What Extreme E drivers said after first test in Spain

Extreme E
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Saturday’s Extreme E test provided plenty of insight and quotes as they put their Odyssey 21 electric SUVs through its paces. Here is a compendium of what they said afterward:

Sébastien Loeb, X44: “The car is different to what I’m used to driving, so I was very happy to discover how powerful it is and with good traction and balance too – I’ve really enjoyed testing it out! It’s been great to work alongside the whole team while we get to know the vehicle and especially to drive alongside Cristina. She’s naturally a very skilled driver, as well as a hard worker, and I’m looking forward to having her as my partner in this new adventure. This weekend has also been a good opportunity for me to find out more detail about the series itself and the places we will be visiting. It’s a totally new concept so who knows how it will be, but I’m excited to start the season and begin competing against the other teams.”

Cristina Gutiérrez, X44: “Testing has been brilliant and I’ve loved adapting to the new car and figuring out how it works. Each hour I’ve been here has been better than the one before and I’ve been able to learn so much already from Sébastien and the team. He’s an incredible person to have as a co-driver and has been giving me lots of advice – I’ve been trying to be like a sponge so I can soak it all up! It’s a dream to be able to learn from one of the best drivers in the world. I can’t wait for next year and to be able to start racing. Being surrounded by such a professional and expert team has really inspired me and I’m even more excited than I was before.”

Molly Taylor, Rosberg Xtreme Racing: “It’s been a fantastic two days with the team and driving the RXR ODYSSEY 21 in Spain. It’s mine and Johan’s first time driving the car at full power and to drive it across two very different track layouts has been very useful and a lot of fun. We seem to be learning a thousand things every kilometre which is super useful at this point in our development program. The car is mega – really fun to drive – and I can’t wait to get it sideways at all the amazing locations we’ll be visiting in 2021.”

Johan Kristoffersson, Rosberg Xtreme Racing: “It’s been a great test for RXR. We came into the test excited to drive the RXR ODYSSEY 21 at full power for the first time and it didn’t disappoint!  Everyone in the team has been focused on adapting and learning as quickly as possible which is important with very few chances to test the car between now and the start of the season. We’ve gathered a lot of data over the two days and me and Molly have a good understanding between each other and with the car. It’s been a lot of fun and I already can’t wait to go racing in Season 1 next year.”

A UNIQUE COMPETITION FORMAT FOR A UNIQUE SERIES

Claudia Hürtgen, ABT CUPRA XE: “It was great to meet the entire Extreme E family for the first time. The atmosphere and mood in the paddock are unique: Everyone is very relaxed but excited at the same time about starting this new adventure. We had a lot of time to get to know the car even better. It‘s perfect to have such an experienced partner at my side in Mattias. He shares all his tricks and experience with me, which of course helps enormously.”

Mattias Ekström, ABT CUPRA XE: “That has been two days of pure fun. It was great to take out our beast on full power for the first time and also to get a first impression of the competition which is pretty strong. Although times are not that important during a test it was good to see that we seem to be quite competitive. Sharing the race car is a new thing for me but working with Claudia is super easy so I enjoyed it a lot. Can’t wait for spring now to try the unique format of Extreme E under real race conditions.”

Carlos Sainz, ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team: “It was really interesting to get a first glimpse of Extreme E in this collective test. The car is unique and different to the rest in terms of power, suspensions, energy management… We worked on those and many more things, and I am already looking forward to the competition.”

Laia Sanz, ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team: “Everything was new for me, but it was great fun adjusting myself to the Extreme E car. My previous experience in off-road racing will definitely come in handy and I have also a great teammate to make sure we are up there when the season begins.”

Albert Fabrega, ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team Principal: “Getting up to speed as a team was our main priority for this winter test, which has been a learning curve for all of us. We are satisfied with the lessons we have learnt in Alcaniz and now we can continue our preparation for the season with even more confidence.”

Catie Munnings, Andretti United Extreme E: “It’s been awesome to finally have a full test with the team, it feels like it’s all coming together now and having the car at full power was super useful, not just for the drivers, but also the engineers to understand all the different mappings, which has been really important as this is very different to the world of combustion engines. We had some close contact racing which has been great to see, and it’s cool to see the cars side by side, as so far we’ve only seen one at a time. It’s starting to bring everything together and I’ve enjoyed meeting the Extreme E family and the people that we are going to be travelling to these amazing locations with. I’m just really excited now to start the season.”

Timmy Hansen, Andretti United Extreme E: “It’s been two great days, but preparing for a season in two days is a hard job. We’ve been incredibly busy from early morning to late at night but I think we’ve definitely gotten the most that we could out of these two days. We couldn’t be better prepared, but there are still so many big unknowns, so it will be exciting to go there and see who can tackle the sand in the dunes and the different environments, as well as the whole race, who’s got the best car, who’s got the best drivers. I’m very excited!”

Kyle LeDuc, Chip Ganassi Racing: “The test this weekend was good! We started with a longer track, which had a really rocky terrain. Both Sara [Price] and I did our sections. We learned a lot and made a lot of changes to the car, as did every other team. We then switched to a short course, which was like a tighter rallycross track. We were able to experience multiple locations and make all the changes we could. It was a strong test with no major issues. I’m looking forward to taking this electric beast into the competition in March.”

Sara Price, Chip Ganassi Racing: “We just got done with our first full field test with our Extreme E Odyssey 21. We tested on two courses this weekend. We were able to experience a lot of drifting around the corners. During the first lap I was getting a feel for the car. This is the first time with 100% power and driving an electric SUV is a bit different; you really have to be smooth. Finding traction was tough, so the more aggressive we got, the better it felt. Overall, the full field test was successful and I think we have what it takes to win.”

Dave Berk, Team Principle, Chip Ganassi Racing: “I think the test has gone really well and I think everybody – all the teams, the organizing series – have been challenged with the environment, particularly the fog. All the teams were chomping at the bit to get to full power, so this opportunity has been great, teams are laying down hot laps and comparing themselves to others. It’s been good and we’re happy with our driver choices and very much looking forward to the first race in Saudi Arabia.”

Oliver Bennett, Hispano Suiza Xite Energy Team: “Great couple of days settling into the new HSXE car with team mate Christine! We focused mainly on trying to get comfortable in the car and learn from each other the feedback of how the car felt. The car is so alive and ‘electric’ to drive with instant torque out the corners it feels plenty fast enough and capable of some rough terrain we will experience!”

Christine Giampaoli, Hispano Suiza Xite Energy Team: “These two days have been great fun! Finally, I had the opportunity to drive “the Beast” and I’m really looking forward to racing next year! So grateful for the awesome job the whole team of HSXE has done to keep the car perfect and all the support given.”

Jamie Chadwick, Veloce Racing: “It’s been a great couple of days being able to drive the Extreme E car at full power for the first time. Unfortunately, the fog meant we didn’t get as many laps as we would have liked but either way I’m always smiling when I drive this car. Lots to take in and be able to work on going into the season start next year.”