Extreme E's innovative paddock with Airshelta
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According to a press release by Extreme E, the innovative racing series in many ways right from electric SUVs to zero emission car charging has been environment conscious but the most unique and challenging part has been the remote locations in which it competes.
The championship recently completed its inaugural X Prix in AlUla, Saudi Arabian desert. Unlike other sporting events, where basic facilities like catering, paddocks, even toilets are all readily available, in case of Extreme E, these facilities are ones that the Championship had to bring in.
To construct the very important paddock – a place where teams can work with their all-electric ODYSSEY 21s – Extreme E enlisted the backing of Airshelta, a world leader in designing, manufacturing and supplying specialised inflatable shelters. It provided the championship with a full, modular working village, that consists of team garages, storage units, canteen structures, the media centre, medical structures and the innovative Command Centre that has blackout screening and serves as the hub of activity during the competition.
Making use of an inflatable shelter has many benefits like reduction in weight, complicated pole systems along with easy and speedy assembly proving to be a unique and sustainable product.
James Taylor, Chief Championship Officer at Extreme E, said: “Creating a motorsport event in the middle of the desert required a very specialist set of suppliers and I’m delighted with how our paddock looked using Airshelta’s innovative structures, which were not only quick to erect, but a sustainable alternative to permanent structures allowing Extreme E to race without a trace.”
Richard Smith, Director of Airshelta Products said: “I am both delighted and proud that Extreme E has selected Airshelta as the official provider of all the onsite, race team and support function facilities, through our inflatable structures. All our products are manufactured in the UK to the highest standards and we are thrilled to be sharing this exciting journey with Extreme E and supporting them through the race series.”
Airshelta, for more than 25 years, has been providing structures to a wide range of emergency response bodies, armed forces, motorsport teams and to other events worldwide.
Extreme E utilised Airshelta's sealed beam structure created from a continuous tube of PVC material, that are inflated either from a 110v or a 240v inflation blower within minutes. The inflation valve closes automatically thus enabling the Sealed Beam Airshelta to stay inflated without needing to constantly refill air. Once it provides the shelters with the robustness needed to withstand the environment conditions which will be faced throughout the race series. Like other temporary constructions the Airshelta’s are safely anchored utilising heavy duty metal stakes or water filled bunds specially crafted keeping Extreme E locations in mind.
The Airsheltas and the championship’s other cargo, have been loaded onto its floating centrepiece , the Wonderful St. Helena and will sail to Senegal for the Ocean X Prix which is scheduled to take place on 29-30 May.