Just one month to go before Extreme E returns for Season 2
(Motorsports news)19 January 2022, London: With the first season of Extreme E just finishing, it is now one month to go until Extreme E’s sport for purpose campaign is back with new faces, a new team, and a new continent to visit, but with the same amount of thrilling wheel-to-wheel on track action being showcased across the toughest terrains on the planet.
Building on the success of its debut year in 2021, Extreme E Season 2 ‘ The Race For the Planet’ promises to captivate on and off track on a another level, whilst delivering on its overall purpose to tackle climate change through sport, starting with the Desert X Prix in NEOM, Saudi Arabia, 19-20 February.
Alejandro Agag, CEO and Founder of Extreme E, said: “Using our sport for purpose platform, Extreme E delivered truly groundbreaking action in its first season, on and off the race course, and now we are ready to go and do it all again, with more experience and more determination than ever.
“As we embark on the second chapter of our story, we are proud to finally welcome Zak Brown and his McLaren team to the party and know they will make a huge impact, which we are all excited to see. We also add a new continent to our journey as we take our voyage to South America, a hugely important home, both for motorsport fans and the climate.
“In all this, however, we cannot lose sight of our overall purpose, that we are all together in a race for the planet. We feel more passionately than ever about the importance of using the platform of sport to raise awareness for climate issues and the solutions we can all be part of, under the great direction of our Scientific Committee, as we as a global community strive to keep temperature rise levels below 1.5°C. This is the race we can, and must win, and we all need to play our part.”
The inaugural Extreme E season was a thriller and went down to the wire, with Rosberg X Racing (RXR) taking the Championship on count back of victories after finishing the campaign tied on points with perennial fastest qualifiers in Season 1, Lewis Hamilton’s X44.
Nico Rosberg, inaugural Extreme E Champions RXR Racing Founder and CEO, said: “Winning the inaugural Extreme E championship was just incredible. But our team is about more than just winning. We’re also here to promote an important message. A key reason we exist is to drive awareness, educate and help tackle climate change and we aim to leave a lasting legacy that drives localized change in each location that Extreme E visits. Last year we were able to achieve some incredible things through this series and that was just the beginning. Looking forward to an exciting new season and hopefully another win for RXR!”
As well as returning to Saudi Arabia, Italy and possibly Senegal, Extreme E will make its highly-anticipated debut in South America with its final two X Prix of the campaign taking place in Antofagasta, Chile, and Punta del Este, Uruguay.
Excitement for Extreme E Season 2 is boosted further with motorsport giants McLaren joining the Championship for 2022.
McLaren has been a leader in electric motorsport from the outset, supplying the battery powertrain to the FIA Formula E Championship for the Gen 1 and Gen 2 seasons, employing the same technology pioneered in the McLaren P1 hypercar. With its entry into Extreme E, McLaren Racing will continue to build its know-how and expertise in the all-electric racing space.
Zak Brown, CEO, McLaren Racing, said: “From the outset, McLaren Racing has never been afraid to push new boundaries. This new venture is true to our roots of innovation and bravery. Extreme E is paving new ground in motorsport as a force for good in confronting some of the biggest challenges facing our world today and in the future.”
World Rallycross ace Tanner Foust was announced as the team’s male driver in August 2021 before Emma Gilmour was signed up to become McLaren’s first-ever female driver during the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow last November.
Both drivers will bring plenty of off-road prowess to the Extreme E grid for Season 2. Foust is a four-time and current U.S. Rallycross Champion (2019, 2012, 2011, 2010) and has also won four X Games gold medals (2013, 2010, 2007), alongside two Formula Drift Championships (2008, 2007). Gilmour became the first and only female to date to win a New Zealand Rally Championship event and also won the FIA Women in Motorsport and Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation (QMMF) cross country rally selection in 2015. The New Zealander also competed in two rounds of Extreme E Season 1 for Veloce Racing.
Extreme E’s Legacy Programmes are integral to the series and aim to provide both social and environmental support at each race location. Project selection is led by the location’s scientist and all five members of our independent Scientific Committee actively support these programmes.
The sport for purpose Championship selects projects that prioritise the empowerment of local communities, build resilience by helping the vulnerable to adapt to climate change, provide long lasting sustainable solutions and promote renewable energy sources that will grow economies while reducing carbon emissions. The series will continue to work with world leading experts in science, education and environmental research, to ensure the Championship’s credibility and effectiveness.
Extreme E is the only motor racing series in the world today that mandates that every team taking part must field both a male and female driver. This was a world first in motorsport, and as well as providing opportunities at the highest level of sporting competition, the series is strengthening this commitment to development at the grassroots level in its second season.
At the 2021 season finale in Dorset, UK, Extreme E was delighted to host an event for 50 local schoolgirls with the female motorsport initiative Girls on Track UK. Girls on Track UK (formerly known as Dare To Be Different) is an initiative started back in 2016 by former Formula One test driver, Susie Wolff. Now managed by governing body Motorsport UK, as part of FIA’s global Girls on Track programme, it focuses on inspiring, connecting and showcasing females in motorsport as well as through science, technology and math (STEM).
The girls, all aged between 11 and 12 years-old, got to experience life behind the scenes of Extreme E – as well as being shown the many future potential career opportunities within the sport, with the series intention being to build on this work and inspire girls all over the world with these memorable insights throughout this new season.
With less than five weeks to go until the opening X Prix of the campaign, Extreme E Season 2 is all set to be another spectacular campaign.
Also read: Maserati joins Formula E from the 2023 season
X44 win innaugral Extreme E Sustainability Award
(Motorsports news)17 January 2022, London: X44 have become the winners of the first ever Extreme E Sustainability Award after topping the standings in the series’ inaugural Count Us In Challenge aimed at tackling the climate crisis.
Extreme E and Count Us In came together ahead of Season 1 to launch the Extreme E Count Us In Challenge - a campaign using the power of sport and the excitement of motor racing to inspire fans to take practical steps on climate change.
The sport for purpose series asked fans to take real pledges to lead a less carbon intensive lifestyle to reduce their footprint and, in doing so, urge governments, cities and businesses to accelerate progress on climate action.
The Extreme E Count Us In Challenge includes a variety of actions available to fans to contribute towards a greener future, including not using single-use plastic, walking and cycling more, eating more plant-based foods and driving an electric vehicle. Each step is attributed to the fans’ favourite team, and the team with the most steps at the end of Season 1 would win the inaugural Extreme E Sustainability Award.
This was achieved by X44, who claimed the award with 792 steps pledged, with JBXE (749 steps) and Rosberg X Racing (RXR) (422 steps) completing the top three. In total, the Extreme E Count Us In Challenge inspired 1,231 fans to take 3,207 steps saving 1,241,223 KG CO2.
The Extreme E Count Us In Challenge will return for Season 2 with fans once again urged to take climate action through their passion for the sport.
Alejandro Agag, Founder and CEO of Extreme E, said: “I am delighted that we have been able to present X44 as the winners of the Extreme E Sustainability Award via the series’ first-ever Count Us In Challenge.
“Sport is an incredible platform to not only raise awareness of the climate crisis, the single biggest threat to our planet today, but also inspire action to tackle it. At Extreme E we will continue to push the boundaries and shine a spotlight on the issues we face, along with the need to act now to help protect our futures.
“Our first season working with Count Us In has been a huge success and I am looking forward to us building on this momentum for Season 2 to go further in taking climate action.”
Sébastien Loeb, X44, said: “I was very happy to learn that X44 won the Extreme E Sustainability Award for 2021. I joined the team hoping to discover more about the environment while doing what I love, and I have learned so much from the series and the different places we visited - in fact I even bought my first electric car last year!
“To know that our fans have come on this journey with us and are making their own commitment to have a positive impact on the planet is inspiring and I feel good about what we can achieve when we work together.”
Shivani Rudra, Count Us In, said: “Through the Extreme E Count Us In Challenge, teams and their fans have demonstrated their commitment to a cleaner, healthier, thriving future for all.
“By taking meaningful, simple steps in their own daily lives, Extreme E fans have not just reduced their own carbon emissions, but they’ve added up to a growing movement of people and communities showing leaders it’s time to accelerate progress on climate action.
“Huge congratulations to X44 and its fans for their engagement in Season 1! We look forward to continuing to work with Extreme E and the teams in Season 2 to further their legacy through their passionate fanbase.”
Extreme E aims to accelerate the adoption of clean and electrified transport to help protect people and the planet, with the Extreme E Count Us In Challenge also supporting the UN's Race To Zero campaign.
In 2022, Extreme E will continue to race across the world’s most remote environments to demonstrate the performance and benefits of electric vehicles and clean technology, whilst highlighting the impact that climate change is already having on these ecosystems, such as melting ice caps, deforestation, desertification, retreating mountain glaciers, and rising sea levels.
Extreme E Season 2 begins in Neom, Saudi Arabia (19-20 February), before heading to Sardinia, Italy (7-8 May), Senegal or Scotland (9-10 July), Antofagasta, Chile (10-11 September) and Punta Del Este, Uruguay (26-27 November).
Griezmann-less Atletico Madrid take on Athletic Club in Super Cup semi-final
(Football news) Saudi Arabia will host the Spanish Super Cup semi finals as defending La Liga champions Atletico Madrid will take on Athletic Club Bilbao. The winner of the match will take on the winner of the 1st semi final between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona.
Both the teams drew their last La Liga games on the weekend. Atletico Madrid were held to a 2-2 draw away at Villareal. Athletic Club on the other hand played away at Deportivo Alaves and could only manage a goalless draw. Atletico Madrid will be without Antoine Griezmann and Stefan Savic who are still nursing their injuries. Athletic Club on the other hand have all their players fit for the game.
The game will be very tight and is likely to be a low scoring contest. Atletico Madrid will rely on Luis Suarez up top who is just back from suspension. Similarly Athletic Club will be looking to unleash Inaki Williams with every opportunity on the counter. The midfield battle between Koke and Raul Garcia will be very crucial. These days it is always unclear what formation Diego Simeone will put out. After sticking with a 3-5-2 at the start of the season he reverted back to his tried and trusted 4-4-2.
Possible Playing XI:
Atlético Madrid: Jan Oblak; Mario Hermoso, Jose Gimenez, Renan Lodi, Marcos Llorente; Rodrigo De Paul, Koke, Thomas Lemar, Yannick Carrasco; Angel Correa, Luis Suarez
Athletic Club: Unai Simon; Mikel Balenziaga, Inigo Martinez, Yeray Alvarez, Oscar De Marcos; Unai Vencedor, Dani Garcia, Iker Muniain, Alex Berenguer; Oihan Sancet, Inaki Williams
Mayweather in talks for exhibition boxing match against Youtuber Money Kicks
(Football news) Floyd Mayweather is currently in the final stages of negotiations to return to the ring next month to take on 20 year old internet personality Rashed Belhasa a.k.a Money Kicks. The Dubai based Youtuber and influencer is known for his luxurious lifestyle, sneaker collection and many exotic pets. The clash is set to take place over eight rounds at the helipad of the seven star hotel Burj Al Arab Jumeirah hotel.
Belhasa has said that he was inspired by the fight between KSI and Logan Paul and gave him the confidence that Youtubers can compete at the highest level in boxing. He has already staged two boxing events in Dubai and won both of them. In an interview, Rashed Belhasa said “I never thought I would ever fight Floyd. He is the best fighter ever. When I was young, I would collect his 'The Money Team' caps! Mayweather's team asked my team for a meeting. We thought: 'No way will this happen!' The same day of the meeting, I saw Mayweather saying: 'I would love to fight Rashed'. He is serious. It is an honour that he has called me out. I thought: 'This will go viral!’”
Last week, Mayweather teased the fight by saying “Money Kicks is doing big things and I like what I am seeing." The 44 year old retired in 2017 with a 50-0 and has featured in a few exhibition bouts since then. He defeated Tenshin Nasukawa and went eight rounds against Youtuber Logan Paul. "Logan made history," said Money Kicks. "The whole world was talking about their fight. He has already given me tips on how to fight Mayweather. He told me to flinch a lot, and to move a lot, because Mayweather is a fast guy who has experience. If I knock him out, I would not sleep for a year!"
Apart from the highly anticipated clash against Floyd Mayweather, Money Kicks has four other fights in the pipeline across Saudi Arabia and London. Money Kicks said: "I grew up with lions - I am not scared of any human being. I will never fear any human. People think I'm crazy because boxing is big in London, but here? In Dubai boxing is fresh. People think I am a professional fighter. They go crazy when they see me. Everybody thinks I'm the Mayweather of Dubai!"
India's Harith Noah placed 26th overall after Stage 8
Wadi Ad Dawasir (Saudi Arabia), Jan 10 (MotorSports News) The lone Indian rider in this year's Dakar Rally, Harith Naoh of TVS Racing Factory team, overcame initial hiccups to be placed 26th here on Monday in the overall rankings of the world's most gruelling off-road rally.
He has till now recorded an overall timing of 29 hours 50 minutes and 47 seconds.
In Stage 8, he finished in the 26th position after clocking 4:12.30s.
India's Hero MotoSports Team Rally rider, Joaquim Rodrigues, is placed 15th overall with a timing of 28:36.47s after Stage 8.
Rodrigues finished Stage 8 at the eight spot with an impressive timing of three four and 58 minutes.
Rodrigues' teammate Aaron Mare is placed 17th in the rankings after Stage 8 with a timing of 28:50.28s. He finished the stage in the 21st spot clocking 4:8.19s. The stage was won by Sam Sunderland of Great Britain covering almost 400 km.
Starting at 22nd position from the grid and treading a cautious path for the first 86 km in the long liaisons and action-packed dunes, Noah saw off the trek to southern Saudi Arabia and its tough sands and lost about 10 places.
He progressed later on, even as the minds and bodies of the competitors were put to a hard test.
Eventually, the landscapes changed and the tough negotiator ended the day in a respectable position after traversing a distance of 820 km.
Competing in RallyGP, the premier class of the Moto section in the 44th Dakar Rally, Noah, who had a tough first week due to extreme cold conditions and a couple of falls, has come into his own and is looking forward to the last four stages.
"I enjoyed the stage for the second day running and I am getting into my rhythm. It was a long and tough day but I like tricky navigation like this stage. I am still in the race and glad to be fighting another stage tomorrow," Noah said.
There are four more stages left in this year's rally that concludes on January 14.
Also Read : National motorcycle racing: Ryhana Bee regains girls title
News Source : PTI
Real Madrid and Barcelona qualify for CDR Round of 16 with narrow wins
(Cricket news) Real Madrid and Barcelona have both gone past the first hurdle in the 2021/22 Copa del Rey. Barcelona were put through the grinder by Linares Deportivo. Hugo Diaz gave the home side a lead with a header in the 19th minute to put the Blaugrana on the back foot straight away. Barcelona kept a lot of possession and created a few chances but couldn't get the equaliser. Xavi made a triple change at halftime bringing on Frenkie De Jong, Gerard Pique and Ousmane Dembélé.
The substitutes had an impact on the game as the Catalan side looked more composed with the ball. Dembele got the equaliser with a low curling shot from the edge of the box in the 63 minute. Six minutes later La Masia player Ferran Jutglà gave his side the lead. Linares did have a few chances to get the equaliser, the most prominent one coming in the 75th minute when substitute Cristian Carracedo hit the post. The game ended 2-1 with Barcelona dominating 82 percent possession. The win came at cost as Frenkie De Jong and Ronald Araujo both joined the long list of injured players. Barcelona will have two more absentees for the game against Granada and potentially the El Clasico in the Spanish Super cup midweek.
Real Madrid almost relieved the nightmare at Alcoyano. Just like last season Alcoyano was putting all sorts of pressure on Real Madrid right from the first minute and the goalscorer in last year's fixture Eder Militao once again scored. The Deja Vu hit Real Madrid fans really hard when Dani Vega equalised in the 66th minute. Thankfully for Carlo Ancelotti, Marco Asensio scored a deflected goal 10 minutes later to give Real Madrid the lead. In the 78th minute Alcoyano conceded an own goal after some pinball in their box. Real Madrid won 3-1 but it was by no means an easy victory. Ancelotti will definitely look at it as a job done as they gear up for a very important game against Valencia on the weekend before traveling to Saudi Arabia for the Spanish Super cup.
Dakar Rally: Lone Indian in fray Noah finishes 29th, Hero's Rodrigues wins stage 3
Al Qaisumah (Saudi Arabia), Jan 4 (MotorSports) Lone Indian rider in fray, Harith Noah of Sherco TVS Rally Factory team, finished a creditable 29th in stage 3 of the 44th Dakar Rally, which saw Joaquim Rodrigues of Hero MotoSports Team win his maiden stage of the gruelling off-road race.
The steady ride helped the only Indian rider in this year's Dakar to improve his overall ranking to 31st position in RallyGP class, the premier category in the Moto section with an overall timing of 12:29.46s.
Noah successfully completed stage 3 in 2 hours, 49 minutes and 11 seconds.
Portuguese rider Rodriques of Hero MotoSports Team Rally clinched his maiden Dakar stage, clocking 2 hours, 34 minutes and 41 seconds ahead of Australian Toby Price of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, who clocked 2:23.44s and USA's Mason Klein (2:35.55s) of Bas Dakar KTM Racing Team.
Monster Energy Honda Team's Joan Barreda had won the second stage, where Hero MotoSports Team Rally’s riders finished in the top 10 here.
Barreda now holds a tally of 28 Dakar Rally stage wins. His teammate Pablo Quintanilla finished 23rd.
Hero MotoSports' Joaquim Rodrigues and Aaron Mare delivered an impressive run in the long stage 2 with the former finishing in sixth place and Mare ending 10th in the Rally GP class.
Starting on a loop around Al Qaysumah, Noah initially took the 214-km link section of 255-km special but lost a few minutes after the first way point.
However, astride a Sherco 450 SEF rally, he made up many places with steady navigation in the next special sections, and consolidated his position before returning along a 166-km link route for a respectable 29th spot finish.
After three stages, Great Britain's Sam Sunderland of Gasgas Factory Racing is holding the overall lead clocking 11:13.4s, while Frechmen Adrien van Beveren of Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team is second and Austrian Matthias Walkner of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing is third.
Nine more stages will be run with a rest day on January 8.
Noah, a 28-year-old Sports Science graduate from Kerala who made his debut in 2020, is on his third Dakar campaign.
He ended an overall 20th last January.
Also Read : Four things fans should be excited about for the 2022 Formula 1 season
News Source : PTI
Rosberg X Racing crowned first Extreme E champions
(Motorsport) Rosberg X Racing have been crowned champions of the inaugural Extreme E season after securing the title in the season ending Jurassic X Prix in Dorset, United Kingdom where they finished fourth. Despite the fact that Rosberg X Racing finished with 155 points, equal to X44 who won the Jurassic X Prix, Johan Kristoffersson and Molly Taylor were crowned champions because they won more X Prix’s over the course of the season with three wins from five events.
For X44, Sébastien Loeb and Cristina Gutiérrez finally achieved their first Extreme E win at the Jurassic X Prix and won five extra points for being the fastest through the Continental Traction Challenge but fell short of winning the title. Jenson Button’s JBXE and Andretti United Extreme E reached the podium places in the final race of the season, finishing second and third respectively while ACCIONA | Sainz finished fifth, behind the new champions Rosberg X Racing.
Johan Kristoffersson, RXR: “It’s fantastic; this has been a new racing series, new team, and new locations but we’ve worked so hard to get here, and to be champions really feels amazing. Molly [Taylor] drove excellently today, managing the challenging conditions and I knew that all that remained for me was to not make any mistakes and bring the car home safely. We’re delighted to be champions and look forward to celebrating with the team.”
Molly Taylor, RXR: “It feels amazing to be the first-ever championship winner of Extreme E. This season has been brutal, racing in some of the most remote parts of the world in truly extreme conditions but we’ve worked together as a team and we’re delighted with this result. The nerves were definitely there today but Johan [Kristoffersson] and I kept our eyes on the final prize, and the whole team effort across many months has brought us to this point today.”
Nico Rosberg, RXR Founder and CEO, said: “We are so delighted to be crowned the inaugural Extreme E Champions and I am really proud of the entire RXR team. The team has worked so hard all season and performed consistently, racing in some of the world’s most remote locations. To be Champions is such an honour.
“A massive congratulations to our drivers, Molly Taylor and Johan Kristoffersson, who have been excellent all season. We came into Extreme E to raise awareness of climate change, and promote sustainability, but also as a racing team, we want to win and so we will remember this feeling forever.”
Alejandro Agag, Founder and CEO of Extreme E, said: “We are really happy with the first Extreme E season. It has not been easy in the middle of a pandemic, but we have delivered five X Prix events, and the Finale in Dorset produced some spectacular racing. Since our first event in Saudi Arabia we have had a lot of eventful and incredible moments ending in a brilliant title decider today.
“I must say congratulations to RXR – they did a great job in winning the first ever Extreme E Championship. I must also say well done to X44 who were the victors at the Jurassic X Prix today and really deserved the win after being the fastest qualifiers at every X Prix this season. We are now looking forward to what we hope will be a fantastic Season 2.”
Also read: ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team quickest ahead of Extreme E Season Finale
The Jurassic X Prix started off with X44 getting the perfect start ahead of Molly Taylor from RXR while JBXE’s Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky, Andretti United Extreme E’s Catie Munnings and ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team’s Laia Sanz fighting for position behind. X44’s Gutiérrez managed to pull away from the pack while Molly Taylor lost places from Åhlin-Kottulinsky and Munnings, slipping into fourth position. It was a risky situation for Rosberg X Racing who could only win the title if they finished above fourth position in the final race.
The third place battle was equally fierce as JBXE and Andretti United Extreme E fought a heated battle and there was drama involved during the driver switch as the cars collided, sending Munnings into a spin. However, she could manage to get her car in control and retained third place, ahead of RXR and ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team. Sebastian Loeb maintained X44’s lead over JBXE’s Kevin Hansen after the driver switch while Andretti United Extreme E’s Timmy Hansen was third.
Carlos Sainz Sr. and Johan Kristoffersson fought hard for the fourth position but the Rosberg X Racing team gained an advantage during the driver switch when ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team encountered some problems. This proved to be the turning point in Rosberg X Racing finishing in fourth position and guaranteeing themselves of the title as celebrations began when Kristoffersson crossed the finish line.
Sébastien Loeb, X44: “This has been a challenging championship for us, but this weekend was the best so far. We came first in Qualifying in every X Prix, but we kept having bad luck in the Finals so to end on equal points with RXR after the season they’ve had is incredible and shows what we can do.
“I’m confident we will do even better next year, but for now we will be celebrating with the team!”
Cristina Gutiérrez, X44: “I am so happy - finally we have won an X Prix! I’m very proud of Seb [Loeb] and everyone in the team. It has been a tough year, but they all worked really hard and today it paid off.
“A first place race finish and second in the championship is amazing, and of course congratulations to RXR for such a great season. I can’t wait to come back next year and see what else we can do!”
Kevin Hansen, JBXE: “As soon as I stepped into the team Mikaela [Åhlin-Kottulinsky] and I have done everything we can to be as fast as possible because with all the cars being the same the driving is the biggest part. To be competitive on four very different courses as part of such a young team that joined late to the series, means that I am super proud of our performance.”
Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky, JBXE: “It is incredible that we have been on the podium in the last four rounds. I want to say thank you to the team because we have been making a step forward at each round and that has brought us here. I did teach Kevin [Hansen] to drift on ice when he was about 13 and that was key to this year!
“It is all about details when it comes to performance and since we speak the same language we can get those nailed and we work together really well.”
Timmy Hansen, Andretti United Extreme E: “It was actually one of the more simpler weekends of the season and it was straightforward where the line would be. Of course there was the mud, but it was more about being in the right place on the track. I enjoyed that and the level of the drivers around this paddock, male and female, has been really high. We pushed each other hard. I went over the limit in Qualifying 2 yesterday, so it has been challenging but enjoyable.
“It has been very exciting and it looks like in the world of motorsport it is going more and more electric.”
Catie Munnings, Andretti United Extreme E: “It was a crazy Final! The visibility was quite poor on the course. I got pushed a couple of times, and coming into the Switch Zone I kind of had the line and was then pushed into the ditch, which was really disappointing when we were fighting for third in the Championship.
“But it was always going to be a crazy race with the amount of water and mud here, and actually following one of those cars you realise how fast it is and how on the limit we all are.”
1. X44 (Sébastien Loeb / Cristina Gutiérrez) 3 laps (9:20:609)
2. JBXE (Kevin Hansen / Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky) (+3.613)
3. Andretti United Extreme E (Timmy Hansen / Catie Munnings) (+9.735)
4. Rosberg X Racing (Johan Kristoffersson / Molly Taylor) (+15.798)
5. ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team (Carlos Sainz Snr. / Laia Sanz) (+31.101)
Jehan Daruvala wins his second race at Abu Dhabi as he finishes 7th in the F2 World Championship
(Motorsports news) Jehan Daruvala won his second race of the season when he finished ahead of Brazilian driver Felipe Drugovich and 2021 F2 champion Oscar Piastri. In the first lap, Felipe Drugovich managed to pull alongside Daruvala in the opening corners as the Indian driver showed great racing skill and managed to put the Brazilian driver behind him. Australian race driver Oscar Piastri, who started at number 10 made his way up the field to take 3 place which in turn helped him clinch the 2021 Formula 2 championship title. Daruvala this season has already won the Italian Grand Prix Sprint race in September as this was the Indian racing driver's fifth podium of the F2 2021 season.
For Jehan, this was a much needed win after the disappointment in Saudi Arabia last week. He is looking to retain his seat on the Red Bull junior driver program and also do a third season in Formula 2 to have a shot at a Formula 1 drive in 2023. After this victory, Jehan has secured a seat in the Carlin team along with recently signed Willams academy driver Logan Sargent and will be looking to win the 2022 Formula 2 season after suffering a very under par season according to his standards. Daruvala’s season has been very inconsistent as he began the season well with a second place at Brahian but his campaign didn’t take the momentum after that as the level of consistency he was looking for did not come. Ultimately Jehan finished 7th in the F2 World Championship with 113 points which was an improvement from last season's 72 points. Jehan Daruvala and Dan Ticktum helped Carlin finish third in the Constructors Championship with 272.5 points.
