Chip Ganassi Racing’s Extreme E sponsor will include a documentary crew following series

Extreme E
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Chip Ganassi Racing announced a multiyear primary sponsor deal for its Extreme E team with streaming service startup SEGI.TV, which will produce behind-the-scenes documentary-style content of the new racing series on its new platform.

Sycamore Entertainment Group Inc. CEO Ed Sylvan told NBCSports.com that a SEGI.TV documentary crew of five will follow the circuit that will race electric SUVs around the globe to raise awareness about climate change.

In a vein similar to Netflix’s “Drive to Survive” series about Formula One, Sylvan said edited pieces of 20 to 45 minutes and a seasonlong wrapup about Extreme E will be produced for SEGI.TV, which is available on Roku and slated for Amazon Fire, Apple TV, Samsung and other OTT channels early next year.

SEGI.TV also will post Extreme E content on its social media channels.

ELECTRIC APPEALWhy Ganassi is going to the Extreme E

Sylvan said SEGI.TV’s follow documentary content would focus on how drivers Sara Price and Kyle LeDuc and their teams adapt to the racing and the travel schedules as well as how local communities are impacted by the series, which will race in Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Greenland, Brazil and Argentina.

Ed Sylvan

“As fantastic as the series is as it pertains to pure racing, there are also so many stories surrounding being there as a team and what Extreme E stands for, such as how are drivers and teams interact with the people who live in these places full time and how will we affect that place when we’re gone,” Sylvan said. “Who are the people in those areas and what they eat, how they live, what they care about and how they feel about us being there. Those stories need to be told as well, so we’ll capture all that, too.”

Sylvan declined to reveal financial details of the sponsorship but said he planned to attend races in IndyCar, IMSA and NASCAR as a Ganassi guest with the possibility of sponsoring the team in other series.

A former go-kart racer and lifelong racing fan, Sylvan said the deal grew out of discussions that he had started with a Ganassi employee whom he met online and “the love of motorsport turned into a business transaction.

“When I took a good look at what was happening over at Extreme E and Chip Ganassi, both of those companies and brands stand for the exact same things we stand for, and those are issues of diversity, inclusion, sustainability, climate change and caring about the Earth we live on and the community that surrounds everybody,” Sylvan said. “So we just went about the business of finding a way to be part of it and be the main sponsor.”

In a statement, team owner Chip Ganassi said, “I am very happy to bring a partner to our team like Sycamore Entertainment. They are really trying to be innovative with their new streaming service content, and I love that about them.

“I think that fits well with what we are trying to do with Extreme E. Innovation is one of our core values and when you are innovative, I think you become relevant. As a team owner, I need to stay relevant in the industry, but also relevant in the social landscape. That is what I think Sycamore Entertainment, Extreme E and Chip Ganassi Racing all have in common.”

The Extreme E Series recently completed its first test session in Spain with its Odyssey 21 model. The series will begin its inaugural season March 20-21 in Saudi Arabia.

Three-time W Series champ Jamie Chadwick joining Andretti in Indy NXT Series for 2023

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Jamie Chadwick, the three-time W Series champion, will drive for Andretti Autosport in the Indy NXT Series next season.

Chadwick will make her debut in an American racing series in March, driving the No. 28 for Andretti Autosport with sponsorship from DHL. The 24-year-old will become the first female driver in 13 years to compete full time in the Indy NXT championship.

Chadwick joined the female free-to-enter W Series in its inaugural 2019 season, winning two races and the first of three consecutive championships. She has been a reserve driver for the Williams Formula One team and will continue in that role in 2023. She also has driven in the Extreme E Series.

Despite her success, Chadwick hasn’t landed a bigger ride in F3 or F2, and her break didn’t come until Michael Andretti contacted her and offered a test in an Indy NXT car.

The final three races of this year’s W Series schedule were canceled when funding fell through, but Chadwick still believes the all-female series was the right path for her.

“W Series has always been and will continue to be an opportunity to be racing for every female driver, so for my side, I looked at it while perhaps I would have liked to step up maybe earlier, at the same time being able to have that chance to race, get that experience, have that development, seat time… I was constantly learning,” Chadwick told The Associated Press.

“In that sense, I wasn’t frustrated at all. But on the flip side of it, now I’ve had that experience testing in the United States in Indy NXT and this is something I’m really excited about.”

Chadwick also is expected to have an enhanced role as a development driver next season with Williams, which chose American driver Logan Sargeant to fill its open seat on next year’s F1 grid.

“Andretti Autosport is proud to be supporting Jamie alongside DHL,” said Michael Andretti. “Jamie’s successful career speaks for itself, but Indy NXT gives Jamie the opportunity to continue her development in a new type of racing.

“We’ve turned out five Indy NXT champions over the years and look forward to continuing our role in developing new talent.”

Indy NXT is the new name of the rebranded Indy Lights Series, the final step on the ladder system before IndyCar.

Andretti will field two drivers next season in IndyCar that were developed in Indy NXT: Kyle Kirkwood, the 2021 champion, will return to Andretti after one season in IndyCar driving for A.J. Foyt Racing, and Devlin DeFrancesco is back for a second season.

Chadwick will be teammates in Indy NXT with Hunter McElrea and Louis Foster. She becomes Andretti’s second full-time female driver alongside Catie Munnings, who competes for Andretti United in the Extreme E Series.