Andretti Autosport joins new racing series

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Andretti Autosport has one of the most diverse racing platforms of any team in international racing. From the NTT IndyCar Series to Formula E and many racing series in-between, team owner Michael Andretti is always looking for new worlds to conquer.

His latest venture is Extreme E, an electric SUV off-road racing series designed to bring attention and sustainability and impact of climate change.

Andretti Autosport becomes the first American team to commit to the international racing series. It is the sixth team overall.

“We remain dedicated to expanding and diversifying our team effort, in both traditional motorsport and with new, revolutionary racing concepts,” Andretti said. “I think that Extreme E is an exciting opportunity for the team as we continue to grow globally.

“The current COVID-19 crisis is bringing attention to a changing world, and our traditional mindsets have to adapt with that. We feel that announcing now can help bring hope for the future of motorsport and a new focus to the sustainability message. I believe the entire motorsport industry is going to emerge from this time stronger than ever, and I look forward to seeing our team join Extreme E to do our part in leaving an impactful legacy in each race location.”

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The Extreme E championship includes five rounds of competition, each featuring two days of head to head, knockout racing. It is designed to increase awareness on the impact of climate change, driving sustainability and inspire action.

The 10-kilometer circuits will be staged in some of the most remarkable, remote and severely damaged locations on the planet. Those include Kangerlussuaq in Greenland, the Amazon Rainforest in Brazil, Al-‘Ula in Saudi Arabia, the Nepalese Himalayas and Lac Rose near Dakar, Senegal. Each venue has been impacted by climate issues. Those include carbon emissions, global heating and melting arctic ice, rising sea levels, droughts and desertification, deforestation, plastic pollution and more.

“I am absolutely delighted to welcome Andretti Autosport, a true powerhouse in racing, as the latest team to join Extreme E,” founder and CEO of Extreme E, Alejandro Agag said. “Andretti Autosporthas achieved across multiple disciplines at the highest level of our sport over many years. The team has a real passion for motorsport, both as a driver of change and in promoting sustainable practices and technologies, making its decision to join Extreme E at this early stage, a natural one.

“Extreme E is an ambitious new project born out of a concern for the future of our planet, and now more than ever, as motorsport adapts its behaviors and values to stay relevant in these changing times, that concern is critical for us all to consider.

“Andretti Autosport has been fine tuning its expertise in electric racing as a founding Formula E outfit, and off-road as multiple rallycross title-winners. These experiences will be invaluable in making the jump into Extreme E. That said, the series is a unique prospect all of its own. The sporting challenge will be intense and the scope for innovation is far-reaching, and I for one am eager to see how the Andretti Autosport team adapts to its new test.”

Each team will take delivery of ODYSSEY 21 E-SUV’s in late October 2020. A group test of the vehicles will take place afterwards.

“The proposed format of Extreme E is unique, not only from the competition perspective but also fromwhat it means to the planet, the impact to it and our contribution to improving it,” said Roger Griffiths, team principal, Andretti Autosport. “Motorsport has always spoken of racing in harsh environments and now with Extreme E we really will be putting this to the test and showcasing the abilities of an all-electric racing platform.

“It is an exciting opportunity to combine our knowledge and experience of electric racing with that of short circuit off road competition. We have proven to be successful in both arenas in the past so hopefully we carry this over into the new venture.”

Andretti Autosport is one of the top teams in the NTT IndyCar Series. It features 100th Indianapolis 500 winning driver Alexander Rossi, 2014 Indianapolis 500 winner and 2012 IndyCar Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay, two-time race winner Marco Andretti, young Zach Veach and budding star 20-year-old Colton Herta.

Follow Bruce Martin on Twitter at @BruceMartin_500