Extreme E all set to kick start from today

According to a press release by Extreme E, the brand new electric off road racing is all set for the inaugural race in Saudi Arabia starting this weekend from 3-4 April. Alejandro Agag, Founder and CEO of Extreme E, said: “This is a very special day. Extreme E was such an out-of-the-box idea that many people didn’t think it would ever happen – even I didn’t know if we would get to this day. In these COVID times, it would have been impossible to organise this event without the incredible support of our hosts and our teams, and I must thank Saudi Arabia for welcoming us. We are getting ready for something amazing this weekend.” All the 18 participants were given the opportunity to sample the 18km course centering between three canyons in the giant desert surrounding AlUla, while being behind the wheel of the ODYSSEY 21, giving them the taste of what the weekend will have on the cards for them. Several of the competitors participated in a live-streamed press conference in between the two seasons and commented on the event and the action that will be followed ahead. Jenson Button, JBXE driver, said: “It’s exciting to be here, with so many great teams and drivers from around the world. “I’ve done a bit of off-roading before in a rally car, but nothing like this in the sand and the ODYSSEY 21 is a very different vehicle – I’ve never previously driven four wheel-drive. It’s certainly extreme. You’re playing with the steering wheel the whole time and the course is insane!’ Sara Price, Segi TV Chip Ganassi Racing driver, said: “I’m so honoured to be here – in the world of off-road racing, you have no idea how big this is. It’s pretty incredible to have the whole of our industry watching us, and when somebody told me this morning that I was making history as the first driver to take to the course, it’s just crazy and so cool. It’s already been such a journey and an adventure. I’m very grateful and glad to be a part of something that means so much. Stéphane Sarrazin, Veloce Racing driver, said: “It’s incredible to be contesting the first-ever Extreme E event in such an extraordinary setting. This is a great opportunity to be part of something shaping the future, because there’s no question for me that electric is the future for motorsport. Timmy Hansen, Andretti United driver, said: “Both on a professional level and personally, this is a huge adventure. It’s about something bigger than ourselves, the race car is cool and the course is fun. It’s obviously very different to the testing we did last year, but the car feels great and seems to suit the track very well.” Mattias Ekström, ABT CUPRA XE driver, said: “I’ve got many reasons to be happy being here. The older you get, the wiser you get and my main priority is to enjoy it all and have a good time. Extreme E is all about short, fast action, making it perfect for Cupra as such a cool brand, and obviously ABT as an organisation know how to win.” Laia Sanz, ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team driver, said: “I’ve got such a mixture of emotions. I’ve always been a fan of Carlos [Sainz – team-mate] since I was very young, so you can imagine how excited I was when he called me. He’s very professional and super competitive, so I’m sure I have the best teacher possible and can learn a lot from him.” Johan Kristoffersson, Rosberg X Racing driver, said: “We did a recce of the track yesterday; it looked spectacular and challenging then, and when I got out there with the race car today, it lived up to all of those expectations. It’s going to be very competitive with a lot of experienced teams, but Nico [Rosberg] has assembled a team with a bunch of winners and the guys have done a fantastic job with the car – everything was spot-on, which let me go out and do my thing on-track. Nico Rosberg, Rosberg X Racing Founder and CEO, said: “Since my F1 career ended, I’ve been focussed on sustainability and when Alejandro Agag called me and told me about Extreme E, for me it was the perfect match. To combine my passion for racing and sustainability in the same project is awesome. We’ve been out this week helping turtles and removing plastic from the beach, and of course that’s not big impact on its own but what we want to do is raise awareness of the problems the world is facing and show that we care.” Carlos Sainz, ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team driver, said: “I’m happy to be here and trying this new way of motorsport. It’s a great opportunity and I want to approach it a little bit more relaxed. It was really interesting to spend time with the scientists on the ship, helping us to better understand what is going on in the world with global warming, CO2 and the coral reefs.” “We are here to compete to win and I’m really happy to have Johan [Kristoffersson] and Molly [Taylor] on-board.” Sébastien Loeb, X44 driver, said: “Extreme E is a completely new universe for me in every aspect, from the electric side to teaming up with a female driver. It’s a new era for motorsport, and I’m happy to be a part of it from the start.” The racing action will kick start today, (Saturday, 3 April), featuring four qualifying time trial sessions, followed by Sunday, the 4 of April that is booked for the semi-finals and final, which will determine Extreme E’s very first X Prix winner.


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