On site each crew is only allowed up to 7 personnel the preparation before heading out to the location for the race is incredibly important. With quick fixes on site difficult and flying in new parts not an option due to environmental concerns, a Bear Grylls attitude of “Improvise, Adapt, Overcome” will most likely be present, but credit to the teams out there, the speed and process in which development has to be made for these styles of races is very fast paced. Each team is allowed one set of tyres for each race, with two used tyres from the last race as spares there is definitely no comeback from a large mishap, but lets stay positive and hope that this isn’t the case!

 

Jamie Chadwick (GBR)/Stephane Sarrazin (FRA), Veloce Racing

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Whilst there have been prior Extreme E races this is the first major season to catch media attention and as a result become much more popular. Extreme E first began back in 2018 when Formula E founder Alejandro Agag and a former driver (Gil De Ferran) took the leap into making a sustainable race series.

Alejandro Agag, Founder and CEO of Extreme E said: “Extreme E is a much anticipated racing series being launched to showcase the uncompromising ability of environmentally friendly technology to power automobiles across the most challenging terrains worldwide.

The series, which not only highlights the climate change emergency and its associative issues, also assists the specific issues at the locations visited, providing continued support even after the races finish at particular locations. Unlike Formula E, they are continuing to make sure that they are completely carbon neutral including their car and television production teams, including travelling by boat instead of air to reduce CO2 emissions from travel by a further 75% (see fig.3).

 

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With the training heating up for tomorrow’s race in Saudi Arabia we’ll make sure we’re tuning in and I suggest you do too for a great time! With the qualifying results from today (03/04/2021) just in:

Combined Qualifying Results

  1. X44 (Sébastien Loeb / Cristina Gutiérrez) 21m55.998s
  2. ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team (Carlos Sainz / Laia Sanz) +41.097s
  3. Rosberg X Racing (Johan Kristoffersson / Molly Taylor) +50.825s
  4. Andretti United (Timmy Hansen / Catie Munnings) +1m08.536s
  5. Hispano Suiza XITE Energy Team (Oliver Bennett / Christine Giampaoli Zonca) +3m14.734s
  6. JBXE (Jenson Button / Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky) +4m54.880s
  7. Segi TV Chip Ganassi Racing (Kyle LeDuc / Sara Price) +2 laps
  8. ABT Cupra XE (Mattias Ekström / Claudia Hürtgen) +3 laps
  9. Veloce Racing (Stéphane Sarrazin / Jamie Chadwick) +4 laps

It’s all to play for, despite Lewis Hamilton‘s [entering as team X44, see fig.4] team currently dominating the standings, its important to remember that any problem could cause a dramatic fall back down the leader board. So whether you’re a glory supporter, loyal country supporter or just in for the fun of seeing fast cars going cross country there’s something for everyone!

 

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With backers including Lewis Hamilton , the possibilities are vast as to how well this sport will quickly develop to see a whole host of new faces and old alike joining the team. Visit Extreme-E’s website (here) for more info on all of the details covered.