Extreme E completed its first group test on Saturday in Aragon, Spain at MotorLand as the series prepares to launch in March 2021.
“We’ve been working towards this day for over two years,” Alejandro Agag, Extreme E CEO said in a release. “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.
“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 realization of all our hard work and I cannot wait to show-off one of the most innovative motorsport formats the world has ever seen.”
The Extreme E series competes with Odyssey 21 electric SUVs in a off-road rally format and its drivers include world class racers including Sebastien Loeb, Carlos Sainz, Johan Kristoffersson and Mattias Ekstrom. Each team pairs a male and female driver, so some of the fastest women in the world are also a part of the series including Cristina Gutierrez and Laia Sanz, W Series Champion Jamie Chadwick, and Australian Rally Champion Molly Taylor.
During the two days of testing, the drivers raced on two off-road circuits including a 1.92-mile open course and a 0.62-mile short course.
“We battled the weather a little bit as we had strange conditions with the fog, but overall it’s been really really good,” said Scot Elkins, Race Director for the series. “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.”
Extreme E will race in environments most at risk of climate change including the desert, the Arctic, and the Amazon.
As part of the test, the series debuted an innovation that will be available to drivers and teams. Each car will be equipped with a tire monitoring system from ContiConnect that monitors and displays in real time tire pressure and temperature. Through a display in the cockpit, drivers can immediately tell how much force is demanded of the tire.
Following the test, cars will go back to the respective teams’ workshops for final adjustments before being loaded onto the championship’s floating centerpiece, St. Helena, which will depart in mid-February for its voyage around the world. Extreme E’s five-event calendar starts in Saudi Arabia in March followed by Senegal in May, Greenland in August, Brazil in October and Patagonia in December.