Extreme E adds Scotland to 2022 schedule

Extreme E Scotland
David Cannon / Getty Images
0 Comments

While the 2022 Extreme E schedule has not yet been announced, fans know that at least one race will be held in Europe with the announcement that government of the United Kingdom intends to invest one million pounds (about $1.37 million) for a race in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland.

The race comes after Extreme E was forced to cancel their races in Brazil and Argentina in 2021 because of difficulties surrounding COVID-19  and move the those two events to Sardinia, Italy and the coast of southern England.

“It is a fitting location off the back of COP26, which will be held in Glasgow imminently, and will allow the conversation on electric mobility and the climate emergency to continue further, inspiring action and highlighting various solutions and mitigation strategies,” said Alejandro Agag, Founder and CEO of Extreme E in a release.

Glasgow will be the host city of the 26th United Nations Climate Change conference in early November.

“(The) announcement by UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak is a ringing endorsement of the climate ambitions of the Outer Hebrides,” said Cllr Roddie Mackay, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar Leader, the local government for that part of the Hebrides. “This is extremely good news for our communities as we seek to position ourselves as Low Carbon islands. COP26 in Glasgow will soon set the global decarbonization agenda and, as host for the Scottish round of Zero Carbon race series, Extreme E, the Outer Hebrides will again be punching above its weight in climate terms.

“It is particularly fitting that an island group on the Atlantic frontier with the most to lose from climate change in terms of extreme weather events and rising sea levels has been selected to host this race and Extreme E principles fit well with our aspirations to rapidly decarbonize our island society and economy. One of these principles is the ‘race without a trace’ concept and we will now work closely with Extreme E, environmental agencies and the community at the race location to ensure only positive impacts for the community and the planet and we will ensure that the legacy benefits of this event spread to other island communities from the Butt to Barra.”

Extreme E is an international rally racing series that uses electric SUVs as a way to highlight the challenges faced by climate change. In addition to race competition, each venue features a Legacy Program aimed at helping solve a specific climate issue. So far, Extreme E has supported the planting of one million mangroves in Senegal, a climate education program in association with UNICEF in Greenland, turtle conservation along the Red Sea coastline in Saudi Arabia, reforesting of the Amazon rainforest as well as the restoration of seagrass and areas hit by wildfires in Sardinia.

Through four of five events, Johan Kristoffersson and Molly Taylor hold a 16-point lead over Sebastien Loeb and Cristina Gutierrez. Each Extreme E team pairs one male and one female driver as a further way to grow diversity in motorsports.

Robert Wickens in the Indy 500? Bryan Herta making plans to field a car for next year

Robert Wickens Indy 500
Brett Farmer/LAT Images/IMSA
0 Comments

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Bryan Herta wants to enter Robert Wickens in the Indy 500 as early as 2024 – a year longer than preferred as work continues on the hand controls needed for the paralyzed driver.

Wickens suffered a spinal cord injury in a crash at Pocono Raceway in his 2018 IndyCar rookie season. He’s worked as a driver coach for the Arrow McLaren IndyCar team since, but last year with Bryan Herta Autosport and Hyundai returned to racing in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge.

The 33-year-old Canadian won a pair of races (including the season opener at Daytona) driving a Hyundai Elantra N-TCR that is fitted for Wickens to race strictly through hand controls. Herta said Thursday that perfecting that technology for an Indy car in the biggest race in the world has slowed the project he’s determined to do with Wickens.

‘I’M AS HUNGRY AS EVER’: Robert Wickens’ return to racing

“I’d love to take Robbie back to Indy because I know he could do that, and I think that would be a next step for him in his journey,” Herta told The Associated Press. “We’ve spent a lot of time looking at the logistical side of things, hand controls, and I think we have solutions for that.”

Herta said Honda has been supportive of the process, which Herta called “one of the most important things we’ve done in racing” last year.

“We actually looked at doing it this year, but the logistics of it, the timing, it just wasn’t enough,” Herta said. “That’s not something you can rush. There’s some things that we have to work very closely with IndyCar on, and things we just have to get right. It’s a process, but I can see a path to it.”

Wickens, when told his boss was openly discussing the Indy 500, grinned widely. Herta as a team owner won the Indianapolis 500 with Dan Wheldon and Alexander Rossi.

“That’d be fun,” he said of running the Indy 500.

But like Herta, Wickens said the effort has to be both done correctly and be competitive.

“We’d like to do it right. If we started right now, can we get a car ready for the open test in April? Probably,” Wickens told The AP. “But I don’t know where the systems would be and I want to get on proper simulators to make sure its correct.

“We all want to do a proper, professional effort,” he added. “I don’t want to do it for a marketing campaign. I want to do it for a chance to win.”

Wickens later tweeted about the possibility of racing the Indy 500 and said his goal was “always to get back to the top level of motorsport” whether it’s IndyCar or IMSA.

Wickens in 2021 did a demonstration in Canada that marketed advancements for paralyzed drivers and gave him a chance to again drive. His entire life had been upended 14 races into his rookie IndyCar season, just three months after winning top rookie honors at the Indianapolis 500.

Wickens has since married, returned to racing last year and welcomed the birth of his first child, an son named Wesley whom is infatuated with both race cars and the trip to Disney he took this week during the off days at Daytona International Speedway.

Wickens, who uses a wheelchair but can stand with some support, marks a full year back racing on Friday in the season-opening IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race. Despite success last season, Herta made changes to his lineups and Wickens this year will be teamed with Harry Gottsacker.