With the rise in the number of viewerships of Formula 1 in India, every Indian will be hoping that Jehan gets a F1 seat in 2023. The 2022 schedule will feature 14 rounds - the biggest calendar since 2017, with 28 races in total, two at every event, which actually gives him hope to win next year's F2 Championship. Jehan said he might have to look beyond Formula 1 if he doesn't reach that pinnacle in 2023. He said, "It's a hard situation to be in, but you know realistically if it's not 2023, it's very difficult after that. I've had two good weekends (in F2), so that will help me (in contention) in terms of being on the market for a good seat and sort of keeping my F2 seat for next year. I hope to get more clarity over that soon.
“I think honestly in Formula 2, there have been a few sensational rookies like Oscar, Charles, Lando (Norris), George but once you are in your second year or third year, you know the difference is a lot less than it is from your first year to a second year. You already have had a year of experience so it doesn't make too much difference if you're in your second or third year. If I do end up doing Formula 2 next season, it is again going to be a very hard competitive season," said Jehan who has secured four podiums so far in the season including wins at Monza and Abu Dhabi.
His teammate at Carlin Racing, Dan Ticktum, will be competing in Formula E next season. Jehan has not yet explored racing in other series and said “I have not really considered anything else apart from F2 for next year so that my focus remains on Formula 1, but if not, you know, just have a career in motorsport and earning a living there will be a priority, I started off well in Bahrain, had a couple of bad weekends in Monaco and Silverstone, practically didn't score in any of them. And I think those two weekends were big setbacks. Also, I wasn't qualifying as well as I wanted to in the first half of the season so it was a big concern in terms of not being as quick as I would have wanted to. I always knew that I had the potential and when I do a good lap it's normally always good enough to be in the top four or five. So, it was good to turn that form around. Monza and Sochi, qualifying twice on the front row, or be actually on provisional pole both times was definitely a massive step forward for me,
Jehan Daruvala produces solid drive under pressure to win second race of 2021
Abu Dhabi, Dec 11 (Motor Sports news) India's Jehan Daruvala put up a strong defence on way to his second race-win of the 2021 Formula 2 season, here on Saturday.
The 23-year-old from Mumbai had started the sprint race on reverse grid pole position after qualifying 10th for the feature race.
Racing for Carlin, the Indian did well to maintain his position on the opening lap before Felipe Drugovich put him under tremendous pressure for the major part of the 23-lap race. Jehan pulled away towards the end to cross the chequered flag two seconds ahead of Brazil's Drugovich.
Australian Oscar Piastri finished third to secure the Formula 2 title in his rookie year, joining the likes of Formula 1 drivers Charles Leclerc and George Russell, who won the feeder series in their debut season.
For Jehan, it was a much needed win after the disappointment in Saudi Arabia last week. He is looking retain his seat on the Red Bull junior driver program and do a third season in Formula 2 to have a shot at a Formula 1 drive in 2023.
All seats have been decided for the 2022 Formula 1 season.
The sprint race victory was Jehan's third of his Formula 2 career after Bahrain last year and Monza earlier this year.
"Back on the top step after a disappointing weekend in Jeddah where I didn't take many points, so it is good to start off the weekend with a victory. We weren't too strong in Quali, but our race pace looked pretty strong.
"I had a great battle with Felipe (Drugovich) at one point and we were side-by-side for a couple of corners, but I managed to stick it out in front. The car felt good, and I just took it to the chequered flag.
"Congratulations to Oscar (Piastri), I didn't think that I would see him on the podium from 10th, but a big well done to him, he has dominated the whole year," Jehan told the Formula 2 website.
Also Read : Franco Cami to debut for Hero MotoSports at Dakar Rally
News Source : PTI
Franco Cami to debut for Hero MotoSports at Dakar Rally
New Delhi, Dec 9 (Motor Sports news) Hero MotoSports Team Rally on Thursday named its riders for Dakar Rally 2022 with Joaquim Rodrigues paired-up with Franco Cami.
Both riders have achieved podium finishes in the Cross-Country Rallies Championship this season -- at the Silk Way Rally and Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge respectively -- with Joaquim finishing the Championship in the fourth position.
This will also be the sixth Dakar for Rodrigues, who has been with the team since its inception in 2016. It will be the first for Franco in Hero MotoSports colors, following his signing in April 2021.
However, Franco is no stranger to the Dakar, having participated in the Rally on five previous occasions.
The duo of Joaquim and Franco will take on the challenges of the Dakar in Saudi Arabia astride the Hero 450 Rally bike, which now offers "improved top speed and acceleration".
"Hero MotoSports Team Rally wishes a speedy recovery to the other team pilots - Sebastian Buhler, winner of the Hungarian Baja 2021, who was on the roster for the Dakar 2022 but had to withdraw due to an injury at the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge...
"...and Indian ace CS Santosh, who is recovering from the crash he suffered in the 2021 edition of the Dakar Rally," said the team in a statement.
Dakar 2022, the third consecutive edition in Saudi Arabia, will run for 12 stages over 14 days. The rally kicks-off on January 1 with a short Prologue stage, and then travels through various cities across the length and breadth of Saudi Arabia.
A rest day in the capital city of Jeddah on January 8 is the only respite that the competitors will have on a route that covers 3400 kms of racing distance. Covering a total of 8000 kms, including the liaison stages, the competitors will return to Jeddah for the podium finish on January 14.
A total of 430 vehicles are expected to hit the start line, with 149 of them in the motorcycles category.
Also Read : National car racing championship set to resume after break
News Source : PTI
Formula 1 team Mercedes and Kingspan mutually end controversial deal
(Motorsport) In light of heavy criticism, Formula 1 team Mercedes and Kingspan have mutually agreed to end their partnership after the deal was announced last week. Kingspan is the firm that made some of the insulation used on Grenfell Tower which caught fire in 2017 and killed 72 people. The Kingspan logo appeared in both Hamilton and Bottas’ cars at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix for the first and last time with the partnership ending with immediate effect following the announcement.
In a statement released by Mercedes, they said “The Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team and Kingspan today announced that they have mutually agreed to end their partnership. Announced last week, the new partnership included Kingspan chairing a new Sustainability Working Group for the team, and aimed to deliver carbon reductions through their leading-edge environmentally sustainable solutions for the team's future campus. However, both parties have subsequently concluded that it is not appropriate for the partnership to move forward at the current point in time, notwithstanding its intended positive impact, and we have therefore agreed that it will be discontinued with immediate effect."
The deal received widespread condemnation after it was announced last week, particularly from the Grenfell Group that represents the survivors and bereaved families who demanded that the agreement be severed and that it was “truly shocking”. Grenfell United sent a letter to Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff who apologized for "additional hurt that this announcement has caused" and accepted the offer to meet with the group. The sponsorship deal was also criticised by Michael Grove, secretary of state for levelling up, housing and communities who also wrote a letter to Wolff, urging him to reconsider the deal and warning that failure to do so might prompt the British government to change advertising rules for motorsport.
Kingspan also released a statement that said “"We are deeply aware of the sensitivities raised in recent days, and so we have jointly agreed that it's not appropriate to move forward at the current point in time. Much has been written about this over the past few days, and out of consideration for our customers and all the great people who work for us, we believe we must respond. We had no role in the Grenfell Tower refurbishment. However, our Kingspan Insulation UK business is a core participant in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry and fully supports the Inquiry's important work.
"We understand that this is a complex topic, but there are some important facts that we would like to explain: 1. We did not make the exterior cladding on Grenfell Tower. The Inquiry itself has stated that "the principal reason" for rapid fire spread on Grenfell was the Polyethylene cored ACM cladding used on the exterior of the building. No facade system using this PE ACM cladding, regardless of the insulation used, would have passed the necessary large-scale system fire test. Our K15 insulation board was misused in this unsafe and non-compliant system.
"2. We did not supply or recommend K15 to Grenfell Tower. K15 made up approximately 5% of the insulation layer of the façade system. It was substituted without our knowledge. 3. We have completed new tests which support the previous fire safety claims of the three historical K15 large-scale system tests which came into question during the Inquiry process. We condemn in the strongest possible terms the wholly unacceptable historical conduct and emails which emerged throughout the course of the Inquiry discovery process. We have sincerely apologised for these actions by a small group of employees at our Kingspan Insulation UK business. This in no way reflects Kingspan's culture or values."
Mercedes are currently favourites for the Constructors Championship heading into the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi with a 28 point lead over second place Red Bull. The Drivers Championship is a lot closer with both Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton level on points with 369.5 and the winner at the Yas Marina Circuit will be crowned champion.
Kimi Raikkonen set to retire from Formula 1 after the Abu Dhabi GP, closing the curtains on a 20 year long career
(Motorsport) While the headlines for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix are largely dominated by the title race between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, former world champion Kimi Raikkonen will be making his final appearance in an F1 car at the Yas Marina Circuit for his 349th race after a 20 year long career. The Finnish racing driver made his debut at the 2001 Australian Grand Prix for Sauber and the 42 year old is looking forward to a life away from Formula 1 after the season concludes.
Speaking ahead of his final race, Raikkonen said “Obviously I have family, I have reasons to be home, you know? Obviously the end is completely different in many ways: it’s different circumstances… I’m at a different point in my life also. But [F1 has] never been the main thing in my life and it might be different to many others, you know? My life outside has always been the most important thing for me and yes, it has taken most of the time in the last 20 years, but it hasn’t been the most, let’s say, important thing, in many ways. Yes I enjoy racing and this otherwise I wouldn’t have done it for so long but I appreciate my own time much more. Like, it’s more important for me than anything else."
Raikkonen will retire as the most experienced Formula 1 driver of all time with 21 race wins, a World Championship crown and more than 18,000 laps under his belt. He has previously retired from the sport in 2009 to pursue a career in NASCAR and the World Rally Championship but the Iceman has claimed that he will not return to the grid this time around. The Finnish driver came to the spotlight after leaving Sauber for McLaren in 2002 and finished runner-up twice, behind Michael Schumacher in 2003 and Fernando Alonso in 2005.
For Raikkonen, replacing Schumacher at Ferrari in 2007 will always be the highlight of his career and last won a Grand Prix in the United States in 2018 while racing for Ferrari in his second stint with the team. He refers to Michael Schumacher as his toughest opponent in his career, claiming "I raced against him many years, we had a lot of good fights”. Speaking about his career, Raikkonen said “I had a good run and I wouldn’t change a single thing. Even if it would mean more wins and more championships, I’m happy with what I achieved and I cannot complain, really. I’m happy how I did it, because I did it many, many ways on my own terms."
When asked about the possibility of a future role in Formula 1, the Finn said “I’d rather be president of Finland than the president of F1. F1 is too political. Look at what we did in Saudi Arabia. What talks is money.” His Ferrari team mate Sebastian Vettel paid tribute to Raikkonen by saying “Time goes one way, and at some point, time comes for him, and at some point, time will come for me and at some point even time will come for Lando, even though that's a long way to go. It's probably the most natural thing. Will he be missed? Yes. I think he was a true character, and I enjoyed the time I had with him as a teammate.
"But to be fair, I got to know him already before, and he's probably one of the very few drivers I've met from day one until today that hasn't changed in the sense that he has been very, very open, welcoming me as a young kid when I entered F1, and at that point he was probably the most established Formula 1 driver. Great respect. I don't think you can have an argument or a problem with Kimi. If you do, then the problem is not him, the problem is you. He's a great person, and I'm sure we'll stay in touch. I wish him all the best and I will miss the silence."
Harith Noah to represent India at Dakar 2022
Bengaluru, Dec 8 (Motor Sports news) TVS Racing team's Harith Noah is all set to represent India at the Dakar 2022, the toughest cross country rally in the world, scheduled to be held in Saudi Arabia from January 1 to 14.
Noah, who is currently training in Spain to fine-tune his navigation skills after training with Sherco star Michael Metge in France, will be leaving for Jeddah about a week before the event.
Noah, who finished his maiden Dakar in the experience class in 2020, became the fourth rider from India to take part in prestigious rally after CS Santosh, Ashish Roarane and Aravind KP.
He excelled with a stunning effort in 2021 to become the first top-20 rider representing India. This year will be his third at the Dakar.
"I am in the best shape physically after over 6 months of training and riding at the beach in my hometown in Kerala post last Dakar. Since September, I have been in Europe to focus more on roadbooks and navigation training. Two weeks ago, the team went to Morocco again as it is a good place to train with the long roadbooks similar to the Dakar," the five-time National champion in Supercross said in a statement.
"The bike is brand new and I will be riding a nimble, lighter machine that is easier to ride and much more comfortable in technical sections. Navigation is another area I am focusing on and the goal is to finish the rally,'' said Noah, a Sports Science graduate.
The roll call for the 44th edition of the Dakar would be in Jeddah, but things will only get serious in Ha'il.
Riyadh, the capital, will host the rest day, following which the field will head back towards Jeddah for the finale.
The Dakar this year will be part of the FIA and FIM World Rally Championships for cross-country rallying.
The prologue will begin at Jeddah on January 1 with a trek to Ha'il, located at the crossroads of the historical trade routes of Saudi Arabia. A 19-km mini-special will spice up the long transfer.
Also Read : A battle for the ages: How Verstappen and Hamilton made Formula 1 exciting again
News Source : PTI
A battle for the ages: How Verstappen and Hamilton made Formula 1 exciting again
(Motorsport) Formula 1 has always been at its best when two world class drivers have fought hard and fast for the coveted Drivers Championship. For veteran fans, the rivalries of Alain Prost vs Ayrton Senna, Nigel Mansell vs Nelson Piquet, Michael Schumacher vs Mika Hakkinen and Lewis Hamilton vs Nico Rosberg will be remembered for years to come as reasons why they fell in love with the sport and for the younger generation who are growing up in the Hamilton-Verstappen era, it is a similar feeling that makes Formula 1 such a thrill to watch.
For even the most hardcore fans, the Mercedes dominance in the last few years has been a dull affair. After all, what sort of race would be exciting if only one team and driver always win? It became a period of the best of the rest while the Silver Arrows and Hamilton began an era of dominance that is scarcely seen in the sport. The reason why the 2021 season has been such a breath of fresh air is that Lewis Hamilton has finally found a formidable competitor in Max Verstappen to inject some excitement, rivalry, heated battles and a sense of anticipation to the sport. Even though the signs have pointed towards a rivalry of sorts, few would have predicted that the Championship would go right down to the wire with both drivers on equal points with a winner taking all situation in the final race of the season.
This season has had it all, plenty of controversies, extraordinary skills under pressure, unpredictable results and personal rivalries. Both drivers deserve to win the championship, unfortunately only one can and while Verstappen has had the slightly better season, Lewis Hamilton has the experience and momentum to get the desired result in Abu Dhabi. Both of them are at different stages in their careers, one is young and hungry to win his maiden World Championship while the other is attempting to win a record eighth, thereby becoming the only driver in Formula 1 history to achieve the feat. It’s fair to say that everyone knew that only Max Verstappen had the potential to threaten Mercedes’ and Hamilton’s dominance but the Dutchman never really had the tools at his disposal until this season to attempt a credible title challenge. However, the 24 year old is at the risk of sacrificing all his hard work from the season so far if he fails to keep his composure at the Yas Marina Circuit.
There have been plenty of wheel-to-wheel clashes between the two drivers this season with a consistent theme of Verstappen being the aggressor more often than not. The pair collided at Silverstone, Monza (resulting in a grid penalty for Verstappen) and most recently in last week’s Saudi Arabia GP. These incidents have somewhat tarnished what has otherwise been a rivalry that has really showcased the brilliance of the two racing drivers. The various incidents throughout the season have undoubtedly deteriorated the relationship between the pair with mind games and press conference remarks a common occurrence. The rivalry has trickled down to their team bosses as well with Christian Horner and Toto Wolff regularly clashing against each other and criticizing the star driver from the other teams. In an interview recently, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said “There is no relationship, there's a competition” referring to Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff.
All things considered, all eyes will be at the Yas Marina Circuit where Verstappen and Hamilton race against each other for the Drivers Championship. This season has been one of unexpected results with the French GP where Mercedes were considered favorites was won by Red Bull while Mercedes outperformed their rivals at the Hungarian GP where Red Bull have traditionally excelled. The United States GP has been a happy hunting ground for Mercedes over the years but it was Max Verstappen and Red Bull who won it this time around, so it’s impossible to predict the overall outcome of the Abu Dhabi GP. One can only hope for a clean and fair race with two of the greatest Formula 1 drivers battling it out for the ultimate glory.
Muddappa sets national drag record in 600cc unrestricted open bike event
Pune, Dec 7 (Motor Sports news) Multiple National Drag Racing champion Hemanth Muddappa of Mantra Racing added another feather to his cap with a national record in the 600cc unrestricted open foreign bikes category of the mega FMSCI licensed drag event at the Amby Valley airstrip at Lonavala on Tuesday.
The ninth edition of The Valley Run (TVR) was organised for two-wheelers and four-wheelers by Elite Inc that attracted over 500 entries.
The 31-year-old from Coorg and based in Bengaluru bettered the earlier national record held by Andhra Pradesh's Satyanarayan Raju, who timed 9.522 seconds last year at the same event and track.
Mumbai's Atharva Achrekar, on a Kawasaki zx10R, won the 851 to 1050cc in 10.083 seconds, beating Avinash Y, who clocked 10.155s. Iqbal Sheikh won the third position in a time of 10.182s in a grid of 34 bikes.
In the 1050cc to 1650cc event, Muddappa took his second gold, clocking 9.684s to become the only rider to dip under 10-second mark.
He beat Vignesh Purushotham, who timed 10.035s, and Hafiz Ulla Khan (10.235s). All three from Bengaluru swept the top three places on a Hayabusa in a grid of 17 bikes.
Also Read : Lewis Hamilton wins Saudi Arabia GP to go level on points with Verstappen ahead of final showdown in Abu Dhabi
News Source : PTI
Lewis Hamilton wins Saudi Arabia GP to go level on points with Verstappen ahead of final showdown in Abu Dhabi
(Motorsport) Few would have predicted at the start of the season that the 2021 Formula 1 season would go right down to the wire with the result in the final race determining who will be crowned the World Champion. Lewis Hamilton won a chaotic Saudi Arabia GP which included two red flags, multiple crashes and a collision between the title challengers who are now level on points (369.5) heading into the Abu Dhabi GP at the Yas Marina Circuit.
The two rivals were neck and neck throughout the race but the controversial moment was when Hamilton made contact with Verstappen’s Red Bull after the Dutchman slowed down to let Hamilton past following a questionable defence in the earlier lap (lap 37). Instead of going past Verstappen, the brake was so sudden that Hamilton’s Mercedes ran into the back of the Red Bull, resulting in a 10 second penalty by the stewards. The collision resulted in a damaged front wing for Hamilton who called Verstappen “dangerous” and “crazy” as things became heated up.
To make matters worse for the Dutchman, he was also given a five second penalty by the stewards for forcing Hamilton wide in turn 1 of lap 37 which further compounded the flaring tensions and the overall race result. In the post race interview, Hamilton said “I didn't get the information so it was very, very confusing, all of a sudden he started backing up and then moving. I was like 'is he playing some sort of crazy tactic?’ All of a sudden messages started to come through, but he hit the brakes so hard I nearly went up the back of him. For him, it doesn't matter if we both didn't finish."
The race started with Verstappen in third position with Hamilton and Bottas in first and second places respectively but Mick Schumacher’s crash in lap 10 resulted in a safety car which prompted both the Mercedes cars to go into the pits for a tyre change while Verstappen remained on the track. Red Bull and Verstappen then had the advantage when the yellow flag became a red flag which meant that the Dutchman could go into the pits without compromising on his position, a decision which angered Mercedes and Hamilton.
However, when the race restarted, Hamilton surged past Verstappen to but the Dutchman soon got the first position back, albeit illegally but a crash between Sergio Perez, George Russell and Nikita Mazepin resulted in a red flag and Red Bull agreed with Race Control to give back Hamilton and Esteban Ocon their positions after the restart. Having done so, Verstappen then overtook both Hamilton and Ocon again to regain first position, resulting in a battle between the two title contenders with 33 laps to go.
Through the duration of Verstappen’s lead, the Dutchman was helped by the Virtual Safety Cars to ensure the debris from various collisions was removed from the track after which the collision between Hamilton and Verstappen occurred. Despite the end plate of Hamilton’s front wing being broken, the seven time World Champion showed incredible pace and quickly overtook the Red Bull driver. Hampered by the time penalty and worn out tyres, Verstappen ended the Saudi Arabia GP 21.825 seconds behind Hamilton who also managed the fastest lap time. To add the cherry on top, Bottas overtook Ocon to take the final podium finish on an evening where Mercedes would be very happy with the result.
There is everything to race for at the final Grand Prix of the season at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi as either one of Hamilton or Verstappen will be crowned champion. Don’t miss out on the race from 6:30 pm IST onwards on Sunday, 12th December.
Lewis Hamilton fastest on the new Saudi street track so far, Verstappen fourth while Leclerc crashes in P2
(Motorsport news) The Jeddah Corniche Circuit is said to be the fastest Formula 1 track in history and it didn’t disappoint as Hamilton described it as “Rapid. Unbelievably quick, it really is incredibly fast”. The seven time World Champion was fastest on day one as the penultimate race weekend of the 2021 Formula 1 calendar draws closer in what has been one of the best championship battles in recent memory.
While the mathematical advantage lies with Verstappen who stands a good chance of winning the Drivers Championship if he wins the Saudi Arabian GP, the momentum lies with Hamilton and Mercedes with all indications pointing towards the championship going down the wire in Abu Dhabi next week. Hamilton topped both the sessions on Friday, getting his fastest timings on the medium tyre instead of the soft. Verstappen on the other hand finished fourth, behind Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas and Pierre Gasly’s AlphaTauri and 0.195s off the race leader. Verstappen’s team mate Sergio Perez finished a disappointing ninth in the other Red Bull.
Speaking after Friday practice, Lewis Hamilton said “The track is rapid. Unbelievably quick, it really is incredibly fast. A lot of grip as well. If you can get your rhythm, it's beautiful to drive. I'm generally happy. We've made some changes between sessions, I'm just unsure which one I want to stay with. It's definitely not in a bad place, but on a single lap they're [Red Bull] quite quick so we've got a bit of work to do."
Christian Horner, Red Bull boss said “You can see it's pretty tight. It's a challenging circuit, high speed with walls, and it's going to be who gets the most out of the tyres, the car, gets a clean lap. This is Max's type of circuit. He's certainly enjoying it."
The major talking point of the practice session was Charles Leclerc’s crash as the Monegasque driver lost control of his Ferrari through the high-speed turns 22 and 23 and slammed the barriers at 150mph, resulting in red flags and the car suffering big damage. Thankfully, Leclerc was unhurt but it remains to be seen the extent of the damage on his car and how it might impact qualification on Saturday.
Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon finished 5th and 6th respectively, ahead of Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz who was 7th while AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda finished eighth, posting his best time on the hard tyre. Leclerc finished 10th ahead of McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris and Ferrari would hope it remains that way for the team to finish above McLaren in third position for the Constructors Championship.
If not 2023, it will be very difficult after that: Jehan Daruvala on realising his Formula 1 dream
New Delhi, Dec 2 (Motor Sports news) Indian racer Jehan Daruvala feels 2022 could be the make or break year for his childhood dream of becoming a Formula 1 driver.
The 23-year-old from Mumbai is two rounds away from completing his second season in Formula 2, a stepping stone to Formula 1.
The Red Bull junior driver finished 12th in standings in his rookie season and is currently seventh after impressive outings in Monza and Sochi where he qualified on the front row.
He wants to do another season in Formula 2 next year to have a crack at Formula 1 in 2023 and for that, he is hoping to retain his seat in the Red Bull junior driver program.
Speaking to PTI, Jehan said he might have to look beyond Formula 1 if he doesn't reach that pinnacle in 2023.
"It's a hard situation to be in, but you know realistically if it's not 2023, it's very difficult after that.
"I've had two good weekends (in F2), so that will help me (in contention) in terms of being on the market for a good seat and sort of keeping my F2 seat for next year. I hope to get more clarity over that soon," said Jehan in an interaction arranged by broadcaster Eurosport.
He will be racing this weekend in Saudi Arabia after a two-month break. Rookie Oscar Piastri is leading the championship.
A driver is bound to attract more attention from the Formula 1 paddock if he does well in his first season in the feeder series, something current F2 graduates Charles Leclerc and George Russell were able to do.
Asked if a third season in Formula 2 can negatively impact his chances of reaching Formula 1, Jehan said: "I think honestly in Formula 2, there have been a few sensational rookies like Oscar, Charles, Lando (Norris), George but once you are in your second year or third year, you know the difference is a lot less than it is from your first year to a second year.
"You already have had a year of experience so it doesn't make too much difference if you're in your second or third year. If I do end up doing Formula 2 next season, it is again going to be a very hard competitive season," said Jehan who has secured four podiums so far in the season including a win at Monza.
His teammate at Carlin Racing, Dan Ticktum, will be competing in Formula E next season.
Jehan has not yet explored racing in other series.
"I have not really considered anything else apart from F2 for next year so that my focus remains on Formula 1, but if not, you know, just have a career in motorsport and earning a living there will be a priority," he said.
Talking about his second season in Formula 2, Jehan said he wanted to be more consistent considering it was only an eight-round affair this year.
"I started off well in Bahrain, had a couple of bad weekends in Monaco and Silverstone, practically didn't score in any of them. And I think those two weekends were big setbacks.
"Also, I wasn't qualifying as well as I wanted to in the first half of the season so it was a big concern in terms of not being as quick as I would have wanted to.
"I always knew that I had the potential and when I do a good lap it's normally always good enough to be in the top four or five.
"So, it was good to turn that form around. Monza and Sochi, qualifying twice on the front row, or be actually on provisional pole both times was definitely a massive step forward for me," he added.
Also Read : Extreme E joins hands with Project Everyone to raise awareness of The UN's global sustainability goals
News Source : PTI
Extreme E joins hands with Project Everyone to raise awareness of The UN's global sustainability goals
(Motorsports news) Sport for purpose championship Extreme E has partnered with not-for-profit creative communications agency Project Everyone to raise awareness of The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), better known as the Global Goals.
