Extreme E 2021: full preview and race guide

At first look, the graphic of a substantial SUV crashing about rugged terrain in the icy wastes of Greenland, the arid desert of Saudi Arabia or the forests of South The us doesn’t scream ‘environmentally friendly’. But the looks of Serious E are misleading. It is a new job from System E founder Alejandro Agag that brings together head-to-head electric-vehicle racing in some stunning places with a programme of training, publicity and guidance for the fight against local weather modify and the environmental hurt it results in.

Acquiring been rumoured since late 2018, the job was formally declared in early 2019. At the heart of Serious E is a reason-built off-street electric racing machine, the Odyssey 21. With 536bhp, the one,650kg SUV can speed up from -62mph in 4.five seconds, at gradients of up to one hundred thirty for each cent. Every 1 is built close to a package of standardised areas, with a battery by Williams Sophisticated Engineering, and Continental tyres.

Originally established to start off in Senegal in western Africa, Serious E’s initially year was pushed back again owing to delays brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic. It’ll kick off in the desert of Al-‘Ula in Saudi Arabia on three-4 April, in advance of the rescheduled Senegal party, in Dakar on 29-30 May possibly. From there, it is north to Kangerlussuaq in Greenland on 28-29 August, adopted by Santarém in Brazil on 23-24 October.

The reshuffled calendar has also viewed a planned party in Nepal dropped in favour of wrapping up the initially 12 months of Serious E in Patagonia, Argentina, on 11-12 December. The places, alternatively than staying unspoiled, have been decided on simply because they’ve experienced hurt, this sort of as deforestation, desertification or retreating ice, in order to concentrate consideration on all those troubles.

Talking at a digital start party held in advance of Xmas, Agag claimed: “It’s a hard time to be commencing something new we’ve had troubles and we’ve put in time adapting our strategies. We have been really occupied, and we’re now a lot more guaranteed than at any time that Serious E is the proper thought. It is the excellent time to start off afresh after a complicated 2020.”

Agag and the Serious E workforce are eager to emphasise that the championship’s ‘legacy programmes’ of environmental initiatives will be a lot more than just window dressing they’re staying directed by a scientific committee of authorities, led by former Scott Institute director Professor Peter Wadhams.

“We assume sport in normal, and Serious E in certain, can be component of the answer to local weather modify,” Agag continued. “Sport is the greatest entertainment system
on the world, so we can equally entertain and educate our audience. Transport is liable for 30 for each cent of international CO2 emissions we feel motorsport can engage in a huge purpose in the prevalent adoption of cleanse mobility.”

The core objective, Agag stated, is for Serious E to be not just carbon-neutral, but carbon-positive: eliminating a lot more carbon from the ambiance than its pursuits crank out. This has pushed several areas of the series: there’ll be no enthusiasts travelling to go to in person, and the Serious E autos will be recharged applying hydrogen generators. The waste water from this will be recycled for use by the workforce on-web site.

The ex-Royal Mail ship St Helena is a essential component of Serious E’s scientific exertion. It was chosen owing to its means to carry a combination of travellers and cargo in accordance to the organisers, moving the championship’s freight by sea will lessen carbon emissions by two thirds when compared with air freight.

The ship’s pool has even been replaced with a research laboratory. “Operating marine research vessels is pricey,” Agag claimed, “so we can donate time to other organisations. The science panel will satisfy consistently to go over works by using for the ship.”

Essential to the results of any new racing series is attracting huge names. Previously verified are is effective entries from Cupra, along with a collaboration concerning US squad Andretti Autosports and Anglo-American workforce United Autosport.

Andretti’s IndyCar rival Chip Ganassi Racing is also there, moreover motorsport management group Veloce, and Asian financial investment agency Techeetah (which is also associated with the DS System E workforce).

Earth Rally and Dakar legend Carlos Sainz will drive for the Spanish Acciona workforce, whilst there are three F1 champions on the entry checklist, way too. Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg have founded groups and, whilst neither strategies to drive in the series –  Hamilton has secured nine-time Earth Rally champion Sébastien Loeb and Rosberg has three-time Earth Rallycross champion Johan Kristoffersson driving for him – Jenson Button will be acquiring at the rear of the wheel for his workforce.

Hamilton claimed: “With my system and place, I have a obligation to push for modify in the world. I often desired to start off my individual workforce, I just never realized when or exactly where it would come about.”

His squad will be acknowledged as X44, a reference to his race variety, and he suggests that delivering chances for motorists, engineers and mechanics from numerous backgrounds will be a precedence.

