Island X Prix added to Extreme E schedule as replacement for Brazil

Island X Prix
Extreme E

Sardinia, Italy will host the Island X Prix on October 23-24 as a replacement for the Amazon X Prix originally set for that date in Brazil. The Brazilian race, along with December’s Glacier X Prix in Argentina, was canceled due to challenges facing South America and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

This will be Extreme E’s first European destination and will take place in the Army Training area at Capo Teulad in Sulcis-Iglesiente on the southwest corner of the island.

Marked by a harder surface than the three previous rounds, the course will measure about four and half miles in length over rocks and through bushes and dry riverbeds. With a blank canvas, the route will be designed to allow for heavy braking zones and tight corners.

“We are all looking forward to this event in Sardinia, which holds a great history in rallying, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Automobile Club d’Italia, the Region of Sardinia, the Ministry of Defense and the Italian Army which has been supporting us every step of the way,” said Extreme E founder Alejandro Agag in a release.

“This X Prix will highlight some of the issues facing Europe and the wider world. The event is developing really nicely; we have another epic course layout full of new challenges, incredible scientists who will join us to impart their knowledge on the climate emergency and innovative solutions, a legacy program focused on restoration on some of the areas hit by wildfires as well as showcasing electric vehicles and clean energy solutions.”

MORE: For Jean-Eric Vergne, Extreme E is about more than racing

As always, the X Prix aims to highlight a crisis caused by climate change. In this case, the issue is the increase of forest fires exacerbated by global warming as well as the loss of seagrass meadows – specifically the Posidonia oceanic seagrass meadows, also known as the rainforest of the ocean.

According to Extreme E, the Smithsonian Institute estimates that a hectare of seagrass produces 100,000 liters of oxygen per day. Currently 29 percent of global sea grass been lost. If the tend continues, another 20 to 30 percent could disappear in the next 100 years.

“Sardinia is delighted to host, this time in the enchanting setting of Capo Teulada, a prestigious event that has established itself on the international scene as a moment of high sporting value, thanks to the growing interest that this fascinating motor sport is enjoying all over the world,” said Christian Solinas, Sardinian Regional Council President.

“Such events allow us to promote our island worldwide through an innovative discipline and the positive values it embodies, and it is precisely the aim that, even in the difficult months of the pandemic, we wanted to pursue events of undisputed and internationally recognized prestige, such as Extreme E. Through this unique event on the national scene, we wish to send out a signal of hope and optimism, which is associated with the extraordinary energy inextricably linked to racing.”

NEOM McLaren Formula E announces Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast for 2023 season

McLaren Formula E Hughes
McLaren Racing

Doubling down on their commitment to electric auto sports, McLaren Racing announced Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast to compete in the 2023 Formula E Series (FE), which completes their driver lineup.

The NEOM McLaren FE team was formed by the acquisition of the Mercedes-EQ Formula E team that won the 2021 and 2022 championships with Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries behind the wheel.

“Today’s announcement feels like a long time coming,” said Ian James, managing director of NEOM McLaren Electric Racing in a release. “Since May this year, when we first announced McLaren Racing’s entry into Formula E, we have been working tirelessly to get in place the best possible team and structure for sustainable success.

“On the one hand, we have been working on the retention of the amazing talent that already was in place before going into the transitional phase. I’m proud to say I think we’ve done a great job on that front.

“On the other hand, we have been focusing on putting in place new processes and new talent – and the latter includes the drivers.”

The driver lineup clasps the two hands together.

Hughes brings 10 years racing experience in single seater cars, including a role with the acquired Mercedes-EQ team as a reserve and development driver for the past two seasons. He is the 2013 BRDC Formula 4 champion and has multiple wins in Formula 2, including two in 2020.

Announced in August, Rast joins the team after earning two podium finishes and six top-fives in 22 career Formula E starts for Audi Sport ABT before returning to the DTM Series last year. Rast’s best finish in Formula E came in the Puebla E Prix when he finished second to teammate Lucas di Grassi by less than a half second.

McLaren’s commitment to Formula E comes one year after they entered the Extreme E rally series in 2022 with Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour in the driver lineup. After a modest start to the season, the McLaren XE drivers crossed the finish line first in Round 4 in Chile, but were assessed a time penalty that dropped them to fifth. Last week in the season finale in Uruguay, they held onto a hard-earned second place finish.