Co-founded by filmmaker Richard Curtis to drive adoption of the 17 Global Goals, Project Everyone creates advocacy campaigns, content, programmes and events - narrating stories that help a number of sectors engage with the Goals and ensure more and more involvement from civil society, corporations, educators, philanthropists, activists and politicians.
As part of Extreme E’s commitment to raising awareness of the climate crisis, all nine teams will have the Global Goals logo on their cars in the Jurassic X Prix next month in Dorset, UK. The Global Goals logo is a wheel representing all 17 Goals, which are made to eliminate extreme poverty, to reduce inequalities, and to combat the threat of climate change by 2030.
Alejandro Agag, Founder and CEO of Extreme E, said: “We are delighted to be working together with Project Everyone, who share our view that we must take impactful steps if we are to tackle the climate crisis. Having the Global Goals wheel on every all-electric ODYSSEY 21 for the Season 1 finale is significant and symbolic – we should all work together to deliver on these Global Goals to ensure we create a sustainable future for all.
“Our championship has shown that solutions are available and need to be implemented on a global scale if we are to have any chance of succeeding and saving the planet. By partnering with Project Everyone, we want to raise awareness even further and take bold action to address the urgency of climate change.”
Richard Curtis, film writer, director, UN SDG Advocate, and co-founder of Project Everyone, said: “The 17 Global Goals are the definitive to-do list for our planet and the people on it. Sport has a tremendous role to play in raising awareness and inspiring us all to action and I am so thrilled that the brilliant team at Extreme E is going to be working with the Goals to highlight the crucial changes that need to happen before 2030 to fix and save our world.”
The leaders of all 193 members of the United Nations agreed on the Goals on 25 September 2015, in a ceremony at the U.N headquarters in New York. Unlike previous UN Goals, which were intended to target action in developing countries, the SDGs are universal and apply to all countries equally.
Nevertheless, these 17 Goals are an ambitious roadmap to address poverty, inequality and climate change, and every single one of us has the power to make a difference. Extreme E is supporting many of them - for example, goal five, gender equality via its gender equal racing format, a world-first in motorsport. Plus, oal nine - industry, innovation and infrastructure - by showcasing new technologies that can help accelerate the shift to clean energy. Goals 14 and 15 - life below water and life on land - through its various Legacy Programmes that leave long-lasting positive impacts in the locations in which the series races, right through to goal 13 - climate action - one of the biggest driving forces behind the championship.
All 17 of the Goals are for everyone, everywhere just like Extreme E they reach all parts of the planet, from icecaps to islands, deserts and deep oceans. As we enter the uncharted territories of our planet’s future, the Goals provide the framework to address our biggest challenges, aligned with Extreme E’s motto to inspire people, communities and governments all over the globe to take action and start on our greatest journey yet.
Each Goal has a series of targets, giving all of us – from individuals and civil society to governments and businesses – a list that reminds us what we need to do, to achieve this world changing plan.
The annual Sustainable Development Goals Report provides an overview of the world’s implementation efforts to date, highlighting areas of progress and areas where more action needs to be taken to ensure no one is left behind.
Extreme E will showcase this partnership at its Season 1 finale in Dorset, UK from 18-19 December 2021.
Saudi Arabian GP: Formula 1’s penultimate race of the season set to be a high stakes battle between Verstappen and Hamilton
(Motorsport) The second last race of the 2021 Formula 1 season is set to take place in Saudi Arabia’s Corniche Circuit in what has been described as the fastest track in the history of the sport. A win at Jeddah for Max Verstappen would make him the World Champion for the first time in his career and the Dutchman along with Red Bull will hope to conclude their title pursuit this weekend.
However, the momentum is undoubtedly with Hamilton and Mercedes. The seven time World Champion won the last two races in Brazil and Qatar with the Corniche Circuit expected to favor Mercedes’ pace. The track is the newest street circuit in the Formula 1 calendar and with an average speed of 160 mph, it is only behind Monza as the fastest on the whole calendar. The track is also the second longest in Formula 1 behind Spa with high speed turns, little run-off and tight walls.
The race is expected to be action packed with three DRS zones to encourage overtaking and despite the circuit having 27 corners, straight line speed will be an important factor in the outcome of the race, which is why Mercedes are expected to be favourites. Ross Brawn, F1 managing director of motorsports said “The design brings out the best of a modern street circuit but also has fast-paced free-flowing areas that will create fast speeds and overtaking opportunities”.
Despite Saudi Arabia hosting its first Formula 1 race, the Corniche Circuit is unlikely to be the venue for future Grand Prix’s beyond 2024 as a purpose built venue is being developed closer to the capital of Riyadh to ensure easy accessibility for both drivers and fans. As things stand, Max Verstappen is eight points ahead of Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and the Red Bull driver will secure the World Championship in the following scenarios:
1) If he wins the race with the fastest lap point and Hamilton finishes below 5th place
2) If he wins the race without the fastest lap point and Hamilton finishes below 6th
3) If he finishes second with the fastest lap point and Hamilton finishes below 9th
4) If he is second and Hamilton does not get any points
In a realistic scenario, both drivers are expected to finish first and second respectively with their team ordering the second drivers to aid them in achieving a positive result. Both the drivers are noticeably faster than their peers and a victory for Verstappen with Hamilton in second place would make him a very likely candidate to seal the Drivers Championship. In terms of pure performance, Mercedes has the edge over Red Bull with the Silver Arrows 0.248secs faster in qualifying. However, being faster on the straights does not necessarily equate to being faster over a lap and many factors apart from pure speed are integral in determining the final result.
There is also controversy surrounding the race as Red Bull have raised questions about Mercedes’ rear wing and whether it complies with Formula 1 regulations. They believe that the main plane flexes backwards, thereby reducing drag and increasing straight line speed. Verstappen has claimed that the team have video evidence of the wing flexing which would prove how Hamilton managed to climb up the grid at the Brazil Grand Prix. Mercedes have denied these claims and their rear wing passed the rigidity test comfortably before the Qatar Grand Prix.
Red Bull are experiencing their own rear wing issues with the DRS flap oscillating when it’s open and the team have struggled to repair it. The issue was resolved in Qatar by replacing it with a high downforce wing which is now the ‘preferred option’ as per team boss Christian Horner but the races in Saudi and Abu Dhabi are expected to suit a medium downforce wing and failure to repair the issue might result in some serious disadvantage for Red Bull and Verstappen.
The race will take place on Sunday, 5th December from 11 pm IST onwards.
Formula 1 renews deal with Spanish Grand Prix until 2026
(Motorsport) The Spanish Grand Prix held at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya will remain in the Formula 1 calendar for the foreseeable future after a deal was agreed until 2026. The race track will also be upgraded along with the facilities in time for next year’s Grand Prix which will be held on 22nd May as a part of the deal.
F1 President and CEO Stefano Domenicali said: “We are delighted to announce this deal with Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. I want to thank the promoter and the authorities for their enthusiasm and commitment to keeping Formula 1 in Barcelona, with improvements that will be made to the track and facilities, and continuing our long history together. The teams and drivers always look forward to racing at the circuit and visiting Barcelona, and the Spanish fans will continue to see their national heroes, Fernando Alonso and Carlos Sainz up close.”
The Spanish GP will be the sixth race in the 23-Grand Prix Formula 1 calendar and the new contract contains a commitment that the track will become “a model and world benchmark of sustainability” as F1 gears towards a net-zero carbon goal by 2030. MotoGP has also renewed it’s agreement with the circuit until 2026 and at least two or more F1 events will be held at the venue between 2023-2026. Earlier this year, the Spanish Grand Prix saw Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton finish first ahead of rival Max Verstappen
Roger Torrent, the Catalan minister of business and labour and Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya President said: “We welcome the renewal of this contract, which includes a mutual commitment clause to help us turn Circuit Barcelona-Catalunya into a model and world benchmark of sustainability applied to this type of facilities. We want the circuit to become an exponent of the green transformation and the adaptation of infrastructures to the demands of the climate emergency.”
The track has been a regular feature in the Formula 1 calendar since it opened in 1991 but the outdated facilities needed improving in order to ensure that it remains as a go-to venue, especially with new tracks in contention at the likes of Miami, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Apart from the sport, the circuit is also extensively used for testing and the Catalan government has previously said that hosting a race at the venue is worth €200million (£169million) to the local economy. Therefore a deal with Formula 1 would not only ensure the obligations to improve its facilities will be met but also provide a financial boost for the local economy.
Lewis Hamilton wins Qatar GP and reduces Verstappen’s lead to eight points
(Motorsport) Having already won the Brazilian GP, seven time World Champion Lewis Hamilton also secured first place at the inaugural Qatar GP at the Losail International Circuit, thereby ensuring that the title race is well and truly alive by reducing the points gap from Verstappen to eight. The British racing driver had a dominant weekend throughout and his victory was all but guaranteed when Verstappen incurred a five place grid penalty for a yellow flag infringement during qualifications. With just two races to go in Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi, the title race can go right down to the wire but the momentum is with Hamilton who has the experience and form to become the first driver to win eight World Championships, breaking Michael Schumacher’s record.
Despite incurring a five place grid penalty less than two hours before lights out, Max Verstappen had a damage control strategy and recovered his grid position of 2nd place in the first five laps. However, Lewis Hamilton was simply too fast and efficient for the Dutchman who was forced to settle for the fastest lap point. Both Red Bull and Verstappen will be extremely concerned with such a dramatic change in fortunes as they were 21 points ahead of Hamilton and Mercedes in the Drivers Standings eight days ago and that lead has been reduced to eight points at such a crucial juncture. They will look to make amends at the Saudi GP on December 5th and Abu Dhabi GP on December 12th as 52 points are still up for grabs.
The battle was not just fought for the first two positions in Qatar as the final position was being contested by the second cars of Mercedes, Red Bull and also surprisingly Alonso’s Alpine. Bottas had a bad start to his race, having already incurred a three place grid penalty for not slowing down on yellow during Q3 of qualification and despite making up the grid positions, the Finn’s Mercedes was then subjected to a punctured tyre and was eventually forced to retire due to car damage, a costly DNF for Mercedes as they hope to retain the Constructors Championship.
Red Bull’s Sergio Perez adopted a two-stop strategy but was simply out of laps in the end to catch up with Alonso who adopted a one-stop strategy. The Spaniard had a bit of luck on his side as he originally qualified in 5th position but penalties to Verstappen and Bottas meant he began the race in third position and was briefly second after overtaking Pierre Gasly. This was Alonso’s 98th podium finish, his first since 2014 when he raced for Ferrari and the 40 year old had much to celebrate about as his team mate Esteban Ocon finished 5th, giving Alpine a major boost in the Constructors Standings, especially considering that Alpha Tauri failed to score any points.
Formula 1’s next race will be held in Saudi Arabia at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit on Sunday, 5th December at 11 pm IST.
Tensions rise with three races to go starting with Qatar’s inaugural Formula 1 Grand Prix
(Motorsport) On the outskirts of Doha, the Losail International Circuit will be the venue for a Formula 1 weekend for the first time ever as the 2021 season concludes in the Middle East over the next four weeks. The title race became much more interesting at the Sao Paulo GP last week when Lewis Hamilton finished first despite being disqualified in the qualification and incurring a five place grid penalty for an engine change.
The gap between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton has been reduced to 14 points but the real gap was there for all to see in Brazil as the seven time World Champion finished over 10 seconds faster than the Dutch racing driver, an indication of what’s to come in Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi. Things are looking even better for Mercedes in the Constructors Championship as the Silver Arrows are 11 points ahead of Red Bull after the events in Brazil and there is definitely tension between the two camps in one of the closest title races in the last few years.
Despite there being no possibility of the championship being won in Qatar, there are many points up for grab, 25 to be exact for a race win and 1 point for the fastest lap which means that if Verstappen wins the Qatar GP, the Dutchman can then afford to finish second in the final two races and still win the World Championship for the first time in his career. However, both Red Bull and Verstappen will undoubtedly be wary of Mercedes’ pace at the 5.4 km Losail International Circuit which is regarded as a fast and flowing track with medium and high-speed corners.
Heading into the weekend, Verstappen said “We still have a good points lead, it was damage limitation on a weekend where it was a bit difficult for us, but I'm confident we will bounce back. It [the title race] has been like this the whole year. It went up, came down, went behind, I'm back in front, so a lot of things can still happen." In other rivalries on the grid, Ferrari are currently in third place at the Constructors Standings with 287.5 points while McLaren have 256 points. The Italian team will hope that both Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz outperform Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo in Qatar to ensure the most successful team in F1 history finish higher than their British counterparts this season.
Indian archers confirm three medals, face 'nemesis' Korea in all finals
Dhaka, Nov 16 (Archery news) India entered the finals of the men, women and mixed team events of the Asian Archery Championships on Tuesday, assuring the nation of at least three medals in continental showpiece here.
India also remained in the hunt for three bronze medals in the compound men, women and recurve mixed team events after losing their respective semifinal matches.
Top seed Korea, who has been their perennial nemesis in almost every international competition, will once again stand in India's gold medal way in all the three events.
The archery heavyweight nation, Korea, are in line for a clean sweep at the continental showpiece.
India had on Monday kept themselves in the hunt for two medals in the individual compound section, with one being assured.
Making amend for their below-par show in the individual section on Monday, the recurve archers stepped it up in the team events when the second-seeded men and women teams secured contrasting semifinal wins to confirm two medals.
Ankita Bhakat, Madhu Vedwan and Ridhi secured an easy 6-0 (51-48, 56-50, 53-50) win over Vietnam in the women's team semifinal. In a small six-team field, the second seeded India got a bye into the last-four round.
Third seed Bangladesh, on the other hand, gave Kapil, Pravin Jadhav and Parth Salunkhe a stiff challenge in the men's recurve team semifinal when the local favourites raced to a 3-1 lead.
But the Indian trio forced a tie-breaker making it 4-4 (53-53, 53-56, 56-56, 56-55) before sealing a final berth in a thrilling shoot-off which also went to a tie.
Both the teams shot 10, 9 and 8 but the Indians were declared winner with their 10 being closest to the centre.
Having got a bye into the quarters, second seed India started off beating Saudi Arabian 6-0 in the recurve men's team event.
India advanced into their third final in the compound mixed pair section where the duo of Rishabh Yadav and Jyothi Surekha Vennam made full use of the small six-team field to advance with an easy 156-154 win over Kazakhstan.
Seeded second, the Indian compound mixed team got a bye into the semifinal.
Bangladesh went on to avenge their recurve men's team semifinal defeat by winning their recurve mixed pair semifinal to book a summit clash with top-seed Korea.
Kapil and Ankita started off on a brilliant note shooting four perfect arrows but they slipped thereafter as Bangladesh backed by the local support made it 4-4 (40-37, 36-37, 36-38, 37-36).
In the shoot-off, the Bangladeshi duo of Mohammad Hakim Ahmed Rubel and Diya Siddique edged out the Indians 19-20 landing both the arrows in the central ring.
Yadav, Abhishek Verma and Aman Saini narrowly missed out on a final berth in the compound men's team event with a shocking one-point loss to Kazakhstan.
The Indian trio, who led by two points at the halfway mark, cracked under pressure and shot inconsistently at the back end to go down 229-230 to Sergey Khristich, Andrey Tyutyun and Akbarali Karabayev.
India will face local favourites Bangladesh in the bronze medal clash of the compound men's team event.
India also lost in the semifinals of the compound women's team event as they were let down by inexperience and failed to take advantage of the small field of six teams.
Having got a bye into the semifinals, second seed India suffered a 227-220 defeat at the hands of Iran and will will now face Kazakhstan in the bronze medal play-off.
Jyothi and her teenaged teammates Priya Gurjar and Parneet Kaur were no match for their rivals and managed just two 10s in the first end.
The Iranian team of Geesa Bybordy, Raheleh Farsi and Kosar Khoshnoudikia, on the other hand, shot 11 perfect 10s from the first 12 arrows to jump to a seven-point lead before sealing the issue by the same margin.
On Monday, former Asian Games gold medalist Verma set up a semifinal clash against uncapped Mohit Deshwal in the compound individual section to confirm his first medal.
World Championships triple silver medallist Jyothi has also made the semifinal in the compound section to be the lone Indian in fray in the women's individual section.
Also Read : Debutant Mohit stuns Korean top seed, 3 compound archers make semis
News Source : PTI
Lewis Hamilton makes epic comeback at Sao Paulo GP to reduce Verstappen’s title lead to 14 points
(Motorsport) With only three races remaining in the 2021 Formula 1 season, the rivalry between seven time World Champion Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen is more heated than ever before. The British racing driver was at a major disadvantage ahead of Sunday’s race in Brazil, starting from the 10th position due to an engine penalty but showed exactly why he is one of the greatest Formula 1 drivers of all time after finishing first in an epic comeback.
Hamilton had a notably faster car throughout the weekend, largely due to the engine change and it showed as he raced through his competitors in the opening laps while Verstappen went past Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate Bottas, who was in pole position after the Sprint race at the start of the race. After that, it was largely a chase by Hamilton, looking to finish in first position at the Interlagos while Verstappen desperately tried to defend his championship lead to ensure another Formula 1 victory.
A controversial moment occurred in lap 48 when Verstappen made a questionable move into turn 4 to deny Hamilton a chance to overtake the Dutch racing driver but the stewards deemed it a legal move which angered the Mercedes camp. However, Hamilton’s patience finally paid off 11 laps later when his car finally went past Verstappen’s Red Bull to reduce the deficit for the Drivers Championship to just 14 points with only three races to go in Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi.
Speaking after the race, Hamilton said “Coming into this weekend I never ever thought we would be able to close the gap like we had today. Then these things that just kept going against us but it really shows for everyone, never give up. Never, ever stop fighting and that's how I've really approached this weekend.” The British racing driver had failed to win any of his last four races and this was only the 2nd of his 101 Formula 1 victories from a position lower than sixth.
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz finished fifth and sixth respectively while Lance Stroll and Yuki Tsunoda collided early. McLaren had a disappointing day overall as Lando Norris had a puncture in the first lap and finished in a disappointing 10th place while Daniel Ricciardo was forced to retire in what was a major blow in McLaren’s fight against Ferrari for third place in the Constructors Championship.
Tvesa rises to T-17 in individual standings at Aramco Team Series
KAEC (Saudi Arabia), Nov 12 (Golf News) Indian golfer Tvesa Malik produced a superb 5-under 67 with five birdies and no bogeys on the second day to rise to T-17 in the individual standings at the Aramco Team Series here.
Diksha Dagar, who had a good first round, dropped down with a 1-over 73 and was T-33.
However, Diksha’s team led by Major winner Georgia Hall totalled 15-under after their 19-under on first day for a total of 34-under, which placed them third behind Team Manon De Roey (37-under) and Team Stephanie Kyriacou (35-under). Tvesa's Team Malik put up a combined score of 14-under in the second round and the total rose to 21-under.
Team De Roey produced an excellent second day by carding a round of 20-under-par to move to the top.
From the morning starters, it was Team Kyriacou who posted the best round of the day with -22, which is also the best team round of any Aramco Team Series event in 2021, to be in second place with total of 35-under-par.
Team Georgia Hall, who led overnight, backed up their first round with a second round of 15-under-par to move to 34-under overall and be in third place just three shots behind the leaders.
Individually, Major winner Hall is only two shots off the front and produced a round of 68 (-4) to be 11-under-par for the tournament. Leading the individual competition is Germany’s Olivia Cowan, who was the co-leader alongside English star Hall overnight.
Also Read : Shiv Kapur, Abhijit Singh Chadha share round one lead
News Source : PTI
Tvesa finishes T-9, aims for strong end to season
KAEC (Saudi Arabia), Nov 9 (Golf News) Indian golfer Tvesa Malik carded a final round 68 to finish a creditable tied ninth, her second top-10 outing in less than four months, at the Aramco Saudi Ladies International here.
The Indian added 68 to her earlier rounds of 74-60-67 to finish 10-under 278.
Tvesa, who had four Top-10s in the first nine events of the season, slowed down a bit after that, though she was T-11 at Swiss Ladies and T-12 at Open de France and T-19 in Dubai. She had finished runner-up at Gant Ladies Open in July.
The latest Top-10 will help her aim for a strong finish in the final two events of the LET season.
Aditi Ashok closed the week with 68 and was 9-under 279 and T-13, while Diksha Dagar had missed the cut.
New Zealand’s Lydia Ko fired a final round of 65 to triumph by five shots.
Ko, who is seventh in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings, began the day on 16-under-par and started well with a birdie on the first. She totalled 23-under.
Tvesa had an action-packed final round with eight birdies, but her aggressive play also led to four bogeys.
Aditi was 5-under through 10 and then dropped just one bogey but had no more birdies.
The two-time Major winner, Ko, continued her fine form with birdies at five and seven before she sank an eagle putt on the par-five ninth to make the turn in 5-under 31.
Another birdie on the 10th gave Ko a six-shot lead and she rolled in her final birdie on the 13th to post a winning total of 23-under-par.
Thailand’s Atthaya Thitikul had another successful week on the Tour with a second-place finish after a final round of 66 (-6).
Thitikul now has an unassailable lead in the 2021 Race to Costa del Sol with 3,264.46 points to her name. The Thai star became the youngest ever winner of the Race to Costa Del Sol.
Tied for third place on 13-under-par was Spaniard Carlota Ciganda and England’s Alice Hewson, who shot rounds of 68 and 69, respectively. Germany’s Olivia Cowan and Australia’s Whitney Hillier finished in a share of fifth place on 12-under-par after shooting rounds of 66 and 67, respectively.
Also Read : Lahiri recovers from early errors to stay inside Top-20 in Mexico
News Source : PTI
Mexico City GP: Max Verstappen extends Drivers Championship lead over Lewis Hamilton with a dominant victory
(Motorsport) Despite a Mercedes 1-2 at the end of qualification for the Mexico City GP at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, it was Red Bull who emerged victorious in what is a serious boost for Max Verstappen’s title aspirations as he extended his lead to 19 points over Lewis Hamilton with only four races to go. The Dutchman gained the pole position right from the start, slipstreaming past Bottas and Hamilton and there was no looking back from then on.
Such was the pace displayed by the Red Bull cars that Verstappen went past the chequered flag after being 16.5 seconds ahead of Hamilton who narrowly finished second with Sergio Perez following closely behind. Valtteri Bottas was spun in the first corner by McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo, resulting in the driver from Finland relegated to the back of the grid and to make matters worse, a slow second pit stop ensured Mercedes’ second car was completely out of the points contention. However, the Finnish driver did get the fastest lap of the race when a late pit stop by Mercedes ensured Bottas was on fresh tyres to take the bonus point away from Verstappen.
The point was crucial as it ensured Mercedes remained ahead of Red Bull in the Constructors Championship (by 1 point) but the pace displayed by both Verstappen and Perez means the Silver Arrows will be worried heading into the final four races in Brazil, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi. Red Bull’s celebrations were amplified by Sergio Perez finishing third in his home Grand Prix, becoming the first Mexican to finish on the podium since 1963. Pierre Gasly of AlphaTauri finished fourth, ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, thereby ensuring that Alpine are now fifth in the Constructors Championship.
McLaren’s Lando Norris, who was penalized to 18th place on the grid did reasonably well to finish 10th but only managed a point which proved to be good news for Ferrari who are now placed third in the Constructors Championship behind Mercedes and Red Bull. Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel finished 7th while Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo) and Fernando Alonso (Alpine) finished 8th and 9th respectively to improve on their grid positions.
Tvesa shoots bogey free 67, rises to ninth in Saudi International
KAEC (Saudi Arabia), Nov 7 (Golf news) Indian golfer Tvesa Malik strung together a superb bogey free round of 5-under 67 to enter the Top-10 of the Aramco Saudi Ladies International here.
Tvesa, who has been enduring a lean period over the last few weeks after a superb start to the season, is now 6-under following rounds of 74-69 on the first two days.
She is lying Tied-9th, as World number seven Lydia Ko produced a scorching round of 63 to claim a four-shot lead on the third day.
Aditi Ashok also turned in a steady 3-under 69, the same as the second day, and she was 5-under and Tied-12th but the third Indian in the field, Diksha Dagar (74-74) missed the cut.
Tvesa, whose best on the Ladies European Tour has been a runner-up finish at the Gant Ladies Open, birdied first, third, ninth, 13th and 18th. It was also a big relief for her that she took advantage of the Par-5s, as she birdied three of the four.
Aditi was also bogey free and birdied three times, on the ninth, 13th and 18th, which are all Par-5s.
Kiwi Ko equalled the course record at the Royal Greens Golf & Country Club to move to 16-under-par for the tournament.
Ko dropped a shot on the third hole but then made three consecutive birdies on holes four through six.
The 24-year-old added three birdies in a row around the turn, before rolling in three more on 13, 14 and 15 and a final birdie on the 17th.
Four shots behind Ko is 2021 Race to Costa del Sol leader Thai teenager Atthaya Thitikul, who carded her best round of the week so far with a 7-under 65.
The 18-year-old has a chance to seal the Race to Costa del Sol crown this week as she has a 1,446.69-point lead over Finland’s Sanna Nuutinen.
Overnight leader Alice Hewson had a difficult start to her third day. The Englishwoman shot a round of 71 to be six shots behind the leader and in third place.
Tvesa is tied for ninth with England’s Georgia Hall and Germany’s Olivia Cowan, who are all ten shots back from Ko in T9.
Also Read : Jaglan finishes 11th, Japan's Nakajima win Asia Pacific in a play-off\
News Source : PTI
Aditi, Tvesa make cut easily at Saudi International
KAEC (Saudi Arabia), Nov 6 (Golf news) India's Aditi Ashok and Tvesa Malik made the cut with improved cards in their second round at the Aramco Saudi Ladies International here.
Aditi shot 3-under 69 after looking set for a much better score, while Tvesa also carded 3-under 69.
Aditi at 2-under total was tied 16th, while Tvesa with 1-under aggregate was tied 27th. England's Alice Hewson rose to the top of the leaderboard with a second round 64.
Diksha Dagar (74-74), at 4-over, is likely to miss the cut, which is expected to fall at 3-over.
Aditi opened with a birdie and then, despite a bogey on second, she rolled three birdies in a row from fourth to sixth and added one more on eighth to turn in 3-under 33.