Another way Serious E is having a new tack on range is demanding all groups to discipline 1 male and 1 feminine driver. It is a various tactic to that of the women of all ages-only W Sequence, but feeds into Serious E’s distinctive race format, in which every single driver from every single workforce completes a lap of the class, indicating the strongest combination should emerge victorious.

Along with Claudia Huertgen, Laia Sainz, Sara Price tag, Christine Zonca, Molly Taylor, Cristina Gutierrez and Williams F1 tester Jamie Chadwick, Briton Catie Munnings, a European Rally Championship common, is amongst the feminine motorists to safe seats, driving for Andretti United.

She suggests of Serious E: “It ticks all the boxes we’re next our passion, it is major racing, but at the we’re also providing something back again to the world.”

Acquiring analyzed the Odyssey 21 for the initially time in France, she claimed: “I started off out considering it seemed substantial, but as quickly as you drive it, it feels much smaller sized. You do not sense like you are in an SUV it is mild, nimble and responsive. The suspension and brakes are astounding. It soaks up any bumps and stays stable, so you can manage it with the energy.

“Electric energy is a video game changer. In phrases of driving, and feeling like you have to carry momentum, you can almost certainly get away with a lot more now simply because you have that instantaneous energy as you push the throttle it is amazing as a driver to know you can count on that.

“It’s almost certainly 1 much less factor to assume about that there are no gears possessing raced petrol autos my complete life, it is a various ball video game. There’s other new matters: when you locked wheels, the initially indicator made use of to be hearing it, then you’d get opinions via the pedal. But that’s absent, so you have to acquire yet another way of feeling it via the auto.”

The Serious E race format brings together factors of rallycross and the Earth Rally Championship’s ‘super special’ head-to-head levels. Day 1 of every single party will consist of qualifying rounds to establish who will make it into the semi-finals. The major three groups progress from the initially semi, but in the 2nd semi (which is staying dubbed the ‘crazy race’) only the winner will make it via.

Every class will incorporate a jump, and the workforce that manages the longest leap on the initially lap will be offered a energy increase, which can be deployed at any issue on the track. As with Agag’s earlier job, System E, enthusiasts will be capable to affect the action via a program acknowledged as Gridplay. The workforce that receives the most votes will be authorized to pick out their grid place in the final or, if they do not make the final, can ‘gift’ their votes to yet another squad, opening up the risk of tactical conclusions involving championship rivals.

“It’s really various,” suggests Munnings. “Hopefully we’ll be capable to do a track walk or get GoPro footage or something, but we’ll have to get the job done out a program. It looks like the tracks will be way too prolonged to speak about in phrases of ‘Turn one, Transform 2’ like you would a circuit, but also we do not get to do a recce like you would with a rally. I assume every single workforce will convey strengths to the desk in this respect. On the other hand you tactic it, you are going to need to be brief out of the box in the initially qualifying session.”

Uk viewers can adhere to the complete Serious E year reside on ITV, commencing with this weekend’s Desert X Prix from Saudi Arabia. Protection starts at midday on Sunday.

The places

Desert X Prix

three-4 April

In Saudi Arabia, Serious E aims to increase recognition of the environmental effects of desertification, and will get the job done with local and global authorities in the discipline on assignments that preserve and restore ecosystems that have been afflicted by local weather modify.

Ocean X Prix

29-30 May possibly

In Senegal, Serious E is teaming up with local NGO Oceanium to plant a million mangrove trees. The job will concentrate on five locations masking a full of 60
hectares, with the purpose of reforesting mangroves, delivering training to local populations and enhancing social cohesion.

Arctic X Prix

28-29 August

In Greenland, Serious E will get the job done closely with Unicef and the renowned Arctic qualified Professor Peter Wadhams to guidance get the job done on local weather-modify training, encouraging kids throughout Greenland to have an understanding of and deal with local weather troubles, as perfectly as supporting research into guarding Arctic ice.

Amazon X Prix

23-24 October

In Brazil, guidance for The Mother nature Conservancy’s forest restoration programme in the condition of Pará will safe a hundred hectares of existing forest, restore a hundred hectares
of native forest, and sustain a lot more than two hundred hectares of cacao-centered agroforestry, performing with 50 smallholders.

Glacier X Prix

11-12 December

Tierra del Fuego is a late addition to 2021’s Serious E program, having the area of a spherical originally planned to come about in Nepal. The series’ science committee
is searching into possible legacy Initiatives for Tierra Del Fuego, which will be declared about the coming months.

View the opening spherical of the Serious E series reside on ITV on Sunday at midday…

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