On the back nine she had birdies on 11th and 13th to get to 5-under for the day, before she dropped a double bogey on Par-3 16th.
Tvesa bogeyed Par-5 fourth, but three birdies in four holes between sixth and ninth saw her turn in 2-under. Two birdies, including one on 18th, against one bogey saw her finish at 69.
Hewson began the day at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club on one-under-par, and kicked off her round with a birdie on the first, despite dropping a shot on the third. Hewson rolled in birdies on six and ninth to make the turn in 34 (-2). Then she had six further birdies on the back nine to propel herself to the top of the leaderboard on 9-under-par.
Finland's Sanna Nuutinen carded a 7-under 65 to be at 8-under-par for the tournament. She is in second place, ahead of Lydia Ko (67-70), Caroline Hedwall (71-66) and Linnea Strom (68-69).
The top 10 is rounded off by five players who sit four shots behind leader Hewson on five-under-par including Spain's Carlota Ciganda.
Also Read : Bogey-free 66 takes Lahiri to fifth in Mexico
News Source : PTI
Modest start for Indian trio in Saudi; Ko and Ciganda lead
Kaec (Saudi Arabia), Nov 5 (Golf news) Indian golfers Aditi Ashok, Tvesa Malik and Diksha Dagar were off to modest starts as they turned in over-par cards in the opening round of the Aramco Saudi Ladies International here.
On a day when play was delayed by an hour due to morning fog at Royal Greens Golf and Country Club, Aditi (73) was the leading Indian at T-40th, while Tvesa and Diksha carded 2-over 74 each and were T-53rd.
Spain's Carlota Ciganda and New Zealand's Lydia Ko shared the lead after the opening day. Both shot 5-under 67 and led by one.
Aditi had two birdies against three bogeys, while Tvesa stumbled to four bogeys, but she did have an eagle on Par-5 13th.
Diksha had three bogeys against one birdie.
Ko, who began her round on the 10th tee, took advantage of the morning conditions carding six birdies and one bogey for a round of 67 (-5) to post the best score.
The two-time Major winner put on a fine display of iron play and it helped her ensure a solid start.
From the afternoon groups, it was three-time Solheim Cup winner Ciganda who climbed to the top of the standings.
Ciganda, a four-time winner on the LET, got off to a stunning start with six birdies and one bogey on her front nine to make the turn in 31.
With the wind picking up in her final nine holes, Ciganda dropped a shot on the 17th but birdied 18th to also finish on 5-under-par.
Three players are in a share of third place including Swedish duo Johanna Gustavsson and Linnea Strom, who both shot rounds of 68. The Swedish duo was joined by Switzerland's Kim Metraux.
Also Read : Indian amateurs dream of passage to Masters and Open from Asia Pacific
News Source : PTI
Setanta Sports to broadcast Extreme E in Ukraine
(Motorsport news) Radical off-road electric racing series, Extreme E, has today expanded its coverage in Ukraine with Setanta Sports
As part of the series’ growing expansion in Ukraine, Setanta Sports will show Extreme E’s full debut season, including the live race feed, highlights, preview, review and magazine shows on its Setanta Sports and Setanta Sports + channels, as well as on-demand on its digital outlet: https://www.setantaplay.tv.
With its population becoming more and more aware of the negative impact of air pollution caused by fossil fuel, Ukraine’s electric car market has shown major growth in recent years. In 2020, the number of electric cars on the roads grew by 375 per cent since 2018, and the country currently boasts the biggest number of public charging points compared to its nearest EU countries – with more than 8,500 (a 57 per cent increase compared to the same period two years ago).
Ali Russell, Chief Marketing Officer at Extreme E, said: “We are thrilled to be announcing Setanta Sports as our latest broadcaster. As a sport for purpose championship which is committed to amplifying the benefits of electrification, it is important to further the exposure of Extreme E in a market where EV sales are continuing to increase.
“There is an even greater purpose to our championship than the radical racing on show, with the need to reduce carbon emissions and combat the climate crisis, something which Ukraine has clearly recognised. As we expand our coverage in Ukraine by partnering with Setanta Sports, I am confident that there will be continued interest in the action-packed wheel-to-wheel racing delivered by Extreme E, as well as the wider storytelling around electrification, the environment and the series’ gender equal platform.”
Following the races in Saudi Arabia, Senegal and Greenland the series now goes on to visit Sardinia (23-24 October 2021). The locations that the championship visits are all, in some way, affected by environmental issues such as desertification, deforestation, melting ice caps, plastic pollution, and rising carbon emissions. By holding races in areas that are suffering at the hands of the environmental crisis, the aim is to raise viewers' awareness and interest in environmental issues.
Enel X Island X Prix course revealed by Extreme E
(Motorsport news) With Extreme E’s Enel X Island X Prix on the horizon - which has been supported by the Automobile Club Italia (ACI), Regione Sardegna and Esercito Italiano - the electric off-road series is excited to reveal a thrilling course that brings the nine teams and 18 world-class drivers to the shores of Sardinia.
The Mediterranean island will present one of the toughest challenges to date for both the drivers and the ODYSSEY 21. Coming off the back of a hot Italian summer, which saw a record high of 48.8 degrees centigrade in Sicily, the dry terrain will be baked hard compared with the relatively forgiving sands of Saudi Arabia and Senegal.
Inland from the coastal town of Porto Pino on Sardinia’s southwest coast, the undulating course sits within the Capo Teulada training area. The elevation change is not as dramatic as Saudi Arabia or Greenland, with a modest change of 28 metres, but it is the rutted terrain that will provide the toughest challenge.
The start of the course provides a unique opportunity for the drivers, with a multi-lane section offering very different approaches before the cars rejoin and resume battle. Doing their homework on the course will form a crucial part of team preparation, as the optimal combination of speed and distance could prove elusive.
Having rejoined the main course, the drivers will take a sharp left and traverse a more open, but bumpy plain. Another left followed by a right will take the all-electric SUVs over one of the small inland hills, before a fast, downhill section leads them into the first of two water splashes. Small trees and bushes form the scenery of the next section of the course, which the cars will carve their way through before dipping their Continental tyres in the water for a second time.
The course then winds its way through narrow turns and over more inland rises, before heading out to one of the fastest sections. This long, flat run down to a tight ninety-degree left turn will provide a good opportunity to exploit Hyperdrive.
More carefully navigated turns bring the drivers to the last section of the lap. A short, twisting portion is soon followed by a fast trip over the largest inland hill, where the ODYSSEY 21s are likely to go airborne. The drivers will then need to hit the brakes for a short but steep ten metre drop and another ninety-degree left-hander.
A fast and flat section leaves just a final right turn to go, finishing off the striking seven-kilometre course of the Enel X Island X Prix.
Championship Drivers Timo Scheider and Tamara Molinaro have been testing the course ahead of racing getting underway this weekend.
Timo Scheider said: “The challenge is really high this time. It will be totally different to what we’ve seen in the entire season. We have a solid rock base here and water splashes which are brand new to the challenges we’ve had so far this year, but for me the biggest challenges in Sardinia are the hidden bumps.
“We have some medium to high speed corners so weight transfer is very crucial, you have to be super sensible on the surface, the hidden bumps will create trouble I’m sure so for people watching it at home, it will be mega. The drivers will have to be very focused.”
Tamara Molinaro adds: “Like always in Extreme E, for sure it’s very difficult,” she said.
“It’s really tricky in some places with bumps and compressions that you can’t really spot from being in the car, so it will be an interesting weekend. We have a really hard compact gravel, which has a different grip level compared to the surfaces we’ve seen so far.”
Shakedown and Free Practice are set to start tomorrow with Qualifying on Saturday and Finals on Sunday. A number of global broadcasters such as Mediaset in Italy, ITV, BT Sport, Sky Sports and BBC digital channels in the UK, Eurosport throughout Europe, FOX Sports in the USA will be broadcasting the event.
Newcastle United part ways with head coach Steve Bruce
(Football news) A statement released by Newcastle United has confirmed that the Premier League club has parted ways with manager Steve Bruce by mutual consent, with talks of a potential replacement on the cards ever since the Saudi Arabian-backed consortium, led by the Public Investment Fund (PIF) completed their £305m takeover.
Steve Bruce said “I am grateful to everyone connected with Newcastle United for the opportunity to manage this unique football club. I would like to thank my coaching team, the players and the support staff in particular for all their hard work. There have been highs and lows, but they have given everything even in difficult moments and should be proud of their efforts. This is a club with incredible support, and I hope the new owners can take it forward to where we all want it to be. I wish everyone the very best of luck for the rest of this season and beyond."
Bruce has led Newcastle for more than two years in charge, finishing 13th and 12th respectively in the Premier League and reaching quarter-finals of the FA Cup and Carabao Cup. However, results this season have not gone as expected with the club currently languishing in 19th position with only three points, one ahead of Norwich City and having won no games in eight matches. Bruce’s last match in charge was his 1000th in his managerial career, a 3-2 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur with chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan and director Amanda Steveley keeping a close eye on the proceedings.
Graeme Jones will lead Newcastle United on an interim basis and will be supported by the coaching team of Steve Agnew, Stephen Clemence, Ben Dawson and Simon Smith while the club is in the process of appointing a new head coach. Newcastle will be facing Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Saturday, 23rd October at 7:30 pm.
Premier League clubs vote to impose temporary ban on owner linked sponsorship deals
(Football news) A temporary ban has come into effect, voted by 18 Premier League clubs as concerns grow over commercial and sponsorship deals linked with businesses that have links with the clubs owners. An emergency meeting was held by Premier League clubs after Newcastle United’s takeover by Saudi backed Public Investment Fund (PIF) was approved as concerns were raised that the new owners could sign lucrative deals with state-owned companies.
A similar situation occurred when Sheikh Mansour purchased Manchester City in September 2008 and signed lucrative partnerships with Etihad Airways to rename the Manchester City stadium ‘Etihad Stadium’, thereby circumnavigating the Financial Fair Play regulations as the deal was shown as a revenue for the club. Sheikh Mansour is the deputy Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Etihad Airways is owned by the Government of Abu Dhabi, a classic example of a new owner signing a commercial/sponsorship deal with a state-owned company. Other notable clubs in the Premier League that have signed similar agreements is Leicester’s deal to rename their home venue to King Power Stadium and Everton’s sponsorship of USM Finch Farm.
Ironically, Newcastle United voted against the temporary ban while Manchester City abstained after their lawyers advised that the vote was unlawful. According to the Premier League’s financial fair play regulations, clubs can make a maximum losses of £105m over a rolling three-year period. Commercial deals with links to the owner would allow clubs to spend more than their approved limit, thereby getting an unfair competitive advantage in the league.
While the temporary freeze is in place, talks are being held for a permanent rule change with one Premier League executive saying “"If we didn't have the ban, there would have been nothing to stop Newcastle signing, say a £100m naming rights deal for their stadium with a Saudi company linked to their owners. They could then have used that money to buy players in January and get around our financial fair play rules.”
All deals that involve a “related party investment” are subject to a market value test to ensure that the value of the deal is not artificially inflated, which would be in breach of the Premier League rules. In the next shareholder’s meeting in November, the working party will get back to the 20 Premier League clubs to discuss the matter further with an aim to make financial regulations more watertight and become a permanent addition in the Premier League rules.
Formula 1 reveals provisional race calendar for the 2022 season with record 23 races
(Motorsport news) A record number of 23 races will be held in the Formula 1 2022 season with the season kicking off in Bahrain on March 20th followed by the Saudi Arabian GP the weekend after. The world’s most premier racing competition will also return to Melbourne’s Albert Park for the first time in two years in what has traditionally been the opening race of the season.
The Chinese GP has not been featured in the 2022 calendar, instead Formula 1 will return to Emilia Romagna GP at Imola for the fourth reason after Melbourne. More excitingly, America will be hosting two Formula 1 races for the first time since 1984 with the Miami GP in May featuring an unfamiliar circuit for both drivers and fans around the Hard Rock Stadium, home to the NFL’s Miami Dolphins.
The calendar will then shift it’s attention to Europe with the Spanish and Monaco GP followed by races in Baku (Azerbaijan GP) and Montreal (Canadian GP). The British GP at Silverstone will be held on July 3rd. Two triple headers are scheduled for the 2022 season, the first being in Belgium, Netherlands and Italy just like this season and the second in Russia, Singapore and Japan.
Formula 1 will return to Marina Bay (Singapore) and Suzuka (Japan) for the first time since 2019 before concluding the season with races in the USA, Mexico, Brazil and Abu Dhabi. The 2022 Formula 1 season will end on November 20th, a day before the start of the 2022 Football World Cup in Qatar. Despite a 10 year agreement in place for a Qatar GP, the race is absent from the 2022 calendar as the deal starts from the 2023 season.
On the announcement, CEO Stefano Domenicali said: "We are excited to announce the 2022 calendar as we prepare to enter a new era for the sport. This season has been incredible so far with great battles on the track, large audiences tuning in and fans returning to the races after the impact of the pandemic.
"We look forward to welcoming more fans back next season and hope 2022 feels more normal than the life we have all experienced in the past two years. We are very pleased with the interest in Formula One from places that want to host races and the growth of the sport, and believe we have a fantastic calendar for 2022 with destinations like Miami joining famous and historic venues. The pandemic is still with us, and we will therefore continue to be vigilant and safe - to protect all our personnel and the communities we visit."
Formula 1 are yet to confirm which of the 23 races will feature the Sprint format.
Provisional 2022 F1 calendar
20 March: Bahrain (Sakhir)
27 March: Saudi Arabia (Jeddah)
10 April: Australia (Melbourne)
24 April: Emilia Romagna (Imola)
8 May: Miami (Miami)
22 May: Spain (Barcelona)
29 May: Monaco (Monaco)
12 June: Azerbaijan (Baku)
19 June: Canada (Montreal)
3 July: Great Britain (Silverstone)
10 July: Austria (Spielberg)
24 July: France (Le Castellet)
31 July: Hungary (Budapest)
28 August: Belgium (Spa-Francorchamps)
4 September: Netherlands (Zandvoort)
11 September: Italy (Monza)
25 September: Russia (Sochi)
2 October: Singapore (Marina Bay)
9 October: Japan (Suzuka)
23 October: USA (Austin)
30 October: Mexico (Mexico City)
13 November: Brazil (Sao Paulo)
20 November: Abu Dhabi (Yas Marina)
Monster Energy Honda driver Pablo Quintanilla wins Morocco Rally, Hero MotorSports team in top-10
New Delhi, Oct 14 (Motor Sports news) Monster Energy Honda driver Pablo Quintanilla saw off his rivals to claim both stage and race victories on the final day of the Rallye du Maroc (Rally of Morocco).
The Hero MotoSports team also concluded their campaign on a high with a top-10 finish in the overall rankings.
After only five months with his new outfit, the Chilean Quintanilla clinched his first race victory aboard the Honda CRF450 RALLY.
The occasion also marked Quintanilla's maiden win in Morocco as he got back to winning ways after the 2019 Atacama Rally. The team tally now lies at three stage wins in Morocco.
"The forecast in Misano is looking hot so we know that we will have to work to improve to be closer to our Silverstone performance than our performance in Aragon," Quintanilla was quoted as saying in a media release.
"We have been making improvements in this area, but we need to keep on working to show our potential and the potential of the bike." Quintanilla started in a fine position from which he attacked Mathias Walkner’s lead. He held a sufficiently strong pace to allow him to fulfil this main mission and capture the final stage.
The other Monster Energy Honda driver, Ricky Brabec was unable to whittle down the gap separating him from his rivals in the general standings and in spite of finishing runner-up on the final day, narrowly missed out on a podium place.
Joan Barreda was also able to battle his way to finishing sixth on the day and 11th in the general standings while Chilean rider José Ignacio Cornejo was 10th overall.
For Hero MotoSports, Joaquim Rodrigues, who won the Prologue stage, was rewarded with an eighth place in the overall rankings.
“It was a good rally for me and I am really happy with my performance. All the teams here are testing for the Dakar and our bike is performing well against the competition," Rodrigues said.
Franco Caimi achieved two top-5 stage finishes during the rally. However, the technical troubles that he faced in the earlier stages cost him a good overall finish. He rode a measured stage 5, finishing in the 13th position.
Sebastian Buhler finished in the top-10 in this final stage of the rally. However, he too lost positions in the overall rankings due to his technical issues earlier. The highlight of the rally for him was his resurgent run to achieve a second-place finish in Stage 3.
Stage 5 of the rally, initially set to run for 290km, was cut short to 166km. Overall, during the rally, competitors covered over 1500km of race distance.
With the Rallye du Maroc completed, the teams now set their sights on the 44th edition of Dakar Rally, scheduled to start from Ha’il, Saudi Arabia on January 2.
Also Read : Hero MotorSports Team finishes in top-10 in Morocco Rally
News Source : PTI
Hero MotorSports Team finishes in top-10 in Morocco Rally
New Delhi, Oct 14 (Motor Sports news) Hero MotoSports team concluded their Rallye du Maroc (Rally of Morocco) campaign with a top-10 finish in the overall rankings.
Joaquim Rodrigues, who won the Prologue stage, was rewarded with an eighth place in the overall rankings.
“It was a good rally for me and I am really happy with my performance. All the teams here are testing for the Dakar and our bike is performing well against the competition," Rodrigues said in a media release.
Franco Caimi achieved two top-5 stage finishes during the rally. However, the technical troubles that he faced in the earlier stages cost him a good overall finish. He rode a measured stage 5, finishing in the 13th position.
"This race had a lot of learnings for me, and some technical difficulties as well. From here, we will keep working together on solutions and preparing for the biggest race of the year, the Dakar Rally,” Caimi said.
Sebastian Buhler finished in the top-10 in this final stage of the rally. However, he too lost positions in the overall rankings due to his technical issues earlier. The highlight of the rally for him was his resurgent run to achieve a second-place finish in Stage 3.
Stage 5 of the rally, initially set to run for 290km, was cut short to 166km. Overall, during the rally, competitors covered over 1500km of race distance.
With the Rallye du Maroc completed, the teams now set their sights on the 44th edition of Dakar Rally, scheduled to start from Ha’il, Saudi Arabia on January 2.
Also Read : Rahil Shetty beats Rajini, Jagan to notch win in national racing meet
News Source : PTI
Tvesa, Aditi and Diksha feature in Aramco Series in New York
New York, Oct 13 (Golf news) Indian trio of Aditi Ashok, Tvesa Malik and Diksha Dagar will compete at the third leg of the Aramco Series in New York beginning on Thursday.
After the first two events in London and Sotogrande, Spain, the third in the series will be held in New York and the final one will be staged in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Tvesa has had a lot of good finishes this season, but Aramco Series events have not been among them.
She was way behind in both London and Sotogrande. So, she will be looking forward to changing that trend at Glen Oaks in New York as the Ladies European Tour goes across the Atlantic after a week's break.
In contrast, Diksha Dagar was part of the winning team in London and in the individual standings she was T-12.
Aditi, a three-time winner on LET including her home Open, the Hero Women's Indian Open, will be making her first appearance in the Aramco Series, as she gets a break from the LPGA this week.
As in the previous two events, the third event of this format will see the team and individual competitions played side by side once again.
Glen Oaks Club plays host to the event and with a stellar field assembled.
World number one and Olympic champion Nelly Korda is one of many US stars in the field alongside her sister and three-time Solheim Cup player Jessica.
Lexi Thompson, Lizette Salas, Angel Yin, Alison Lee and Lindsey Weaver have all already taken part in the Aramco Team Series this year and are back for more.
Three more American players, Danielle Kang, Cheyenne Woods and Natalie Gulbis will be getting a taste of the Series for the first time.
From Europe, a host of Solheim Cup players are ready for action.
From the winning European team this year are Captain Catriona Matthew plus Emily Kristine Pedersen, Charley Hull, Anna Nordqvist, Sophia Popov.
Bronte Law, Caroline Masson and Anne Van Dam, who were part of the European winning team in 2019 are also in attendance.
The two individual winners from London (Marianne Skarpnord) and from Sotogrande, Spain (American Alison Lee) are also in the fray.
Also Read : In-form Amandeep leads strong field in 10th leg of Hero WPGT
News Source : PTI
Are Newcastle United the new Manchester City of the Premier League?
(Football news) The mood around St. James’ Park is jubilant to say the least, a quick peek at the Premier League table would suggest that it’s definitely not because of their recent results as the Magpies are currently 19th in the league and without a win in any competition since the start of the season. It’s a testament to how transformative owners can be in changing the fortunes of the club. For those who have followed England’s top flight for the last 15 years, the rise of Manchester City has happened right before your very eyes and the only person responsible for that is their owner Sheikh Mansour.
It’s unthinkable now to discuss the team favourite to win the Premier League without Manchester City being in the discussion and fairly so. Since 2011, the blue half of Manchester have won it five times and it’s not purely down to investment as their neighbours Manchester United have proved. Investment done correctly reaps rewards but without a direction, it’s money spent on a ship with no sailor. For Newcastle, it’s been a rocky road under the ownership of Mike Ashley with two consecutive bottom half finishes in the league.They have been relegated twice, a travesty for such a big club and their owner has been notoriously frugal with investments, with an average of £9.3 million per year.
The club is now owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) with 80% share, 10% by the Reuben Brothers and 10% by Amanda Staveley. In an interview, Staveley has reiterated her ambition to see Newcastle United on top of the league by saying “Do we want to win the Premier League within five to 10 years? Yes. This takeover is hugely transformative. We want to see trophies. But trophies need investment, time, patience and teamwork. Of course we have the same ambitions as Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain in terms of trophies. Absolutely, but that will take time.”
If Manchester City’s journey as a powerhouse in England is anything to go by, Newcastle will need time and a big influx of money if they are serious about competing for the Premier League title. For the likes of Chelsea and Man City, the attraction of playing in London or Manchester was another deciding factor in players joining the club when they had no pedigree. Would Haaland or Mbappe be keen to join a project in cold and rainy Newcastle in the North East at the moment? Seems unlikely as the club will have to start moving up the table before seriously worrying the big teams in England. Financial Fair Play is another factor that must be taken into consideration as an unlimited transfer kitty does not equal to being able to spend that kind of cash.
It seems like Steve Bruce’s days as Newcastle United’s manager are numbered with fans calling for his resignation long before the takeover took place. It’s the perfect opportunity for the new owners to instantly win over their fans by sacking Bruce and appointing someone that would reflect their ambitions for the club. Someone like Antonio Conte would mean serious business if he is willing to embark on a very long term project at the club. The dark clouds have finally departed over Tyneside and a new era begins at Newcastle United. Time will tell how it pans out.
Spain end Italy's undefeated streak to reach the UEFA Nations League final
(Football news) Spain defeated 10 man Italy 2-1 in the Nations League semi final. The loss ended Italy's 37 game unbeaten streak. Spain will play the winner of France Vs Belgium for the Nations League championship while Italy will play the loser for a third place finish.
Spain started the game in classic La Roja fashion with lots of possession and patient build up. They took the lead in the 17th minute after Mikel Oyarzabal set up Ferran Torres with a beautiful cross. Italy tried getting back into the game but Spain's low block and heavy press was making life very difficult for them. Things went from bad to worse when captain Leonardo Bonucci was sent off after picking up two yellow cards in 12 minutes. His first yellow card was for dissent while his second one was for a clumsy elbow hit. Roberto Mancini decided not to bring on a centre half which ended up costing his team. Ferran Torres scored his second with a header just before half time thanks to another sublime delivery from Mikel Oyarzabal
Mancini did make the necessary change by bringing on Giorgio Cheillini. Luis Enrique's side came with the clear tactic of sitting deep and breaking on the counter. Lorenzo Pellegrini did pull back a goal in the 83rd minute but the man disadvantage proved to be too much for the Italians. Federico Chiesa was the standout player for Italy, assisting the goal after a great run from the halfway line. His work rate and pressing in particular was commendable and drew applause from the San Siro crowd.
17-year-old midfielder Gavi had a dream international debut. Enrique took a big gamble by calling up and starting Gavi who has very little first team experience with Barcelona. The youngster repaid his manager's pace by dominating the midfield. Gavi was all over the pitch with his countless challenges and intricate passing. The performance of Gavi and Torres indicates a very bright future for Spanish football and there might be a new era of dominance for La Roja once again.
Also Read : Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund close to agreeing deal for Newcastle United takeover
Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund close to agreeing deal for Newcastle United takeover
(Football news) Mike Ashley’s 14 year tumultuous reign as Newcastle United’s owner could come to an end after an agreement was reached between beIN and Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, resolving a long-standing issue regarding illegal streaming of Premier League football. The Qatar based sports platform has been banned from broadcasting in Saudi Arabia for nearly four and a half years as part of a diplomatic dispute but that is soon about to end.
As a part of this agreement, Saudi Arabia has also agreed that it will cease streaming Premier League games illegally via beoutQ and allow beIN to broadcast the fixtures they are legally entitled to. In addition, beIN Sports is currently in talks for a potential £400 million deal to broadcast Premier League games in the Middle East and North Africa for the subsequent future.
Approval from the Premier League could come in 24 hours after a consortium proved that the club would not be controlled by the Saudi state. Instead, the Public Investment Fund (PIF) will provide 80% of the £300m which would thereby pass the Premier League owners and directors test.
Back in 2020 a deal had been agreed between Newcastle United and their buyers which included Staveley's PCP Capital Partners and the Reuben brothers. However, they chose to walk away after the Premier League offered arbitration to settle the disagreement about who would control the club. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is on the chair of the Public Investment Fund and if a possible deal is completed, we can expect another powerhouse in England’s top flight.
With Manchester City owned by the City Football Group already having owners based in the Middle East, Newcastle United could become the second Premier League club to have a similar change in fortune if/when the takeover is completed. A majority of Newcastle fans are in favor of a potential takeover as the club are currently without a win so far with calls for the resignation of manager Steve Bruce.
Formula 1 calendar adds the Qatar Grand Prix with a 10 year agreement in place
(Motorsport news) The maiden Qatar Grand Prix is set to take place on November 21st at the Losail International Circuit and the country will now have a permanent place in the Formula 1 calendar from 2023.
With the Formula 1 season heating up as Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen’s pursuit for the Drivers Championship becomes more intense than ever before, Doha will be the venue which will fill the spot vacant after the Australian Grand Prix’s cancellation and is first of the three venues in the Middle East to finish the season. The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix and Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will take place on December 3rd and 10th respectively.
Formula 1 President and CEO Stefano Domenicali had this to say upon the confirmation of a 10 year agreement “We are very pleased to welcome Qatar to the Formula 1 calendar this season and for the longer term from 2023. We have shown that we can continue to adapt and there is huge interest in our sport and the hope from many locations to have a Grand Prix. The huge effort from all the teams, F1 and the FIA has made it possible to deliver a 22-race calendar, something that is very impressive during a challenging year and something we can all be proud of."
The country has a longstanding history of hosting MotoGP, being an integral part of their calendar since 2004. Qatar will also be hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2022, a year before the 10 year agreement will begin with Formula 1. A statement from Formula 1 said “There was a strong will from Qatar to be helpful to F1, and in the course of this process, the vision for a longer partnership was discussed and agreed for 10 years.
"The step from the gesture to be helpful to F1 in 2021 to a long term strategy was short and simple and the vision for F1 to be the showcase for Qatar after the FIFA World Cup in 2022 was the driving force behind this long term agreement. As part of the longer-term deal, discussions will continue regarding the location for the Grand Prix from 2023 with further details to be provided at a later time."
Extreme E releases their calendar for 2022 season
(Motorsports news) The electric off road racing series is at the midpoint as it celebrates its first season as Extreme E has its eye on the future as it unveils the provisional Season 2’s calendar in 2022.
The electric racing series takes place in off-road locations as part of its mission to drive awareness of climate change issues, such as global warming, melting ice caps, rising sea levels, wildfires and extreme weather and desertification, whilst promoting sustainability and the adoption of electric vehicles to help protect the planet.
Alejandro Agag, CEO and Founder of Extreme E, explained: “We’ve had a hugely positive response to Extreme E throughout this opening Season, from governments to NGOs, who see great potential, not only for utilising our purpose driven sports platform to educate on climate issues, but also to showcase the solutions that they and the wider global community can all be part of.
“As we approach the tail end of our first Season, we wanted to be transparent about how our second season is shaping up in order to help enable our teams, drivers and partners to prepare. We’ve had lots of interest, both in retaining events in locations we’ve visited in Season 1, and from new locations and we are currently at a stage where we have multiple options for some of our races. As an engaged championship which aims to put fans at the heart of decision making, we are also keen to hear input and opinions on where we should go in future Seasons too.”
Provisional Extreme E Season 2 calendar (2022):
February 19-20: Saudi Arabia
May 7-8: Senegal / Egypt / Tanzania
July 9-10: Greenland / Iceland
September 10-11: Brazil / Argentina / Uruguay / Italy / Costa Rica
November 26-27: Chile
St. Helena, the former Royal Mail Ship will provide the championship’s floating centrepiece as they will carry the series’ vehicles, logistics equipment and paddock infrastructure as well as playing host to scientific research with its on board laboratory. This is done in a bid to lower the impact of the travel logistics compared to air travel.
Head-to-head races, known as an X Prix, will take place over two days as the area is no larger than 10 km2, with each team fielding a male and a female driver to compete in the race, including a Driver Switch incorporated midway. Course designers have carefully selected course options, which provide the most challenging, exciting action, using obstacles and features with elevation changes and jumps, to entertain the audience and also raise environmental awareness
Race organisers undergo thorough environmental, social and economic assessments of each location with a local third party, as they oversee the environmental protection, social inclusivity and fair practices. Extreme E in a systematic manner as they operate from water consumption, waste management, lighting on-site through to land management and ensuring the series races without a trace after the X Prix has finished.
Additionally, in each location, Extreme E works alongside governments and NGOs to implement positive legacy initiatives dependent on regional needs. Examples of Legacy Programmes in Season 1 have included; the funding of a turtle conservation project along the Red Sea coastline; the planting of one million mangroves with NGO TO.org and Oceanium in Senegal; cocoa agroforestry and Amazon conservation with The Nature Conservancy in Para state, Brazil; and the creation of a climate education syllabus for over 3,500 school children across Greenland with UNICEF.
Professor Carlos Duarte, Extreme E’s Climate Change Scientist said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed being part of Extreme E this year and very much look forward to continuing our good work into Season 2.
“The legacy and scientific aspects are a true cornerstone to the series and already this year I’ve been able to conduct research in Saudi Arabia and collect ice samples from the Russell Glacier with Extreme E. This championship gives me and my peers the opportunity to reach people outside of our usual networks, it gives us a voice to reach the masses and educate on climate issues and the solutions we can all be a part of.”
As well as providing a platform for climate and environmental awareness, Extreme E provides strong economic impact to the host countries. YouGov Sport, calculated the series’ inaugural event in Saudi Arabia contributed more than €47 million local value. These figures include employment of local personnel, logistics, transportation, local food ,beverage, provisions and hotel stays.
The media exposure of the Desert X Prix majorly factors in the overall economic impact. Extreme E’s broadcast in 190 broadcasting markets as they cater to 18.7million audiences which has resulted in an unprecedented media value of almost €32 million for the championship.
Extreme E has already surpassed its end of Season 1 targets on social media hitting 100 million video views, a 400 per cent increase in engagement plus more than one billion impressions across all digital platforms.
Also read: ABT CUPRA XE announces new design in IAA Mobility Show at Munich
Indian paddlers shine in ITTF Kazakhstan Open
New Delhi, Sep 19 (Table Tennis news) The Indian pairs of Siddhesh Pande-Mudit Dani and Fidel R Snehit-Sudhanshu Grover had to be content with bronze medals after losing their respective men's doubles semifinals at the ITTF Kazakhstan International Open in Karaganda.
Both the pairs put up a great show throughout the tournament before suffering defeats in contrasting fashion in their respective semi-finals.
While Maharashtra duo of Mudit and Siddhesh suffered a 0-3 loss against the Saudi Arabian pair of Ali Alkhadrawi and Abdulaziz Bu Shulaybi, Snehit and Sudhanshu went down fighting 2-3 against Kazakh pair of Alan Kurmangaliyev and Kirill Gerassimenko.
Snehit also entered the singles final after defeating Pavel Platonov of Belarus 4-1.
The world number 405 Indian will take on 46th ranked Kirill Gerassimenko of Kazakhstan in the gold medal match.
Indian women's doubles pair of Kaushani Nath and Prapti Sen also stormed into the final, outclassing Uzbek duo of Kamila Khalikova and Mekhriniso Norkulova 3-1.
They will now face Valeria Kotcyur and Valeria Shcherbatykh of Russia in the title clash.
Also read : Indian TT players make merry at WTT Youth Contender Meet in Tunisia
News Source : PTI
The pros and cons of hosting a football World Cup every two years
(Football news) In 2018, the World Cup final between France and Croatia was viewed by more than 1.1 billion people around the world, the most watched sporting event by far. It’s what most footballers would describe as the ‘pinnacle’ of their careers, exceeding any achievement at the club level. The football World Cup is only getting bigger, with the 2026 finals that will be held in the United States, Mexico and Canada being the first 48 nation tournament in history.
For many, the concept of the World Cup being held every four years is an outdated model, with many countries such as Saudi Arabia, China, Argentina, Morocco and England eager for a chance to host the tournament on their home soil. The football industry has never been more lucrative than it is today and international football tournaments want a slice of that pie more often.
FIFA is conducting a study on the practicalities of the World Cup being held every two years, which would mean a major international tournament would be held every season. Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, currently serving as FIFA’s Chief of Global Football Development is conducting the study that may significantly impact the international game. According to his blueprint, two international breaks should be held in March and October, with groups of four teams playing six qualifying games. He has also proposed a mandatory 25 day rest period for players after international tournaments and less disruptive calendars for the clubs as there are only two breaks in a season.
All that sounds well and good, but how practical is a proposal of this sort? Would it diminish the value of the World Cup as a routine event held every year? How would it influence club football as a month of international tournament combined with a mandatory 25 day break would mean players will be away from their clubs for almost two years before the domestic action begins. Does it spell the end of lucrative pre-season friendlies?
The concept of four teams playing six qualifying games to maintain high quality standards doesn’t take into account that 48 teams will now participate in the tournament. This would mean that to accommodate all the teams in the groups, there would be unchallenging matches between the ‘minnows’ of international football which would contradict the whole point of the format. Moreover, footballers around the world have challenged the concept of one major international tournament every season, criticizing the number of games they are expected to play which would severely impact the quality of matches.
However, there are definitely pros to this concept. For countries where football is ‘developing’ the possibility of hosting a World Cup sooner rather than later will be a major boost to their prospects. Sponsors and broadcasters would relish the opportunity to be involved in the World Cup spectacle every two years and fans would love being entertained by one of the biggest sporting events in the world more often. Currently, the World Cup’s schedule is pre-decided until 2026 and with the Euros set to be held in 2028, no radical changes can take place until 2030 at the earliest.
Football is an evolving sport and traditionalists may be forced to accept that things can never stay as they were, however unappealing they may seem. However, the feasibility of the World Cup being held every two years is still at an early stage and it may or may not happen, but one thing is for sure, international football does need changes to remain as appealing to fans as club fixtures.
Also read: Brazil vs Argentina abandoned after health officials invade the pitch due to COVID-19 regulations
Chennaiyin FC sign Polish striker Lukasz Gikiewicz
Chennai, Aug 21 (Football news): Two-time Indian Super League (ISL) champions Chennaiyin FC (CFC) have signed Polish striker Lukasz Gikiewicz on a one-year deal ahead of the upcoming season.
The centre forward is the fifth foreign signing for Marina Machans.
Lukasz, whose has 49 goals and 21 assists in his 200-plus club appearances so far in his career, will be eager to make his mark in his debut ISL season.
Lukasz has also played in other Asian countries such as Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, Thailand and Bahrain. He had finished top scorer of the 2017-18 Jordanian Pro League while playing for Al-Faisaly Amman.
"I am very happy to join the club. My aim is to immediately help the team in getting a third ISL title. The fans deserve it and so does the club that has won the league two times already," said Lukasz.
CFC co-owner Vita Dani said, "We look forward to Lukasz strengthening our attack and providing much-needed goals this season. This is a very positive signing for us".
Lukasz has featured in two of the world's biggest club tournaments, the Europa League and the Champions League, making a combined 12 appearances. During his spell at Polish outfit Slask Wroclow, he played a crucial role in the club's second league title in 2011-12 and also helped them lift the Polish Super Cup in the next year.
Also read: Real Madrid extends Karim Benzema’s contract till 2023
"Lukasz is a team player with good experience and a great personality. I believe he will help the team in many aspects, especially with goals," CFC head coach Bozidar Bandovic said.
After beginning his professional career 13 years ago with Polish club Olimpia Elblag, Lukasz, 33, has also played in Cyrpus, Bulgaria and Romania.
News source: PTI
Formula 1’s Japanese Grand Prix cancelled due to rising COVID-19 cases
(Motorsport news) This season’s Japanese Grand Prix, originally scheduled for 8th to 10th October has been cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation in Japan. Out of the 23 races of the season, Japan was due to be the 17th and now joins the list alongside Australia, China, Canada and Singapore where the races have been cancelled.
In a statement issued by Formula 1, they said “The decision has been taken by the Japanese government to cancel the race this season due to ongoing complexities of the pandemic."
"Formula 1 is working on the details of the revised calendar and will announce the final details in the coming weeks."
This is the second year in a row that Formula 1 has not taken place in Japan due to the pandemic and the 2019 event was disrupted due to the Typhoon Hagibis. The 2021 calendar will conclude for the first time ever with the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix on 5th December followed by the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the Yas Marina Circuit a week later.
Also read: F1 mid season review: Hamilton vs Verstappen rivalry is just getting started
Five car final confirmed by Extreme E for Arctic X Prix
London (Motorsports news): Extreme E, the full electric off road racing series today announced a slightly updated sporting format for the upcoming Arctic X Prix in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland which will have a five car Final.
The changes start at qualifying, which spreads over two sessions in which the first one will be in the morning and second one in the afternoon on Saturday 28 August. Each team will have to race two laps of the course, one lap per driver with a driver switch, and the times recorded across the morning session will equate to classification points meaning first place receives 9, second place 8, third place 7 points and so on. The cycle repeats itself in the afternoon with classification points awarded on the same scale.
The combined overall of these classification points will provide the intermediate standings, which is noted on points instead of times as seen in Saudi Arabia and Senegal, meaning a fairer opportunity for all racers to progress, particularly if a poor time or DNF for example is recorded in a particular session.
Also read: Mercedes AMG driver Nyck De Vries clinches the Formula E title
It is important to note, the classification points do not come under overall Championship points, these continue to be awarded in the same way as per previous rounds at the end of Qualifying as follows:
1st - 12 points, 2nd - 11 points, 3rd - 10 points , 4th - 9 points, 5th - 8 points, 6th - 7 points , 7th - 6 points, 8th - 5 points and 9th - 4 points.
From the Qualifying rounds teams in first, fifth and sixth place will proceed to Semi-Final 1, with second, third and fourth spots advancing to Semi-Final 2 and teams finishing in seventh, eighth and ninth will proceed to the Crazy Race.
Greenland will provide Extreme E’s first five car Final, made up of the top two teams from Semifinals 1 and 2, plus the winner of the Crazy Race, offering every single team on the grid an opportunity to reach the final race of the Arctic X Prix on Sunday 29 August.
Following the Final, Championship points will be awarded as follows:
1st - 25 points, 2nd - 19 points, 3rd - 18 points, 4th - 15 points, 5th - 12 points, Semi-Final 1 3rd - 10 points, Semi-Final 2 3rd - 8 points, Crazy Race 1st - 6 points and Crazy Race 2nd - 4 points.
Alejandro Agag, Founder and CEO of Extreme E said: “As a series we are always ready to evolve in order to create the absolute best result, and we believe these changes to the sporting format will offer greater competition and even more exciting racing for our global fanbase.
“I can’t wait to witness some of the biggest names in racing take part in the first motorsport event ever hosted in Greenland, and see who will take the top step on the podium. The course itself looks incredible and I’m sure it will offer some close battles, but it is important to note we are racing on an area which was once a glacier, but has retreated at an accelerated rate due to the climate crisis.”
With only 10 days to go, the Arctic X Prix and preparations are almost complete for holding this world first event in Greenland. Following this, the series will move to Sardinia in Italy for the Island X Prix taking place from 23-24 October.
Indian football team's camp to arrive in Kolkata after 15 years
New Delhi, Aug 9(Football news) The national football team's camp will be held in Kolkata after 15 years when initial 23 probables assemble at the 'City of Joy' on August 15 to prepare for next month's international friendlies.
The training sessions will start from August 16, the AIFF said in a statement.
This will be the first time Blue Tigers' camp will be held in Kolkata as they assembled here for training way back in 2006 ahead of the FIFA World Cup Qualifier against Saudi Arabia.
The camp will be conducted under a secured bio-bubble adhering to the laid-down health parameters in wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic situation. The contingent will also be undergoing regular testing.
National team head coach Igor Stimac has named an initial list of 23 probables, leaving out players from ATK Mohun Bagan and Bengaluru FC owing to the two club's commitments in the AFC Cup in the Maldives.
Players from both clubs will be joining the squad immediately after finishing their club commitments in the continental tournament.
"I am very happy to meet with my players again and get ready for the upcoming challenges forward together," Stimac said.
"We wish both the Indian clubs good luck and hope they do well in the AFC Cup. Meanwhile, we need to check on the rest of the players who will kick-off the camp with us next week, and choose the best ones until the rest of the players join us," added the Croatian.
Also read: Nivia to be the official kit partner for ISL team Chennaiyin FC
The 23 players who will be joining the camp on August 15 are: GOALKEEPERS: Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem, Vishal Kaith.
DEFENDERS: Ashish Rai, Seriton Fernandes, Adil Khan, Chinglensana Singh, Narender, Rahul Bheke, Akash Mishra, Mandar Rao Dessai.
MIDFIELDERS: Lalengmawia, Glan Martins, Jeakson Singh, Anirudh Thapa, Brandon Fernandes, Sahal Abdul Samad, Halicharan Narzary, Bipin Singh, Yasir Mohammed.
FORWARDS: Rahul KP, Farukh Choudhary, Ishan Pandita, Rahim Ali.
The ATK Mohun Bagan and Bengaluru FC players who will be joining the camp after their AFC Cup duties are: GOALKEEPERS: Amrinder Singh, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.
DEFENDERS: Pritam Kotal, Ashutosh Mehta, Sandesh Jhingan, Subhasish Bose.
MIDFIELDERS: Udanta Singh, Pronay Halder, Suresh Singh Wangjam, Ashqiue Kuruniyan.
FORWARDS: Liston Colaco, Manvir Singh, Sunil Chhetri.
News Source: PTI
Bosnian defender Enes Sipovi signed by Kerala Blasters FC
(Football news) Kochi, July 31, 2021: Enes Sipovi, a 6’6” centre defender from Bosnia and Herzegovina, has joined Kerala Blasters FC ahead of the 2021/22 ISL season after a one-year stint with ISL team Chennaiyin FC.
Sipovi joined Romanian team SC Otelul Galati after progressing through the youth divisions of Bosnian Club Zeljeznicar in Sarajevo. He won the Romanian top-division championship with SC Otelul Galati in his debut season. Sipovi spent time with K.V.C. Westerlo (Belgium), Ittihad Tanger & RS Berkane (Morocco), and Ohod Club (Saudi Arabia) after six excellent seasons at Otelul Galati. He then came home for a brief stint with FK Zeljeznicar, his boyhood club. He played for Umm Salal in Qatar before joining Chennaiyin FC last season. Sipovi was a regular for Chennaiyin FC last season, appearing in 18 ISL matches.
Sipovi, a former Bosnia and Herzegovina U-21 international, will wear the yellow shirt for the first time.
Kerala Blasters FC’s Sporting Director, Karolis Skinkys said: “Enes is a reliable defender, strong on set pieces and positioning. I know that he can adapt to Indian conditions very well and he is an excellent team player. He showed huge motivation to represent Kerala, so I'm happy and looking forward to working with him soon.”
Enes Sipović commented: “I am so excited to join one of the biggest clubs in India, with an army of amazing fans. I must say that my actions speak for myself, so on the field, I will be LOUD.”
Enes Sipovi joins Uruguayan midfielder Adrian Luna, who was unveiled last week, as Kerala Blasters FC's second foreign signing.
Also read: Hyderabad FC sign Nim Dorjee Tamang and Gurmeet Singh
2027 AFC Asian Cup host selection postponed to next year in view of COVID-19 pandemic
New Delhi, Jul 21 (Football news) The selection of the host for the AFC Asian Cup 2027, for which India is making a bid, has been postponed to 2022 from November this year due to the "prevailing challenges" caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Executive Committee has decided to revise the timeline of the bidding process.
"... The AFC Executive Committee acknowledged the travel restrictions in organising the inspection visits to the Bidding Member Associations, which forms an essential part of the bidding process for the selection of Asia's most prestigious men's football tournament," the AFC said in a statement.
"Therefore, it was agreed that the selection of the host for the AFC Asian Cup 2027 will now take place in 2022, instead of the upcoming 31st AFC Congress on November 27, 2021." Following an extensive and comprehensive bidding documentation submission process, four member associations -- India, Iran, Qatar and Saudi Arabia -- remain in contention to host the AFC’s flagship men’s tournament.
Also read: Our aim is to be in 2023 Asian Cup in China: Jhingan
News source: PTI
An in depth look at the Extreme E battery that powers the ODYSSEY 21
The name Williams is held in the highest esteem in the world of motorsports. With nine F1 constructor championships (second only to Ferrari), Williams has been the leading engineers and racing protagonists with its sister company Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE) being considered a major force in electric motorsports.
In an interview with Craig Wilson, Williams Advanced Engineering CEO and Glen Pascoe, WAE Principal Engineer, the two spoke about how the Extreme E battery is made, an in depth look at the WAE facility and the challenges they faced in creating a battery that powers the ODYSSEY 21 at some of the most remote and extreme locations around the world.
Q 1) XE: First of all, how did the Williams and Extreme E relationship begin?
Craig Wilson, “Williams had already been involved with Formula E as we were one of the original battery suppliers to the championship when it began in 2014. The technology was relatively young then and we were all learning a great deal – but it was hugely exciting to be part of the electric revolution and to be there from the start and we still are.
“Following the on-track successes we’ve had at Le Mans (providing engineering support for Porsche’s sports car racing programme), through the hybrid F1 era, then four seasons supplying batteries to the first-generation Formula E grid (and due to supply the Gen 3 batteries), together with being technical partner for Jaguar Racing, we have learned a lot about how to extract the highest levels of performance from a battery.
“Having proven our capabilities with Alejandro Agag, SPARK and the team in Formula E, we were then in a good position to pitch for the Extreme E sole developer role in 2019.”
Q 2) XE: What steps did Williams take to create the battery?
Glen Pascoe, “In Extreme E, the challenge is arguably even greater than for other series as we are taking battery technology away from the traditional race circuit and into hostile environments, where humidity, dust, extremes of temperature, shock and vibration will play a huge part and to that end, the batteries have had to be uniquely tailored for the environment.
“And with races being head-to-head over short distances, the batteries are sized to manage high intensity operation over a shorter time than in other e-racing series, but in a far harsher environment. As a result, we have developed a whole new module that can produce 400kW peak power in a bespoke battery construction along with an entirely new pre-race conditioning system to maximise robustness and minimise mass.
“Simplicity, serviceability and modularity were all critical design requirements. Commercially available cells were selected and designed into a pack in conjunction with the series to align both with the race format and the vehicle performance duty cycle. Working with limited space in the car, we had to meet tough power and mass performance targets and deliver a bespoke battery pack design in under 12 months!”
Q 3) XE: How has the battery performed in the first two X Prix’s of Extreme E’s debut season, Saudi Arabia and Senegal, and what were the challenges that you faced?
Glen Pascoe, “The biggest challenges in Saudi Arabia were definitely sand and the temperature! Thin air was also an issue.
“The first run simulation took part at the hottest time of the day and a battery rebuild we carried out was intensive and not helped by strong winds and even a sandstorm providing an unwelcome interruption, which covered all battery parts and electronics with a fine grit. We broke out the vacuum to begin a deep clean for all components. Eventually, the batteries were ready, and it was time for the team-wide shakedown on Friday 2 April.
“The first qualification session saw two major impacts - Stephane Sarrazin in the Veloce Racing car and Claudia Hürtgen in the ABT Cupra XE – and after the driver’s safety was checked, we were delighted to see that both batteries remained absolutely intact, safe and damage-free, showing the green light all the way through the car recovery process.
“The Senegal event brought a mixture of similarities and differences to Saudi in the challenges we faced at the track. Whilst not as hot as Saudi Arabia, ambient temperatures remained high and were accompanied by 90%+ humidity levels. This brought its own unique challenges in ensuring we were actively managing the battery temperature both during the on-track action and between races.
“Alongside this the Senegal event showed the cars tackling a very demanding, technical and aggressive track. The batteries were constantly punished with heavy impacts and harsh vibrations as the cars bounced around the dunes and deep ruts. Ensuring battery health throughout the weekend was key to ensuring a successful event.
“Both of the first two races offered humidity, dust, extremes of temperature, shock and vibration!”
Glen concludes, “To break it down, we came away with the knowledge that...
The batteries performed flawlessly even with the severe impacts that happened in the Desert X Prix as well as the intense head to head battles we saw in the Ocean X Prix. Working on the batteries on location went really well, which is a reflection of all the design work and that went into them
Servicing and maintaining the batteries throughout the events went well, which is a reflection of all the design work that went into them
Again, the batteries performed well in Senegal, a 6km long harsh, technical course, through woods and on the beach
480 KM mileage was recorded in Senegal and 1070 km across the 2 races
1120KWh energy discharged in Senegal and nearly 2000kWh across both events
Over 12 hours of on-track running
Q 4) Have you made any improvements since then?
Glen Pascoe, “Refinement of BMS models to extract maximum performance. And we have optimised the rate at which we log and collect data during an event to ensure most efficient learning.”
Also read: Sport TV Portugal confirms deal with Extreme E for debut season
Q 5) What are you expecting when you go to the next X Prix in Greenland in August?
Glen Pascoe “No more sand!! But yes, we’ll have to adapt and optimise to the vastly different climate and track conditions. The very new challenges of snow and of course water and mud. There will be stone impact and less grip resulting in more drift and vertical impact.
“In addition to the physical challenges, the remoteness of the location means we need to forward plan for every eventuality before arriving on location as there will be no opportunity for late deliveries or freight, no additional transport available or indeed, supplies!”
Q 6) How do you see the battery developing further as Season 1 progresses?
Glen Pascoe, “Unlocking further vehicle performance as we gather more data on the battery and the overall powertrain.”
Q 7) What are the options for the battery at the end of Season 1?
Glen Pascoe, “Batteries have been designed for multi-season use, so WAE will inspect, re-test and go again. Any incremental improvements available will be implemented during the turn-around. Once batteries reach the end of their final racing season, the cells can be easily removed as module ‘building blocks’ and configured into a suitable second life application. Some components are targeted for reuse in alternative applications, and some will be recycled in order to recover valuable raw materials.”
Q 8) How important are collaborations like this for race to road transfer?
Craig Wilson, “They are a key part of transferring technology to road cars, specifically in areas such as fast charging, battery management and software development. Essentially, affordability comes with volume production. By pioneering and showcasing EV technology in a series such as Extreme E, manufacturers will be able to “carry over” technology into road cars and in doing so, enable the technology to become more affordable.”
Q 9) How is Williams’ technology implemented in cars we see on the road today?
Craig Wilson, “As mentioned previously the key technology areas will likely be improved energy density, lifecycle, durability, power capability and fast charging. In addition, there will probably be a greater than ever emphasis on software in order to unlock more of the potential of the battery chemistry using advanced algorithms for increased performance, safety and reliability.”
Apart from all that, are you looking forward to racing Greenland? What are you most excited about?
Glen Pascoe, “Snowball fights in August of course!!
“No seriously, this is huge as no previous international motorsport events have ever been held in Greenland, so the WAE team are proud to be supporting this unique and ground-breaking event. Seeing the cars go head-to-head in a challenging new climate for the drivers will also be so exciting to watch. We can’t wait!”
Dhyan Chand's Berlin Saga: Captaincy test in Nazi Germany, Hitler myth
New Delhi, Jul 16 (Sports news) When Adolf Hitler commissioned Nazi Germany's favourite film director Leni Reifanstahl to document the 1936 Berlin Olympics, he and his propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels couldn't have imagined that there would be another nation, apart from the USA, refusing to salute the Fuhrer.
The British India contingent comprised a bunch of inexperienced athletes with only shining glory being a two-time champion hockey team led by its resident magician Major Dhyan Chand. The global media's focus was the United Stated of America refusing the traditional right-arm salute to Hitler during the opening ceremony but who would have thought that a contingent of amateur athletes wearing golden 'Kullahs' and light blue turban would do the unthinkable.
The contingent, with its flag-bearer Dhyan Chand, refused to salute and it was more of an emotional decision than political, taken by the team when the entire Third Reichsang the two national hymns 'Deutschland' and 'Horst Wessel Lied'.
In the book 'Olympic History: The India Story', co-authored by Boria Majumdar and Nalin Mehta, they have quoted Mirza Naseeruddin Masood, a member of the gold winning team, narrating that opening ceremony. "It made a strange impression upon the Indian contingent and not an eye was left dry. India rose before our imagination... Somehow the spring of our national feelings was touched,and the unity and solidarity of the people in the 'Stadium' made us look with shame and regret at our poverty, destitution and discord." Masood was an accomplished man beyond the field of hockey as he served the government of India in various capacities, which included being private secretary of independent India's first education minister, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad.
He was also UNNESCO Mission Chief to Australia, Consul General responsible for Muscat, Oman and finally Ambassador to Saudi Arabia.
However, one of Masood's biggest regrets was being denied India captaincy in 1936, despite being socially elite compared to Dhyan Chand. And very few people knew that Masood was actually also one of the five national selectors entrusted with the duty of picking the skipper.
Masood had, in fact, made his displeasure clear in a book he authored and published in 1937 'The World's Hockey Champions' -- 1936'.
For Dhyan Chand, what the score-line of India matches in that Olympics won't reveal is the tremendous pressure that he faced as media reports suggested that the defending champions were no longer invincible.
Also the fact that the 1932 Olympics, without participation of major European nations due to the Great Depression, became a sort of a sham and those who know about hockey would tell that there wasn't a lot of fight that India faced while retaining the yellow metal in Los Angeles.
The perception gained credence when India lost to a select Delhi XI 1-4 at Mori Gate ground in the national capital. It was the same Delhi XI that had been hammered 0-12 by the Indian team on its return from LA four years ago. Dhyan Chand, in his autobiography 'Goal', which was first published in 1952 in weekly installments of the iconic 'Sport and Pastime' magazine published by 'The Hindu' group, wrote about that loss prior to the Berlin Games.
"... This particular defeat kept worrying me. For the first time I was captaining the Olympic team; will India lose the title under my charge?," Dhyan Chand's scepticism was evident in his autobiography.
Hockey Federation only had Rs 6600 in its coffers According to the book, the Indian hockey federation needed Rs 40,000 to send the team and it required the Nizam of Hyderabad and the Gaekwads of Baroda to bail them out.
Nizam donated Rs 5000, the rulers of Baroda gave 200 GBP (Rs 3600 INR then) and, along with contributions from other princely states, ensured that the team boarded the ship. Another Rs 1700 was spent on flying Ishtiaque Dara on SOS, who played a big role alongside Dhyan Chand in the business end of the tournament.
Interestingly, during the next Olympics in 1948, Dara had migrated to Pakistan post partition and represented the new nation.
Training at Gulf of Aden 'The Statesman' sent a correspondent to cover the Games and old reports suggest that the first five days of their voyage was rough and the players, normally used to training on the deck, had to postpone their plans.
Finally when the ship stopped for four hours at the 'Gulf of Aden', the Indian contingent found a brick-layered sandy field for a quick training session.
Suddenly they would come to know that 5/14 Sikh Regiment posted in Aden used that field. Once the word spread that Dhyan Chand was there, the whole regiment came out to receive "one of theirs" and witness the training session.
Autograph of Joseph Goebbels and Herman Goring Two of Hitler's trusted men -- chief propagandist Goebbels and Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring -- were there to ensure that no stone was left unturned in their quest to carry out the Fuhrer's image makeover along with the conduct of an unblemished event for which USD 30 million was being spent.
Call it a classical case of contradiction or irony but those who didn't want to accord Hitler with the arm salute were flocking to get autographs from two bonafide war criminals.
"One day while we were in the dining hall, who should walk in but the burly Herman Goring, clad in his military attire! We were after him in a trice to get his autograph. Later some of us obtained Dr Goebbels' autograph," Dhyan Chand had mentioned.
An eight-goal affair against Hitler's Germany Did Dhyan Chand face media scrutiny? Of course he did. After India won the opening match against Hungary 4-0, the 'Statesman in their next day's report wrote, "Most disappointing was revelation that Dhyan Chand, world's greatest centre forward is past his best days..." Just how dominant India were in that era could be understood by the fact that even after beating USA 7-0 and Japan 9-0, the media spoke about how "if Germany wins, it will be a lesson to India that she deserves." Worst these observations were fed by the team's manager Pankaj Gupta. However, the tone and tenor changed once France were clobbered 10-0 and after Germany were crushed 8-1 in the final, Berlin's 'Morning Post' lauded India's effort.
Also read: National sports awards selection process to be delayed to include Olympic medallists
Legend has it that Dhyan Chand wanted better speed and mobility, and hence, wore a rubber soled sneakers sacrificing the conventional spike boots on grass field. It helped him dribble at great speed. He scored a dozen and the 'Morning Post's match report had some unforgettable lines. "These players it is said glided over turf as if it is a skating rink and the flickering sticks had the Japanese, normally so agile, mesmerized." Dhyan Chand was on top of the world, his team won gold scoring 38 goals, his place in the annals secured. He was 'Captain Marvel' and accepted in every echelons of the society that once discriminated against him.
Before Delhi's National Stadium, Austria's capital city Vienna had the statue of Dhyan Chand erected.
Post Script: Dhyan Chand never met Adolf Hitler in person and the story of Hitler offering him a position in German Army, according to scholars and researchers, is an urban myth.
News Source: PTI
Extreme E to be broadcasted on Seven Network
Sports News: Seven Network has confirmed that it will broadcast Extreme E an innovative electric series on its free to air network and on 7plus, a market-leading BVOD platform. It is a part of Seven West Media. Seven Network will air Extreme E programmes throughout leading cities like Sydney, Melbourne, Brisban, Adelaide, Perth, and regional Queensland.
Seven will air Extreme E’s one-hour highlights programmes which will feature the best electric-SUV race action from remote places across the planet that are affected by the climate crisis. The championship has been to Saudi Arabia’s deserts in April and the beaches of Senegal in May. Their next stop is Greenland in August where Molly Taylor and Johan Kristofferson along with off-road legends will battle it out for racing honours on the edge of the ice cap. The aim is to bring the focus on the effects of climate change in that part of the world.
Ali Russell, Chief Marketing Officer at Extreme E, said: “Australia is a hugely important territory for Extreme E and so we are delighted that its premier network Seven will be broadcasting our excellent highlights shows.
“Australia is undoubtedly way ahead of the curve when it comes to concern for the environment so I am confident that audiences here will really identify with what is at the heart of Extreme E. Our mission to race without trace whilst simultaneously raising awareness of climate issues, means it is vital that our series reaches as many people as possible throughout the world.
“Working with Seven not only provides viewers in Australia with a thrilling and innovative motorsport championship – and one that Australian female superstar Molly Taylor happens to be leading – but also helps convey the benefits of electrification through our entertaining broadcast package.”
Managing Director Seven Melbourne and Head of Network Sport, Lewis Martin, said: “We’re rapt to add Extreme E to Seven’s unrivalled motorsport line-up, starting with the highlights of next month’s Arctic X Prix in Greenland. Extreme E is an exciting new format fans will love and the Aussie public will get right behind Seven motorsport’s own Molly Taylor as she bids to take out the inaugural championship.”
“It adds to a massive year on Australia’s Home of Motorsport, which already includes the Supercars Championship – headlined by October’s iconic Bathurst 1000 – and the TCR Australia Series.”
Werner Martens and Slaven Progoveki join Kerala Blasters FC coaching staff
In the latest football news, Kerala Blasters FC has announced that Werner Martens and Slaven Progoveki have joined their coaching staff ahead of the eighth season of the Indian Super League.
Werner Martens, who has previously worked in the premier divisions of Belgium, Slovakia, Holland and Saudi Arabia is set to take up a position as the strength and conditioning coach while Slaven Progoveki, with 20+ years of experience as a goalkeeping coach, having worked at the U14 and U15 Serbian National team will be the new Kerala Blasters FC goalkeeping coach.
The Indian Super League 2021-2022 season is all set to begin on 19th November.
U-23 Asian Cup Qualifiers: India clubbed alongside UAE, Oman and Kyrgyz Republic
New Delhi, Jul 9 (Olympics news) India were on Friday placed in Group E alongside hosts UAE, Oman, and Kyrgyz Republic for the U-23 Asian Cup Uzbekistan 2022 Qualifiers, to be held from October 23 to 31.
The 42 teams were drawn into 11 groups with 15 spots available at the AFC U23 Asian Cup 2022 with Uzbekistan having already confirmed their place as hosts, the first time the tournament will be staged in the Central Zone.
The draw divided the teams into two regions – the west region comprising 23 west, south and central participating teams as well as the east region, which consists of 19 east and ASEAN participating teams.
The 11 group winners and four best second-placed teams will qualify for the finals.
Also read: Ahead of Olympics, skeet shooter Angad receiving lessons remotely from Norwegian coach Tore Brovold
While India are in Group E, Jordan will host Group F that also has Palestine and Turkmenistan for company.
Group A consists of Syria, hosts Qatar, Yemen and Sri Lanka, while Islamic Republic of Iran, hosts Tajikistan, Lebanon and Nepal will contest in Group B, according to release issued by Asian Football Confederation (AFC).
Iraq, the 2013 champions, headline Group C which will be hosted by Bahrain with Afghanistan and Maldives also contesting.
Saudi Arabia, runners-up in 2013 and 2020, will play in Group D with Bangladesh, hosts Kuwait and Uzbekistan, who will participate in a friendly capacity and their results will not be included in the standings. The AFC did not provide any reason for this.
United Arab Emirates will host Group E with Oman, India and Kyrgyz Republic challenging them for the sole automatic spot available to the finals while hosts Jordan have Palestine and Turkmenistan for company in Group F.
Australia, who finished third in the 2020 AFC U23 Asian Cup, were drawn in Group G with China PR, hosts Indonesia and Brunei Darussalam.
Korea Republic, the winners of the 2020 edition, will face ASEAN opposition in hosts Singapore, Timor-Leste and Philippines in Group H while 2018 runners-up Vietnam are with Myanmar, Hong Kong and hosts Chinese Taipei in Group I.
Mongolia will host ASEAN sides Thailand, Malaysia and Laos in Group J while DPR Korea, 2016 champions Japan and Cambodia are in Group K, with the hosts to be named in due course.
News source: PTI
Extreme E expands its broadcast reach in Morocco
Extreme E, the sport for purpose electric racing series, has announced the launch of Morocco's SNRT to its broadcast lineup.
This year's championship, as well as highlights, previews, reviews, and SNRT's 20-part magazine programme, the Electric Odyssey, will be broadcast live and in full in both Arabic and French by Société Nationale de Radiodiffusion et de Télévision, Morocco's major state broadcasting service. Extreme E's X Prixs will also be accessible to watch on arryadia.com, a digital platform.
SNRT's headquarters are in Rabat, and the company employs 2,300 people across its various media outlets. SNRT is noted for its proactive approach to environmental issues as well as a strong endorsement of gender-equal opportunities inside its organisation, in addition to its diverse menu of sporting and lifestyle programmes.
In early April, Extreme E made its debut in the Saudi Arabian desert, followed by the Ocean X Prix in Senegal in May. Sébastien Loeb, Carlos Sainz Snr., Johan Kristofferson, Mikaela hlin-Kottulinsky, Molly Taylor, and Catie Munnings competed for race honours in enormous 550bhp ‘ODYSSEY 21’ electric SUVs, which wowed audiences around the world. Johan Kristofferson and Molly Taylor, driving for Rosberg X Racing, won both thrilling Finals.
Ali Russell, Chief Marketing Officer at Extreme E said: “SNRT and its associated channels are a great fit for our electric racing championship, and we are delighted to have secured this deal. Apart from being able to extend our excellent broadcast package to the Moroccan region, SNRT shares many of Extreme E’s core values such as gender equality and concern about the world’s climate crisis - both of which are key pillars behind our sport for purpose series.
“Extreme E’s X Prixs in Saudi Arabia and Senegal were overwhelming successes and the feedback from fans has been resoundingly positive. We cannot wait to bring more thrilling action to viewers when we race in Greenland at the end of August.”
Hassan Boutabssil, Head of Arryadia, Moroccan Sports Channel /Sports Rights Manager at SNRT added: “Extreme E is a future facing sport with the environment, entertainment, equality and electrification at its core. Morocco has moved to renewable energy solutions and we love the way sport for purpose resonates with Extreme E.”
Extreme E has proven to be not only a must-see event for motorsports lovers, but also a new era of racing that prioritises environmental concerns.
The series now moves on to Greenland after races in Saudi Arabia and Senegal (28-29 August). The goal is to promote viewers' knowledge and interest in environmental concerns by organising races in locations that are suffering from the environmental crisis, such as deserts and the Arctic.
In order to limit the championship's carbon footprint, races are held without spectators. In addition, the championship ferries race equipment by sea on the St. Helena, the event's floating centrepiece.
Extreme E expands audience reach with National Geographic in Latin America
London: In the latest motorsports news, Extreme E, the electric motorsport series has announced today that National Geographic will broadcast its magazine programmes - ‘How to Build a Race Car’, ‘The Electric Dream´and ‘Climate Changers’ - along with all of its debut season X Prixs on a delayed basis in its region of Latin America. The programmes will be televised in both Spanish and Portuguese.
In its debut season, this very entertaining ‘sport for purpose’ series has already got off to a rocking start with two amazing events – the first in AlUla, Saudi Arabia, in April followed by the most recent in Dakar, Senegal.
Millions of fans around the globe sat glued to their screens as motorsporting stars like Sara Price, Kyle LeDuc, Jamie Chadwick, Mattias Ekström, Molly Taylor and Johan Kristoffersson, took on the championship in their monster ODYSSEY 21 race cars on gravel, rocks and stunning sand dunes – not only with the objective of taking home the prestigious Extreme E trophies, but also with the goal to create awareness regarding the adverse effects of climate change on these fragile locations.
Alongwith the racing, the Extreme E team also implements Legacy Programmes within the areas it visits with a view to bring about positive change.
Ali Russell, Chief Marketing Officer at Extreme E said: “Extreme E is delighted to have secured National Geographic as a broadcaster. The channel is famed for its brilliant and fascinating documentaries on science, adventure, nature and environmental topics, all of which are subjects close to the heart of our championship.
“As well as our great racing, Extreme E is in essence, a ground-breaking adventure for all of us. I believe that the stories behind the series, the people involved, our legacy projects and even the history of our floating centrepiece, the St. Helena, will delight and inspire National Geographic’s audiences. Coupled with our on-going scientific research into the effects of climate change and what can be done to lessen the terrible damage that its causing, makes for a broadcast that is as captivating as it is eye-opening and we want to share this with as many people as possible.”
Following the first two X Prixs in Saudi Arabia (3-4 April) and Senegal (29-30 May), Extreme E now moves on to Greenland (28-29 August) with the last two race venues to be confirmed. By holding races in locations that are suffering due to the environmental crisis, such as deserts and the Arctic, the objective is to increase viewers' interest and awareness in environmental issues.
Touchtennis is making the sport accessible to the masses to live happier, healthier lives
Tennis has always been associated as a rich man’s sport. Memberships at exclusive tennis clubs were always restricted to the rich and influential, unlike football, it’s a sport that requires proper coaching which is an added expense. Adding to that is the cost of equipment such as racquets, balls, strings, shoes, shock absorbers and it all amounts to a sport that has rarely been accessible to those who could not afford it.
However, with the introduction of touchtennis, that perception has drastically changed. Not only has the sport never been more affordable, it can be played on any flat surface with no added expenses with the company of your friends and family. In an exclusive interview with SPOGO, we learn more about this unique initiative with the founder of touchtennis himself, Mr. Rashid Ahmad who spoke about coming up with the idea, the difference between touchtennis and traditional tennis, overcoming challenges, making people active and future goals!
Q 1) How did you come up with the idea of touchtennis, what sort of reception has it received and how quickly has the sport grown?
In all fairness, Tennis as a sport has been around for so many years and all I did was use the space I had available to play with my daughter and then with my friends. We started with a silly idea, some friends and I and before we knew it, it grew into something a lot bigger than what we thought it was ever going to be.
Q 2) What is the difference between touchtennis and the traditional format of tennis?
The main difference is that we use a compact court which is a quarter of the size of a tennis court. Other than that we use a foam ball, a 21-inch racket and a compact net so the court is much more condensed and allows us to play the compact version of the game. The scoring is very similar, 15-30-40. The main differences are that you only get one serve, and that if the ball clips the net and goes in, it is considered in play as there are no lets. The other fun rule is that you are allowed to throw your racket to make a shot. You can do that and can continue to play on.
Q 3) What are some of the challenges that you have faced as the founder of touchtennis? How is the sport being promoted around the world?
As far as the sport is concerned, it's never something we’ve actively tried to promote. We create content and we share it on the internet on various platforms, but we don’t actively market the sport to anybody. That has made it very simple for us. We just have fun playing and that is all we ever meant to do. We were never really out to globally dominate some sport. We just wanted to have fun, some friends and I. Now, we have ended up having barbeques all around the world. We somehow ended up in India and we have a license there and in other countries like South Korea, Italy, France, Spain, the UK, America, Saudi Arabia and all these countries.
Q 4) How important of a role does touchtennis play in making people live active, healthier lives because its more accessible than the traditional format of tennis?
As you saw during the lockdown, nobody was able to play tennis at all. It was impossible to go to a tennis club and play, the only alternative was to play in your garden. Touchtennis really exploded in the last couple of years because everyone was able to play the sport in their garden, either with our equipment or buying cheaper equipment from somewhere else. It does make tennis more affordable, friendly and welcoming than other adaptations out there that have very expensive equipment. Some of the paddles you can buy are 150 pounds whereas with touchtennis, you can buy the entire court including the nets, racquets and balls for 150 pounds.
Q 5) What is your goal and ambition for touchtennis in the future? How do you plan to achieve it?
Without giving too much away, the plan has always been rather loosely put together. We have never really had a concrete plan, Mike Tyson famously said, “Everyone has got a plan until they get punched in the face” and the same goes for touchtennis, we don’t ever want to get punched in the face, we just want to have fun! As the sport grows, my dream is to have kids from the streets win major tournaments and earn life changing amounts of money. That’s the dream and I’m looking at this as the route out of poverty for so many people and to change our perceptions of one another. My other dream is to have a touchtennis court across the India and Pakistan border, so that people can play on it and realize there are really no differences apart from what politicians tell us. If we can do that and have some fun along the way, what a great way to live!
Extreme E announce Eleven Sports as latest broadcaster
London: In the latest Motorsports News, Extreme E, the Off-road electric race series on Wednesday announced its partnership with global media group Eleven Sports to take the championship’s X Prixs to motorsports lovers in multiple markets.
Eleven has gained the rights to the series's live race coverage along with its behind-the-scenes magazine programme, preview, and review shows for its new global streaming platform ElevenSports.com and for Eleven Sports Belgium. Eleven’s coverage will be available in languages like English, French, Flemish and German.
ElevenSports.com is all set to reach millions of fans annually and stream thousands of hours of sport. The partnership will deliver Extreme E to audiences in over 140 nations worldwide, on a non-exclusive basis.
Eleven Belgium is the major sports platform in Belgium and Luxembourg, with a rights portfolio that features the Belgian Pro League, LaLiga, Bundesliga, NBA, UFC, and more.
Eleven subscribers in Belgium and Luxembourg will be able to enjoy all the latest action from the Extreme E series via Eleven Belgium’s award winning OTT and linear channels.
Also read: Our hard work paid off in Saudi but we are fully focused on X Prix in Senegal - Johan Kristoffersson, Rosberg X Racing
The opening Extreme E X Prixs from Saudi Arabia and Dakar, Senegal, have already mesmerized audiences around the globe. Eleven will now further strengthen the coverage of the Championship. The aim of the game - to showcase the benefits of electrification through motorsport, along with shining the spotlight on the adverse effects of climate change.
Ali Russell, Chief Marketing Officer at Extreme E said: “We are delighted to have extended Extreme E’s viewing reach globally with Eleven Sports. Our opening races have delighted audiences around the world with the thrilling new race format and high drama. We have proven that Extreme E’s sport for purpose is not only a must see for fans, but it also marks a new era of racing that highlights the benefits of electrification whilst at the same time shining the spotlight on the climate crisis with the storytelling around the championship.”
Guillaume Collard, ELEVEN Belgium & Luxembourg Managing Director and Group Chief Rights Acquisition Officer, added: “Extreme E is already proving itself to be a hugely exciting competition, with a vital climate change message at the heart of the race. We’re delighted to be bringing the competition to our audience in Belgium and Luxembourg as well as using our transformational digital platform elevensports.com to provide passionate motor sport fans in over 140 markets with the opportunity to enjoy all the action from the Extreme E championship.”
Extreme E: Jutta Kleinschmidt to race for ABT CUPRA XE
London: In the latest motorsports news, Extreme E today confirmed that Jutta Kleinschmidt will compete for ABT CUPRA XE in the series. The first, and so far the only woman to win the iconic Dakar Rally, will join the cockpit with Mattias Ekström with immediate effect and for the last three race events of the season in the series. “I’m really looking forward to this new challenge, the preparation with the ABT team and of course to work with Mattias,” says the German.
Kleinschmidt, who won the Dakar Rally in 2001, takes over the e-CUPRA ABT XE1 from Claudia Hürtgen. “Top performance in off-road events like Extreme E requires intensive preparation, including testing and rally participation. This high time commitment is unfortunately not compatible at the moment with my professional work at BMW, which I live for with the same passion,” says Hürtgen.
“But, a change also offers new opportunities for each of us, so I’m happy for the team that the constellation from Senegal will remain until the end of the season. I’m very grateful for the experiences that I’ve had within the Extreme E family and wish ABT, CUPRA and Jutta only the very best for the next races.”
Extreme E is a familiar field for Jutta Kleinschmidt as she served as Championship Driver and Advisor. She attended the first two races and provided her support to the organisers with her in-depth knowledge from 17 Dakar outings.
Jutta stepped in at short notice for Hürtgen, in Senegal, who was absent due to illness, and impressed with a formidable performance. “At first, I followed the series from the organisers’ point of view, then I got a spontaneous drive and now, together with Mattias, I’m actually a permanent member of the family of drivers. I’m very happy for the chance to compete at the highest level again,” says Kleinschmidt.
While she will be making her maiden appearance for the team at PR appointments for partner CUPRA next week, the focus will be totally on the race in Greenland, which will take place during the last weekend in August. “Accidents in Saudi Arabia, a spontaneous driver change in Senegal – it’s time for us to now have a smooth weekend,” says Mattias Ekström. “We will thoroughly review the season so far, prepare more intensively than ever and try to make a fresh start in Greenland.” After his debut in a buggy in 2021, the Swede will contest the 2022 Dakar Rally for Audi. “Jutta is the ‘Queen of Dakar’ and I’m still almost a rookie. Having her in the team is also something special for me. I’m looking forward to the collaboration and her cumulative experience, which will serve us well in Extreme E.”
The Arctic X Prix in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland will take place on August 28 and 29.
Extreme E: South American races postponed
London: The innovative off-road racing series Extreme E on Friday confirmed that it is actively looking for alternate locations for the last two races in Season 1 due to the current COVID-19 situation in South America.
Extreme E was due to stage its Amazon X Prix at Pará in Brazil during October 23-24, before moving further south in Patagonia, Argentina to hold the Glacier X Prix on December 11-12. However after assessing the global situation with regards to the COVID-19 pandemic, a decision has been made to postpone touring the region until Season 2.
Alejandro Agag, Founder and CEO of Extreme E, said: “We’ve been closely monitoring the situation regarding all Extreme E locations for 2021 and have chosen to make this preemptive decision on racing in South America this year. As a new series embarking on our opening Season, our priority is to deliver a five-race calendar of events which are safe and responsible for our global participants, partners and staff to travel to and attend.
“This was not a decision made lightly, however current travel advice and restrictions have also meant we have been unable to visit the race areas in advance to undertake the necessary reconnaissance visits, which are especially vital due to the remote nature of our operations.
“We will of course continue to support our important reforestation and agroforestry initiatives which are already well underway in the region thanks to the help of Dr Francisco Olivieira and our partnership with The Nature Conservancy in Brazil. We would also like to thank the local authorities in Brazil and Argentina who have been supportive throughout the whole process and we hope we can return in 2022.”
Alternative racing venues are currently being explored and will be confirmed in due course. Options include the possibility of the Western Isles, Scotland before Glasgow hosting COP26 in November.
The series has already concluded two of its five X Prixs in its maiden season – the Desert X Prix in Saudi Arabia and Ocean X Prix in Senegal – and is now preparing for its Arctic X Prix, to be held in Greenland at the end of August.
Extreme E, through each of its X Prix event uses its sporting platform to underline a different environmental issue our planet is facing, alongwith raising awareness about these problems and highlighting solutions leaving a long-lasting positive effect in its race locations through its Legacy Programmes.
Extreme E announce Chile's Canal 13 as latest broadcaster
10 June 2021, London: Innovative off-road electric racing series, Extreme E, on Thursday confirmed Chile’s Canal 13 as its latest broadcaster. The commercial station, based in Santiago will air Extreme E’s full debut season which will include the live race feed, preview and magazine shows on its digital platform www.13.cl. The coverage will be featured in both English and Spanish.
Ali Russell, Chief Marketing Officer at Extreme E said: “I’m delighted to bring our sport for purpose series to Canal 13’s digital viewers in Chile. After two fantastic events this year in Saudi Arabia and then in Senegal, we know just how popular our broadcast package is - the audience numbers say it all!
“By adding Canal 13 to our territories roster, we are continuing to share not only the thrilling race action that Extreme E provides, but also the wider messages of our championship around electrification, environment and equality.”
Cristian Hernandez, Digital Media Manager of Canal 13, said: "For Canal 13 it is proud to be present in this global competition, our television channel and its digital platforms have always been protagonists for Chile of the most important sports and news events worldwide. Today, we are proud to promote the first environmentally friendly, gender-equitable and sustainable competition."
After the conclusion of the first two events in Saudi Arabia (3-4 April), and Senegal (29-30 May), the series will next visit Greenland (28-29 August), Brazil (23-24 October) and Patagonia (11-12 December). By staging races in locations that are suffering due to environmental issues, such as tropical rainforests and the Arctic, the objective is to raise the audience's awareness and interest in environmental issues.
The series also features a unique viewing format, as races are held in the absence of spectators and aired as two-hour programs, in an attempt to minimize the championship’s carbon footprint. Additionally, the championship transports equipment for the race by sea on St. Helena, its floating centrepiece and this behind the scenes content centering around environmental issues will also be available on Canal 13.
Extreme E founder Alejandro Agag bestowed with Autocar's Motorsport Hero Award
London: Extreme E's Founder and CEO Alejandro Agag, has been honoured with Autocar’s Motorsport Hero Award, a recognition given to an individual who has made a significant impact on motorsport and, in turn, the wider automotive industry.
The Awards themselves identify and celebrate the most extraordinary motoring accomplishments over the past 12 months and the individuals responsible for taking the industry forward.
Agag first entered the electric motorsport world in 2014 while he launched the ABB FIA Formula E Championship before going on to develop Extreme E, which had its inaugural race earlier this year. Both championships aim to demonstrate electric mobility and encourage cleaner technologies through the power of sport.
Alejandro Agag, Founder and CEO of Extreme E, said: “I’m delighted to receive this award from Autocar. It is a true recognition of the achievements we have made in driving the electric conversation through motorsport. I’m very proud of what both Formula E and Extreme E have achieved and I look forward to ensuring they go from strength-to-strength as we look to support the fight against climate change.”
Mark Tisshaw, Autocar Editor said: “With his leadership of both Formula E and the new Extreme E championships, Alejandro Agag has shaken up the motorsport world with provocative and challenging ideas. He has defied the many sceptics of an electric single-seater series to grow Formula E into a world championship that has attracted some of the industry's biggest manufacturers, and with Extreme E Agag is now showing that motorsport can address issues such as sustainability and climate change.”
Extreme E is now done with two of its five X Prixs in its inaugural season – the Desert X Prix in Saudi Arabia and Ocean X Prix in Senegal – and is now looking forward to the Arctic X Prix which will be held in Greenland at the end of August.
Electric off-road racing series Extreme E reveals Ocean X Prix course
Extreme E will host its second X Prix this weekend, the Ocean X Prix in Lac Rose, Senegal on 29th and 30th May. Course advisers and championship drivers Timo Scheider and Jutta Kleinschmidt have been developing the course ahead of the free practice sessions on 28th May.
Similar to the Desert X Prix, teams will once again face sandy terrain but the tracks will surround a lake renowned for its pink colour due to the algae in its saline waters. The Ocean X Prix will start on the beach alongside the Atlantic Ocean which will quickly move inland to the sharp, elevated dunes in a tight and twisty course. In the middle sector, the route will cross close to the main paddock and the sand will become softer with small dips and drops after which the race will return to the stunning beach.
Timo Scheider, Extreme E Championship Driver said: “After Saudi Arabia, which was a pretty quick course, the aim was to have a more technical layout with more overtaking possibilities and average to low speed areas, and this is what we have achieved.”
“We have some tricky areas, so for sure you have to manage your speed and we still have areas where you have to pay attention to, because if you're too quick on some stages, you can damage your car, spin or even roll.”
Jutta Kleinschmidt, fellow Extreme E Championship Driver said: “So we love it, it's very technical and completely different to what we faced in Saudi Arabia. It's also slower but gives more options for overtaking as there are many racing lines, which will make the Final very interesting. I expect to see closer racing and more overtakes.”
The Ocean X Prix will also feature the Super Sector in the middle sector of the race. This new element will give drivers the opportunity to earn five points for their team by being the fastest driver in that sector over the weekend. Unlike Saudi Arabia, the final will also feature four cars in an action packed race weekend.
Extreme E's final races to be live streamed on Tik Tok for Senegal
The off road racing series, Extreme E, is all set for its Ocean X-Prix this weekend (29-30 May) at Lac Rose, Senegal and will yet again join forces with leading short video platform, TikTok to create digital live content to further bolster the championships social media offering.
Extreme E’s broadcast of its inaugural event in Saudi Arabia earlier last month attracted a mammoth 18.5 million views across its TikTok content.
Extreme E and Little Dot Studios, as part of the initial partnership, created an exclusive 90-minute production which enjoyed 360,000 views on Extreme E’s TikTok account during the maiden weekend providing a behind-the-scenes view at the personalities involved in the series.
For the upcoming Ocean X Prix this weekend, the parties will build on this format along with the bonus addition of the weekend’s final races also being streamed live on TikTok on Sunday May 30 in countries like Russia, France, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Poland, Romania, Hungary, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE, Morocco, Kuwait, Tunisia, Lebanon, Oman, Iraq, Qatar, Jordan, Mauritania and Bahrain.
In addition to this, the ‘behind-the-scenes’ live-streams, which proved to be very successful at the Desert X Prix in Saudi, will also be live from Lac Rose.
Ali Russell, Chief Marketing Officer at Extreme E, said: “The viewing numbers from our first event – the Desert X Prix in Saudi Arabia - were beyond phenomenal and I’m so thrilled that we were able to reach so many people with our unique championship broadcast. TikTok is massive, and we know that over 60 per cent of its audience are ‘Gen Z’ers’ - the age group that is most concerned about the climate crisis - so to be able to fully engage with them like this is brilliant for our sport for purpose series.
“It’s fantastic that we can now add live streaming in addition to the races and behind-the-scenes coverage from our Ocean X Prix. This is an absolute game changer for our sport and I can’t wait to share Extreme E’s thrilling action and the stories of our championship from Senegal this weekend.”
Yannis Ioannidis, Global Business Development and Strategic Content Partnerships at TikTok said: “We are thrilled to expand our collaboration with Extreme E to include live-streaming of the final races as shown on TV in the agreed countries. TikTok Live is the ultimate destination for exciting live-streaming content and this new partnership with Extreme E will give our mobile-native community of users access to premium racing content for the first time ever.”
Extreme E launches FanWorld, a virtual zone for fans ahead of Ocean X Prix
London: Extreme E on Tuesday launched FanWorld – a virtual experience for fans at home to bring them closer to the Extreme E action. In this virtual zone, fans will be provided exclusive access to the Command Centre, driver’s on-board cameras along with a chance to bag a spot in a live Q&A with the championship’s drivers.
Fans are encouraged to share their experience using the hashtag #XEFanWorld and the finest content will be hosted in the virtual world bringing fans from all over the world together to experience the Championship. In addition to this, there will also be an opportunity for them to access virtual autograph cards.
Ali Russell, Chief Marketing Officer, said: “I think this new initiative is going to excite fans and give them new ways to engage with Extreme E.
“We saw a huge appetite for the series from the Desert X Prix and I hope this will continue to grow throughout Season 1. FanWorld brings all the action to the homes of people that enjoy our sport and brings them closer to the racing.”
The GridPlay vote opens on Wednesday 26 May at 0900 GMT and closes 30 minutes into Semi-Final 2 on 30 May, Sunday. This gives the fans an opportunity to choose their favourite side and influence the starting line-up for the Final.
Teams that don’t progress into the final can gift votes to their preferred competitors. In Saudi Arabia, Andretti United were able to pick its starting position in the closing race, which indeed highlights the importance of every vote.
The Ocean X Prix will take place this weekend from 29-30 May in Lac Rose, Dakar, Senegal.
Everything you need to know about Extreme E's Ocean X Prix in Senegal
London: The innovative off road racing series Extreme E is all set to stage it's second X Prix , the Ocean X Prix this weekend (29-30 May) in Lac Rose, Dakar on the West African Senegalese coast.
Rosberg X Racing (RXR) emerged victorious in the debut X Prix last month in the deserts of Saudi Arabia, but with the top three ranked sides within seven points of each other, the Ocean X Prix guarantees to offer exciting motorsporting action in a location brimming with its heritage.
Alejandro Agag, Founder and CEO or Extreme E said: “I am delighted to be back in Dakar, a place with a vast motorsport heritage, and I can’t wait to see our world-class line-up of drivers compete on this latest course we have devised. The Desert X Prix delivered some truly thrilling racing with a stunning backdrop and I’m sure Senegal will provide the same.
“But in Lac Rose we find an area suffering at the hands of the climate crisis, which is the true reason we are here. It doesn’t take long upon arrival to see one of the biggest issues, plastic pollution, which is affecting the local community and its marine life. Through our Legacy Programmes, we are supporting the local community to make change, and I can’t wait to see it for myself and help where I can.”
Nico Rosberg, RXR Founder said: “The team did an incredible job in Saudi Arabia to get the win and we’re very proud to be the first X Prix winners in Extreme E history, but we know we need to stay focused if we are to remain at the front. The series is already so competitive, but this team loves a challenge, and we can’t wait to go racing again in Senegal.”
Dakar, situated 37km from the capital, it's shores of Lac Rose was the host for the finish of the world’s most famous cross-country rally – the Paris-Dakar - on several occasions between 1979 and 2007. It will now serve as host to the Extreme E's second race, the Ocean X Prix this weekend.
Once again, nine teams and 18 drivers will be seen competing, but in a slight amendment to the Saudi Arabia race format, the Final will be a four-car contest, with two sides from each of the two Semi-Finals advancing to the summit race of the weekend.
Saturday 29 May
Qualifying, just like the Desert X Prix, will consist of 2 rounds of time trials. The starting order of the team will be decided by a draw for Qualifying 1 and Qualifying 2. All races have two laps with the incorporated feature of driver ‘Switch’
Sunday 30 May
Three races are scheduled as follows:
The teams will be listed 1st to 9th place based on the total combined time of each team’s two Qualifying runs.
The top three teams go into the Semi-Final 1, where the top two finishers claim spots in the Ocean X Prix Final.
The middle three teams (4th, 5th, 6th) go through to Semi-Final 2, where again the top two progress to the Ocean X Prix Final.
The bottom three teams (7th, 8th and 9th) head to the Shoot Out.
Four cars will feature in The Ocean X Prix Final - The top two finishers from each Semi-Final.
Teams can also take advantage of a HyperDrive boost, which will be available to each driver on each lap of the race. They will enjoy an extra push of continuous power for a few seconds that will be activated after the driver presses a button on the steering wheel.
New in the Ocean X Prix is the ‘Super Sector’ – a section of the course where the fastest driver in that section over the weekend will bag five points for their side. This will ensure that whatever position the sides find themselves in there will always be an incentive to push to the limit to gain more points.
The teams and driver line-up will take charge of the wheel of the ODYSSEY 21 – a 550 bhp all-electric SUV charged with zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell technology.
ABT CUPRA XE - #125 – Mattias Ekström / Claudia Hürtgen
ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team - #55 – Carlos Sainz / Laia Sanz
Andretti United - #23 – Timmy Hansen / Catie Munnings
Segi TV Chip Ganassi Racing - #99 – Kyle LeDuc / Sara Price
XITE ENERGY RACING powered by myenergi - #42 – Oliver Bennett / Christine GZ
JBXE - #22 – Kevin Hansen / Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky
Rosberg X Racing - #6 – Johan Kristoffersson / Molly Taylor
Veloce Racing - #5 – Stéphane Sarrazin / Jamie Chadwick
X44 - #44 – Sébastien Loeb / Cristina Gutiérrez
For each race, teams can decide as to which driver goes first, and decisions are kept secret until the last minute.
Shakedown and qualifications will be aired via Extreme E’s official website – www.extreme-e.com and social channels (@extremeelive on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Twitch).
The Finals will be aired in over 180 nations by 75 broadcasters including Fox Sports in the USA, ITV, Sky Sports, BBC and BT Sport in the UK, Teledeporte in Spain, Proseiben MAXX in Germany, Mediaset in Italy as well as Eurosport across most European Markets and SuperSport in Africa.
Our hard work paid off in Saudi but we are fully focused on X Prix in Senegal - Johan Kristoffersson, Rosberg X Racing
Johan Kristoffersson is one of the most successful World Rallycross drivers in the world. The ‘Super Swede’ is a part of Rosberg X Racing in the electric off-road racing series Extreme E and recently won the Desert X Prix in Saudi Arabia. In his glittering career, Kristoffersson has won the Scandinavian Touring Car Championship, Porsche Carrera Cup Scandinavia, International Superstars Series and more!
In an exclusive interview with SPOGO, Kristoffersson speaks about his experience of winning the inaugural Extreme E race, Rosberg X Racing, driver swap and ODYSSEY 21, his strengths and weaknesses and whether he has a competitive advantage due to his rallycross background.
Q 1) You along with your teammate Molly Taylor set the fastest time in the first race of the series in Saudi Arabia, how proud are you of becoming the first ever winners of an Extreme E race?
Ans: “It was an amazing experience to take the win in the first-ever Extreme E event. The weekend was so crazy and we didn’t know what to expect, so to get the win and know that all our hard work had paid off ahead of the new season was a great feeling for the team. Now we’re fully focused on the next X Prix in Senegal.”
Q 2) How much of a credit goes to Rosberg X Racing for the result in the Desert X Prix? What are the factors that contributed to the win?
“We prepared as much as we could before the race weekend and worked as hard as possible to try and understand how the car might react in the desert, how all the procedures might work, and then on the race weekend we analysed every piece of video footage and data we possibly could. Hard work pays off!”
Also read: I want to inspire girls around the world to get involved with motorsport - Molly Taylor, Rosberg X Racing
Q 3) What are your thoughts about the ODYSSEY 21? How tricky is the driver swap?
“The car is cool! We’re racing in 400 kW (550bhp) all-electric SUVs that will help shape the future of off-road electric mobility in some of the most extreme environments in the world. The driver swaps are a new challenge for most of the drivers in Extreme E; Molly and I had to practice a lot as we have very different heights [Molly is 168cm, Johan 192-194cm]!”
Q 4) How did you and Molly Taylor prepare for the inaugural race of Extreme E? How do the two of you complement each other's strengths and weaknesses?
“We both have a lot of experience of off-road racing, but we have raced in very different formats. My off-road background is mainly rallycross, while Molly is an experienced rally driver. Extreme E combines a lot of factors of both disciplines, so comparing notes and making sure we are learning from each other’s experiences is a big part of our development.”
Q 5) Do you think you have an advantage over others because of your rallycross background? How challenging has it been to adapt to an electric car?
“It may help when the race starts, but there’s also a number of other drivers in Extreme E who have a rallycross background, such as Mattias Ekstrom and Timmy Hansen. Driving an electric car is a strange sensation at first because of the lack of noise and the instant power delivery, but I am now used to it and learning something new every time I get behind the wheel.”
I want to inspire girls around the world to get involved with motorsport - Molly Taylor, Rosberg X Racing
Australian driver Molly Taylor is in high spirits, having recently won the Saudi X Prix with teammate Johan Kristofferson in the inaugural race of Extreme E, an all electric motorsport series. Having grown up in a motorsport family, Taylor’s mother was a professional co-driver for 18 years and won three Australian titles. For an industry largely dominated by men, Extreme E is giving women an equal platform to showcase their talent and drivers such as Molly Taylor are a breath of fresh air in a tournament focused on bringing awareness to the climate crisis and sustainability.
In an exclusive interview with SPOGO, Molly Taylor speaks about whether she has a competitive advantage due to her rally experience, driving on the desert terrain of Saudi Arabia, gender equality in motorsport, the ODYSSEY 21 and more!
Q 1) You are the only female winner of the Australian Rally Championship, how much of an advantage is that experience in competing at Extreme E?
Ans: “I’m really proud to have won my national rally championship back home, but I think I get more of an advantage from my experience of competing in rally competitions for a number of years – not just my championship year in Australia. Extreme E is a highly-competitive field, so everyone at Rosberg X Racing is committed to calling on their experience to make sure we remain competitive as a team.”
Q 2) Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions that you follow? How challenging was it to drive on a terrain like the one in Saudi Arabia?
Ans: “I don’t have any superstitions, but do like to take a moment to visualise the course in front of me and focus on the challenge of racing the ODYSSEY 21. The terrain in Saudi Arabia was really difficult to navigate as new ruts were appearing with every lap we completed. I had a big moment in one of the time-trials on the Saturday but managed to keep control – that was a wake-up call!”
Q 3) How important is a series like Extreme E to develop female racing talent and to promote gender equality in motorsport?
"Equality is a huge part of sustainability, and this series, our team and one of my personal biggest passions is improving equality. Extreme E is the first racing series to feature male/female driver line ups at each team, and I hope to use my platform as an FIA Girls on Track ambassador as well as driver in Extreme E to inspire girls around the world to get involved with motorsport, which has given so much to me.”
Q 4) How does the ODYSSEY 21 compare to other rally cars you have raced with? What role have you played in tailoring the car to your specifications?
Ans: “The ODYSSEY 21 is unlike any other car I have driven. Firstly, it’s massive! It also has a serious amount of power [400kw] and delivers it instantly when you apply the throttle because of the electric motor. It’s very difficult to compare it to the Subaru I race in the Australian Rally Championship in every sense, but working with Johan and the team to better understand how we can get the most out of it has been a lot of fun and we can’t wait to continue at the next race in Senegal.”
Q 5) What excites you the most about Extreme E as compared to other rally races?
“It’s unlike any other racing series that has ever existed, and that for me is the most exciting part of Extreme E. We’re racing in 400 kW (550bhp) all-electric SUVs that will help shape the future of off-road electric mobility in some of the most extreme environments in the world, and all with the goal of raising awareness about the biggest threat to mankind today: climate change.”
Extreme E: JBXE announce Kevin Hansen as their driver for Ocean X Prix in Senegal
JBXE Racing on Friday confirmed that Kevin Hansen will drive for the side in Extreme E's upcoming Ocean X Prix which is all set to take place in Lac Rose in Dakar, Senegal, while Jenson Button will be focusing on his role as Team Principal for this X Prix.
Kevin Hansen got associated with the series in 2019, when he joined the Drivers’ Programme and has been instrumental in the testing process along with teammate Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky, and his brother, and Andretti United driver, Timmy Hansen. The three were the first to drive the ODYSSEY 21 at Chataeu de Lastours in France, back in 2019.
Kevin has been featuring in the FIA World Rallycross Championship for many years, registering event victories and multiple podiums for Team Peugeot-Hansen.
The 22-year-old Swedish racer, earlier in his career, clinched the 2015 RX2 title and bagged the 2016 FIA Rookie of the Year award for best up-and-coming driver across the governing body’s championships after his victory at the FIA European Rallycross Championship that year. He is the youngest driver ever to do so.
Jenson Button, Founder of JBXE said: “I’m delighted to announce that an opportunity has arisen for Kevin Hansen to compete for JBXE in Senegal. I’m obviously wearing two hats with JBXE as both a driver, but also team owner, and it’s the latter which means having the opportunity to put Kevin in the car for this race was one I didn’t want to pass up. Brother of course to Timmy Hansen and son to Rallycross legend, Kenneth Hansen, Kevin has a fantastic pedigree and has already achieved so much in the world of rallycross at such a young age. He’s an exciting driver and I can’t wait to see him representing JBXE in Senegal and I look forward to being back behind the wheel in Greenland.”
Kevin Hansen, JBXE driver said: “I’m really excited to join Formula One World Champion Jenson Button and his JBXE team for the Extreme E X Prix - it's a huge opportunity.
“I've been so involved in the series and developing the car since the beginning, from the early testing programme right to Aragon last year, so to get this opportunity now with Jenson is so nice and I'm super excited to get to Senegal and see what I can do.
“I’m so happy to be joining Mikaela also. I hope together we can be strong as I believe she is one of the strongest drivers in the championship and I've known her for a very long time. She's very talented so this is a huge opportunity for us to be working together, and we have so much history in sharing the car together so it is going to be nice to be with her in this event, and I think we can do a good job together.”
His teammate for Senegal, Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky, added: “I’m so excited to be racing with Kevin in the Ocean X Prix, he is super eager to have some good results so I think this will be a great collaboration. We are actually doing some driving practice in Sweden in the coming days.
“I’ve known Kevin since we were around 10 years old as we have raced together in the Swedish National Team and worked together in developing the Extreme E car over the last couple of years. We’ve actually raced against each other too in Rallycross so I’m looking forward to getting some good results with Kevin.”
The all-Swedish driver line-up is all set to compete at the Ocean X Prix taking place from 29-30 May in Dakar, Senegal. JBXE currently ranks sixth in the overall standings following the first X Prix in Saudi Arabia in April.
Extreme E's middle ranked teams look forward to Senegal to climb up the leaderboard
Similar to the top three teams in the Extreme E table, the middle rankings featuring ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team (fourth), Hispano Suiza XITE Energy Team (fifth) and JBXE (sixth) are separated by only a few points with 26, 20 and 17 points respectively.
Although ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team were in the second position after qualifying propelled them to Semi-Final 1, they narrowly missed out on a spot in the Final finishing third in that session. Hispano Suiza XITE Energy Team and Jenson Button’s JBXE team were both in Crazy Race but missed a chance in the finals after being defeated by Andretti United who then eventually clinched the second spot in the last race of the day.
There is still a lot to play for as the Ocean X Prix in Senegal from 29-30 May will provide opportunity for points in both the Qualifying rounds and Final, making a team's way up in the points table a real possibility that all the sides will relish.
Albert Fàbrega, ACCIONA | Sainz XE’s Team Principal says: "It was positive to show our speed from the very beginning, even though we narrowly missed the Final. We are very excited now to go to Senegal. The Lac Rose in Dakar is a legendary place in the history of motorsport. Both Laia and Carlos are very experienced drivers in those conditions. We have been working to improve our performance and we are hoping we can fight for the podium again.”
Like many of the Extreme E drivers Laia Sanz, too has been contesting elsewhere before Senegal in the Andalusia Rally, again on four wheels which is very different to her two-wheel Dakar pedigree, however is a very important practice for the upcoming event at Lac Rose. She says:
“It is important for me, because I am continuously learning when it comes to racing on four wheels, which is not my natural environment. The Andalusia Rally was very positive for me in my progression on four wheels and I am convinced that it will come in handy in Senegal, so yes, I am more confident going into the second event of the Extreme E season. First because I have the experience of having raced in AlUla and second because of the work that I am putting in testing and racing in competitions like the Andalusia Rally.”
Driver duo of Brit Oliver Bennett and Spaniard Christine GZ finished at the second spot in the Crazy Race. The two had a steady Saudi outing that put them in the centre of the overall rankings. Oliver says: “I’m really XITE’d to get to the Ocean X Prix in Senegal. It feels like a long time since we last drove the car so I’m anxious to get back behind the wheel and keep familiar with this new electric monster.” He continues: “The overall feeling for this event is positive, we learnt a lot in the first round and came away feeling confident and with a good strategy for the season ahead. It’s a new environment, most likely another extreme one, so we will be as prepared as we can to do battle!”
On the other hand, his teammate Christine GZ - has been participating in other races since the Desert X Prix and says: “I have been competing at an off-road event to keep developing my skills and will be testing alongside my teammate Oli in a range of vehicles before round two of Extreme E. My main goal in Senegal is to have a ton of fun! “
JBXE driver Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky, is looking forward to the chance of getting back in the action. She says: “I’m super excited for Senegal! Saudi was a challenge for us as we came in late to the series so we didn't have much time to prepare, but now we have the experience and knowledge from the Desert X Prix and we've been working closely with Lotus Engineering to see what we can do with the car.”
She continues: “Saudi was the first time I’d raced on the sand and it’s going to be sand again in Senegal, although a different course, so I’m really excited to see a new venue and see how the tyres perform as we had a good run with them in Saudi. All in all it is great to have the experience from the first event and I’m looking forward to seeing how the work we have done between then and Senegal will pay off.”
Extreme E's inaugural X Prix draws world audience of 18.7 million
London: Extreme E’s debut X Prix – the Desert X Prix concluded in April at AlUla, Saudi Arabia, and the effect of the race has now been assessed with the broadcast bringing in a cumulative global viewers of 18.7 million, headlining the craze for this new sport for purpose.
The Championship has worked alongside YouGov Sport – global sports, sponsorship and entertainment research company -- to collect data and insight into the viewers of Extreme E’s inaugural event and the report has made for an exciting read.
Overall, the broadcast audience was 18.7 million covering nearly 900 million households in around 180 nations. There were 1,500 plus hours of broadcast coverage as China topped the table followed by Europe and Asia closely.
Ali Russell, Chief Marketing Officer at Extreme E said: “We’ve seen a phenomenal success for Extreme E’s first ever event. Our strategy of attracting strong free-to-air partners, and a digital first, always on approach, when combined with our exciting and innovative racing format and a sporting platform with pitted males and females racing equally together created a truly winning combination.
“The diverse nature of Extreme E meant there was plenty of action across the weekend, with some truly memorable performances, with our female driver line-up coming out as clear winners. These numbers demonstrate the massive appeal, not only of our racing format, but also our wider messages around the climate crisis, both of which featured heavily in our broadcast.
“As a sport without spectators on site, these figures are fantastic as they show our broadcast only model really does work to engage people on so many levels, whether that be through broadcast, social or press. We are looking forward to building on these statistics as we continue through Season 1 and bringing the messages of our series around environment, electrification and equality to as many people as possible.”
Frank Saez, Managing Director of YouGov Sport, said: “For a first-time event, these figures are incredibly promising and show that Extreme E has tapped into something that looks to have real potential for growth. When we watched the event, what leapt out immediately was the shareable content it would produce – and that’s exactly what the data has shown. A billion social impressions for an inaugural race tells us that Extreme E could be on to something very special here, especially with the strong broadcast partners they have.”
YouGov Sport also assessed online media articles as over 5,000 were published around the X Prix, totalling the readership of 1.6 billion, with the highest surge seen on the race day itself. The UK and USA were the top countries with regards to readership, with the USA and European nations featuring the UK, Germany, Spain and Italy with the most articles published.
There were over a billion impressions from a social media point of view with an impressive performance especially on TikTok and Facebook.
Extreme E is now fully focussed on delivering its second X Prix at Lac Rose in Dakar, Senegal which will be held from 29-30 May. The action will be available in over 180 nations through more than 60 broadcasters including FoxSports in the USA and Asia, ITV, BBC, Sky Sports and BT Sport in the UK and Eurosport in Europe.
Here's how Extreme E's top 3 teams are preparing for the Ocean X Prix in Senegal
The inaugural Extreme E race in the Saudi Arabian deserts of AlUla last month had Rosberg X Racing (RXR) clinch both the race title and the top spot in the overall standings, with 35 points. Although X44 crossed the finish at the final third, they are currently positioned at the second place in the overall table with 30 points after picking more points in qualifying than Andretti United, who eventually came second in the final and now sit on the third place with 28 points.
With just seven points separating the three teams, the table toppers in a conversation with Extreme E shared insights as to how they’re preparing for the upcoming Ocean X Prix at Lac Rose, Dakar, Senegal from 29-30 May.
Molly Taylor, from RXR says: “To take victory in the first-ever Extreme E event was an amazing achievement. Everyone in the team had worked so hard in the build-up to the event, so for me and Johan to repay them all with the victory felt so special. The beauty of Extreme E is the extra buzz you get from racing for purpose, too, and it’s an even better feeling when you win for purpose!”
After a great victory, the side has spent the last few weeks studying the data taken from the dunes in Saudi Arabia in order to prepare for Extreme E's second X Prix in Senegal, where RXR will attempt to clinch two wins on the trot.
Taylor’s RXR teammate, Johan Kristoffersson, says: “Senegal will be a brand-new challenge for everyone, but that’s one of the greatest things about Extreme E: every event is so unique! Despite the differences, we’ll do our best to improve on our performance in AlUla and aim to be competitive once again.”
When asked if RXR thinks it can keep its position at the top of the table, its Founder Nico Rosberg enthused: “The team did an incredible job in Saudi Arabia to get the win and we’re very proud to be the first X Prix winners in Extreme E history, but we know we need to stay focused if we are to remain at the front. The series is already so competitive, but this team loves a challenge, and we can’t wait to go racing again in Senegal.”
X44 driver pairing Cristina Gutiérrez and Sébastien Loeb had an impressive weekend in Saudi Arabia as they topped the qualifying standings and headed straight through to the first Semi-Final, and by finishing in second place, advanced to the Final. But the side is hoping to win in Senegal.
Sébastien says: “I’m looking forward to racing again in Senegal with Cristina. In the last race obviously there were things that didn’t go our way, but we showed that we’re a very competitive team and that we’re able to get results under pressure.” He continues: “The Ocean X Prix will be a totally new terrain and we have an incredible group of people working with us, so I’m excited to go to Senegal and fight again for a win.”
They have been putting a lot of hard work behind the scenes, analysing the data from the last race to ensure its drivers are well prepared for Lac Rose. The team has been focusing on the all-important start in particular, which proved crucial for the final race position, although Senegal will throw a very different challenge of course.
Cristina added: “I’m really excited to get back in the car and race again in Senegal. Obviously the final race in Saudi didn’t go exactly as planned but we got a great result overall and it put us in a good position in the championship. We learned a lot from the last race and we’re going to take those learnings and make sure that we’re as competitive as possible.” When asked about the programmes off the track, she says: “I’m excited too to visit Extreme E’s legacy projects, and make a positive impact on the planet while we’re there.”
Andretti United is at the third position, who advanced to the Final after clinching the Crazy Race. Catie Munnings certainly proved herself to be a tough competitor after her amazing three-wheel drive after enduring a slow puncture in qualifying.
Catie says: “Saudi Arabia certainly wasn’t plain sailing for us, especially with the puncture but Timmy and I learned so much and to finish second in the Final after a tricky start to the event was just awesome. Now we go into Senegal third in the standings, which is a really strong position to be in. We definitely feel well prepared and ready to apply what we learned from Saudi at the Ocean X Prix – and hopefully score another podium!”
In the final, Andretti was able to choose its starting position as it managed to win the fan-led GridPlay vote after getting support not only from its fans, but also from teams that didn’t qualify for the final, as per the rules that state they can gift their votes.
Ahead of the Senegal event, Timmy Hansen has been busy with his fitness routine, through lots of running, even finishing the Wings for Life Run alongside 160,000 others, virtually to raise funds for spinal cord research. Hansen has also completed some off-road training in the Polaris and supported Catie in her RallyX Nordic debut in Höljes. He also took some time off to celebrate his son Sam’s third birthday.
He says: “I’ve had a productive few weeks continuing with my training, fulfilling some sponsor obligations and also spending a bit of time with my family too. It feels good to strike the right balance. It’s been great having Catie over in Sweden again too - we’ve done a full debrief from Saudi and know the areas where we can improve. We’re both feeling confident going into Senegal with a refreshed state of mind.”
The Ocean X Prix commences on 29 May, and as the all-electric SUVs have been at sea travelling the world on Extreme E's floating centrepiece – the St. Helena; teams won’t be able to start preparing for the race with the cars themselves until they touch down in Senegal.
Extreme E signs deal with Catalonian TV3
London: Extreme E, the innovative electric off-road racing series, has today announced that it has signed an agreement with TV3, the Spanish television network, for airing its entire 2021 season. Catalonia's public broadcasting network TV3, will televisie each of Extreme E’s X Prixs live and free to air in Catalan. TV3’s digital channel, TV3-Televisio will also stream the race coverage.
TV3, which has its headquarters based just outside Barcelona is also the most-viewed station in the area enjoying an impressive 14.6% audience share. Besides, TV3-Televisió, its digital platform, in 2019 was named as Catalonia’s top web channel with regards to user numbers and video views.
The groundbreaking series, Extreme E has already impressed fans around the globe with its amazing series debut in the deserts of Saudi Arabia in April. Aired live to millions of homes, mobiles and tablets, audience were thrilled by the high drama and exciting contest as some of the biggest names of motorsports featuring Carlos Sainz, Sébastien Loeb, Jenson Button, Molly Taylor and Johan Kristoffersson took to the testing conditions of sandy dunes of AlUla in 550bhp ‘ODYSSEY 21’ electric SUVs in a bid for the inaugural Extreme E podium.
The Rosberg X Racing pairing of Kristoffersson and Taylor emerged victorious with a stunning display of skill, speed and tactics to secure their names in a piece of motorsporting history. They were closely followed by Andretti United’s Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen and X44’s Sébastien Loeb and Cristina Gutiérrez.
Ali Russell, Chief Marketing Officer at Extreme E said: “Extreme E’s mission to ‘race without trace’ whilst simultaneously raising awareness of climate issues, means it is vital that our series reaches as many audiences on as many platforms as possible throughout the world. Working with TV3 will not only provide up to nine millions viewers in Catalonia with a thrilling and innovative motorsport championship, but also convey the message that we all need to play our part in looking after our planet.”
Extreme E's next X Prix, the Ocean X Prix will be taking place at Lac Rose from 29-30 May.
Solgaard teams up with Extreme E to provide sustainable luggage
London: Extreme E, the innovative electric off-road motorsport series has joined forces with Solgaard, the premium travel and lifestyle brand, to provide its 2021 team with sustainable luggage and travel gear created from upcycled ocean-bound plastic ahead of the Ocean X Prix scheduled to take place in Senegal on 29-30 May, 2021.
Canadian-Norwegian entrepreneur Adrian Solgaard founded the Solgaard in 2016 with an objective to utilise ocean-bound plastic in its range of premium, yet sustainable, tech, travel and lifestyle product portfolio. The pioneering company has been instrumental in preventing over 7 million plastic bottles from entering the ocean in the last 2 years.
Besides, for every one of its products sold, Solgaard guarantees that it prevents 229 plastic bottles from entering into the world’s waters.
Similarly, one of Extreme E’s key objectives is to underline the damage caused by plastic waste, not just in the oceans but also on land. The environment-conscious sport for purpose championship has undertaken beach ‘clean-ups’ in its distant race locations which includes Saudi Arabia and its next location in Senegal as part of the series' Legacy Programme. The debris gathered from these locations is then recycled and given a new life as the championship trophies and other useful materials for the series.
Ali Russell, Chief Marketing Officer at Extreme E said: “We are delighted that Solgaard has chosen to supply Extreme E with its premium luggage. Not only does it make a fantastic product which will be hugely beneficial to our team as it travels around the globe, the company also shares many of our core values regarding sustainability.
“Plastic pollution is a major global environmental crisis and anything that we can do to halt its fugitive effects is vital. Teaming up with Solgaard marks yet another way that Extreme E is able to bring people, locations and companies together to inspire actionable change.”
Adrian Solgaard, Solgaard Founder and CEO said: “Solgaard is proud to support Extreme E on this exciting journey at the intersection of sustainability and adrenaline, electrifying the deserts to save our ocean and the planet. We are thrilled to share our goal of increasing global awareness and education about the ocean plastic crisis with the Extreme E team and supplying Solgaard’s sustainable luggage and travel gear; produced with the smallest possible footprint through a circular supply chain using upcycled ocean-bound plastic.”
The Extreme E season started with the opening race in Saudi Arabia on April 3 and will now go on to race in Senegal (May 29-30), Greenland (August 28-29), Brazil (October 23-24) and Patagonia (December 11-12).
Extreme E's floating centrepiece, St. Helena arrives in Senegal
London: The innovative off road racing series - Extreme E’s floating centrepiece, the St. Helena arrived in Senegal on Wednesday for the second X Prix, the Ocean X Prix to be held at Lac Rose, Dakar from 29 – 30 May.
Extreme E’s repurposed former Royal Mail Ship, the St. Helena reached the Dakar port, having sailed for over 4 weeks from Extreme E’s championship debut in Saudi Arabia. Her iconic voyage has taken her across the Mediterranean Sea, through the Suez Canal, via Valencia and then Gibraltar to finally reach the West coast of Africa.
Alejandro Agag, Founder and CEO of Extreme E said: “I’m pleased to see that the St. Helena has arrived safely and on schedule in Dakar - her second voyage as Extreme E’s floating centrepiece is complete.
“St. Helena’s safe arrival means we can now focus on preparing for the Ocean X Prix later this month, and the next phase of our Legacy Programme, which includes the planting of one million mangroves along the West African coastline. As well as bringing our fantastic electric racing series to a place with such a legendary motorsport history, Extreme E aims to shine the spotlight on the environmental challenges that Senegal is facing as well as helping local communities.”
While at port in Valencia, the St. Helena picked some important cargo which includes AFC Energy’s first upstream green hydrogen fuelling solution which will work with its existing hydrogen power system to charge the championship's fleet of ODYSSEY 21 vehicles during the Ocean X-Prix. Also, Zenobe, a sustainable power solutions company loaded a second-life battery onto the ship. It will be utilised to power the series' paddock operations, yet again decreasing overall emissions.
Besides, while in Valencia, CUPRA, the car manufacturer, also loaded one of its Formentor e-HYBRIDs, the exciting new model which has only been on the market since March and will be used to transport Extreme E's personnel to and from site at Lac Rose.
The cargo will be transported to Lac Rose in Dakar, Senegal for the Ocean X Prix which will be held from May 29-30.
Extreme E’s remote operations to be powered by Zenobe’s second-life battery technology
London: UK’s premier independent owner and operator of battery storage and EV fleet specialists, Zenobe will be offering a second-life battery to supply power to Extreme E’s site operations which includes the team garages and critical broadcast infrastructure, facilitating the Championship achieve its net-zero target and underlining the power of a circular economy.
The battery’s first life had itself operating in Sweden, as it helped in bringing cleaner air to Stockholm as it powered an all-electric bus in the heart of the city. In its new life, the battery will make use of its remaining unexploited capacity to power site operations at the Extreme E and will travel around the world powering the Championship as it will race in locations that have been adversely affected by climate change.
The former bus battery, now beginning its new life is on board at the St Helena Extreme E’s floating centerpiece, which is also due to reach Dakar today, all set to be put to work by Extreme E in Lac Rose, Senegal. It will be operating in some of the world's most extreme environments, which includes the bitter cold of the Greenland Arctic, the heat of the West African coastline, and the close humidity of the Amazon rainforest.
Zenobe, as the Official Energy Storage Supplier for the maiden edition of Extreme E, with it's second-life battery will enable the championship to maximise the consumption of renewable energy generated onsite, to help the series sustainably reinvent motorsporting operations. The battery, in its first life on a bus, saved nearly a thousand tonnes of CO2. Now it will help Extreme E series save approximately fifteen tonnes of CO2 per year, in its second life.
Zenobe, with this path-breaking second-life battery, is backing Extreme E’s mission to encourage a more sustainable world. By extending the battery's life by many years, the project underlines the enormous capabilities of batteries, even after their first life. As businesses around the world look to decrease emissions and go green, this second-life battery project highlights the importance of a circular economy and is the first of Zenobe's many upcoming second-life projects 2021.
Steven Meersman, Co-Founder and Director at Zenobe, said: “We are proud to be partnering with Extreme E, an organisation that shares our passion for using electrification to enable a cleaner, greener future.
“Reusing is absolutely central to this. At Zenobe we are dedicated to advancing battery application with a particular focus on what happens to EV batteries at the end of their lives on vehicles. Our growing second-life battery operations solve this issue, as we reuse batteries from our electric fleets across Europe and close the loop.
“As the world continues to drive towards its net-zero goal, Zenobe is committed to leading the charge towards a circular economy, embracing second-life battery technology and championing its vast capabilities.”
Alejandro Agag, Founder and CEO of Extreme E said: “We are proud to be working with Zenobe to provide a second life for this former bus battery.”
“As a series we are committed to minimising our carbon impact at all levels, and becoming a platform for renewable energy solutions which have wider world use. This battery will now play a very important role in powering our paddock operations, ensuring that it is not just on the race track where we can showcase our low carbon solutions to everyday issues.”
The Extreme E season began with the debut race in Saudi Arabia on April 3 and will now travel to Senegal (May 29-30), Greenland (August 28-29), Brazil (October 23-24) and Patagonia (December 11-12).
"I am really excited to be going back to Senegal" - Jutta Kleinschmidt
As Extreme E, the innovative off road racing series heads to Senegal for the Ocean X Prix, Championship Driver, Jutta Kleinschmidt in a press release by Extreme E, spoke about her memories of Dakar and the why the champion driver is looking forward to going back to the place where it all began…
“From the age of six, I had only two obsessions; speed and adventure,” Jutta Kleinschmidt, the first and only Women champion of the infamous, challenging and as the very terrifying, Dakar Rally.
This sense of adventure, along with riding off-road motorbikes, while growing up, paved the way for Jutta to turn up, uninvited, in 1987 to the start line of the Paris to Dakar Rally, not as a participant, but as a follower. This intrepid young woman, for 3 weeks, tagged along behind the official race, riding her motorbike 10,000km through France, Algeria and then the formidable Sahara Desert to Senegal to the wonderful Lac Rose.
Every night, the champion driver would finally appear at the bivouac (camps), tired, relieved and with her tent still just about strapped to her motorbike.
Jutta explains, “By following the rally that year, my aim was to see how it was and I was just so pleased to reach each bivouac each night in one piece, this was one of the biggest adventures for me because I was completely on my own without any technical support.”
She continues, “In a way it was crazy what I did. This was a long time ago, so we didn’t have GPS or mobile phones or any of that…so, if you got lost, you are really lost and there’s no connection at all to civilization. But I made good friends with the competitors - the teams were all really nice - they supplied me in the Bivouac with spare fuel if they had it and even food and also promised to send someone to find me if I didn’t show up at night!”
Having made it to the finish and now with her appetite truly whetted, Jutta entered the rally, officially this time, in 1988. Some years later, and with sponsorship gained through her time in motorbikes, she made the switch from two wheels to entering her first Dakar in a car in 1995 in a female team with co-driver Dagmar Lohmann. When asked what prompted that change, Jutta explains, “I felt like I had done what I wanted to do on bikes, and it came to a point where I wanted to do more and try in a car. I managed to convince my sponsors to continue with me in the change to cars.”
And it was at this point where Jutta felt she was beginning to really master this extraordinary sport that in reality less than 40% of entrants actually go on to even completing.
“It is so hard to dig your car out of the sand!” She exclaims, “It’s incredibly hot and you’re wearing the fireproof overalls, when you were unlucky you would have to dig for an hour or more to get your car free. And that’s where a lot of people get exhausted and why a lot of them give up. And there’s also changing your own wheel during the race. Each one can weigh up to 55 kg. Everybody (yes men too) need to train hard in the gym for that!
“In the beginning when I first entered on a motorcycle, it was my goal to just get to the end of the race and not give up. And I was so happy with that to start with.”
In 2001, with brilliant skill, tenacity and a dash of racing great fortune, She clinched a historic Dakar Rally win – making her the first and only woman ever to have achieved this feat.
When asked about her memories of that momentous win in 2001, Jutta says, “It was truly amazing you know because I’d been dreaming of this since I was a young woman. It was like being on top of a mountain!”
“Having gone from participating all alone with no support, to gradually gaining confidence and getting a bit of sponsorship, to the change to racing in cars to getting a podium and then to actually winning – it was a long journey, but it was worth it!”
It can’t be sidelined that Jutta’s win was not just an extraordinary achievement by anyone’s standards, but it also marked a significant moment for women in this discipline.
Jutta: “Oh for sure it was super because I got a lot of response from both women and men after my win. It was like wow; the men can see we can drive, and the women can also see what’s really possible for them too.”
She continues, “My win was also great as it shone a big light on cross country motorsport for women and gave so much interest in this kind of racing. I love to see women participating in this and to have shown them what they can achieve.”
So, what’s her view on Extreme E’s mandatory ruling that every team has to field a male and female driver in its championship?
Jutta said, ”Oh for sure I can see it’s very positive. It’s good to see these women taking part and also some coming from different areas of motorsport. Men and women racing together in a team and against each other is how motorsport should be, to show the equality between them. It’s also good for cross country racing and hopefully the ones that have not been in the Dakar before might try it as well, now they have raced in Extreme E and see what they can do! I can’t see any disadvantages at all, it’s great for everyone.”
As Extreme E makes its way to Senegal for the Ocean X Prix in a few weeks’ time, how does she feel regarding heading back to the place where it all started for her all those years ago?
She says, “I am really excited to be going back to Senegal. To be honest I have not had a chance to go back since 2007, when the last Dakar was held in this region and actually my last Dakar too, so it’s going to be great to be back there and see how it’s changed. It will feel in a way like coming home as it was a big moment for me winning there and changed many things for me. I still remember so clearly when I passed the finish line in 2001 especially - I am sure a lot of positive emotions will come up again.”
“As far as how it will compare with the Desert X Prix in AlUla, I think Lac Rose will be more technical for the drivers but much less dusty than Saudi Arabia.”
“The Senegalese people, much like the Saudis, are very passionate about motorsport which makes it another great place for Extreme E to be racing. In a sense the people in Senegal still feel a sense that they still ‘own’ the Dakar as it will always be called the Dakar even though it’s not held in their country now – it’s kind of still theirs and they have so much passion for this type of cross-country motor racing because of it.”
Jutta continues, “I think everybody will love the Extreme E cars there too. To see these fantastic electric SUVs performing in such a way, so fast and so exciting to watch - the speed, the jumping, it will be amazing. I can’t wait to get there and work with Timo (Scheider) and the teams and the drivers to make it another fantastic event!”
Extreme E’s Ocean X Prix is scheduled to take place at Lac Rose, Dakar from 29-30 May.
Extreme E's documentary series 'Electric Odyssey' hits global screens
London: The brand new electric off-road racing series, Extreme E is creating a magazine show – Electric Odyssey – to tell the stories of the Championship surrounding racing, its equality stance and its missions around the environment and climate change.
Two of the twenty episodes are now available to watch - with the third episode being released today - on TV screens through a wide board of global broadcasters in 180 nations which includes ITV in the UK, FOX in the US, Canada and Asia, TV2 in Hungary, Cosmote in Greece, ORF in Austria, SuperSport in Africa and TVNZ in New Zealand.
The 26-minute episodes target the climatically aware viewers with a passion for adventure, and with terrific behind-the-scenes access regarding the building and progression of this innovative motorsport, the shows take the viewers on a journey through all of the Championships racing action along with sporting insight and its stories of climate change, sustainability, science and exploration to keep the dialogue alive between each X Prix.
Ali Russell, Chief Marketing Officer at Extreme E, said: “Electric Odyssey is a great series creating additional depth to the storytelling of the championship and extending the conversation outside of our five events in 2021. The plethora of behind-the-scenes sports shows focusing on football, basketball and Formula One for example show the appetite for this kind of content. But more than that, launches of channels like WaterBear – home to Extreme E content – demonstrates the importance of telling the wider stories of the series outside motorsport.
“I’m delighted that so many of our global broadcast partners are airing this unique content that gives a true insight to the people and personalities behind our unique sport for purpose.”
The episodes are being crafted by Extreme E Studios – a joint venture between Aurora Media and North One and air from now till January 2022. The shows will also feature stories of every racing location, Extreme E’s floating centrepiece the St. Helena along with the environmental crisis and the climate issues each race aims to bring into limelight.
Chris Carpenter, Senior Producer at Aurora Media said: “Extreme E isn’t like many other sporting properties, there’s so much more narrative than just the racing. The Electric Odyssey series gives us a fantastic opportunity to delve deeper into the many other aspects of this championship.
“It’s not just a sports magazine show - it’s a hybrid of content. Along with the incredible racing we’ll be including features about climate science, adventure travel, sustainable technologies and cultural & historical insights. All with the incredible natural back-drop of each event location.
“It’s going to be quite the adventure to make the series but a challenge we are relishing.”
The second and third episodes focus on Extreme E’s debut X Prix in Saudi Arabia, which highlight desertification and the series' Legacy Programme to support turtle conservation in The Red Sea.
Lac Rose is Extreme E's next stop in Dakar, Senegal for the Ocean X Prix. The Electric Odyssey shows regarding this race will underline climate challenges in the area, the ocean crisis as well as the Legacy Programmes that include planting one million mangroves along with supporting local community project EcoZone, and of course all the motorsporting action featuring some of the greatest names in motorsport.
Extreme E confirms broadcasting agreement with SuperSport
Electric off road racing series Extreme E has confirmed a broadcast contract with SuperSport, expanding its reach to over 50 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa including Nigeria, Uganda and South Africa. Based in Johannesburg, SuperSport International broadcasts some of the biggest sporting events such as the Premier League, PGA Tour, Moto GP, Formula 1 etc. The broadcast of Extreme E will be aired in English and French on SuperSport Motorsport, Blitz, Grandstand and can also be streamed on www.SuperSport.com and the SuperSport app.
In a press release by Extreme E, Ali Russell, Chief Marketing Officer at Extreme E said: “We are thrilled to have reached this agreement with SuperSport. The emerging African market is hugely significant for us. SuperSport’s reach in Sub-Saharan Africa is unparalleled, making it an excellent addition to our broadcasting roster.
“Extreme E is so much more than just a race series – it’s an opportunity to tell a story. Audiences in the Sub-Saharan region have had the issue of climate change brought into sharp focus in recent years, and with Extreme E we hope to raise awareness further than ever before in a region where so much is at stake.
“The impacts of climate change can be devastating, and nowhere is that clearer than in this region, where increasing temperatures and declining rainfall is threatening already strained food security, whilst intensified flooding is damaging fragile shelters and increasing the spread of deadly diseases like malaria and dengue fever.”
Marc Jury, SuperSport Chief Executive said: “This is a wonderful addition to SuperSport's content slate, not least because we are in the business of storytelling and the narrative of Extreme E is so compelling. We are delighted that the calendar takes place in Africa, too, where the market is vibrant and has an appetite for motorsport."
After Extreme E’s inaugural race in Saudi Arabia, the teams are on board St. Helena yet again to travel to four of the planet's most remote locations to highlight the climate crisis impacted on these ecosystems. Extreme E is the world’s first gender-equal motorsport series consisting of a male and female driver in each team. Their next race will be held in Lac Rose, Senegal on 29th - 30th May followed by Kangerlussuaq, Greenland (28-29 August), Pará, Brazil (23-24 October) and Tierra del Fuego, Argentina (11-12 December).
Japan's J SPORTS confirmed as Extreme E's latest broadcaster
According to a press release by Extreme E, the path breaking electric SUV racing series, announced on Friday that Japan’s biggest sports broadcaster, J SPORTS Corporation (J SPORTS), is airing the Championship on its linear channels, J SPORTS 1, J SPORTS 2, J SPORTS 3 and J SPORTS 4. Each five of this year’s X Prix are being broadcast with Japanese subtitles, starting with the exciting inaugural event which was aired live from Saudi Arabia. Additionally, viewers in Japan were also able to watch streaming and highlights of the season opener on J SPORTS’ On Demand, the digital platform of J SPORTS.
Ali Russell, Chief Marketing Officer at Extreme E said: “Our broadcast agreement with J Sports allows Extreme E to reach a huge Japanese audience with our sport for purpose series. J Sports is well-known for its exceptional coverage of major sport including our sister championship, Formula E – and I am confident that last weekend’s incredible Extreme E season opener from Saudi Arabia delighted its discerning audiences in Japan as well as everyone else who saw it from around the world.
“As a sport without spectators on site, it is vital that our series can be seen by as many people as possible and the only way to do that is through a screen. We look forward to bringing our next four X Prixs to J Sports’ audience – as well as sharing Extreme E’s wider messages around electrification, environment and equality.”
Yoshinori Konno, Vice President and Director at J SPORTS, said: “We are celebrating the amazing debut of this innovating electric SUV racing series. It is our great pleasure that J SPORTS is partnering with Extreme E and will deliver all the races during its inaugural season. As the leading sport-dedicated broadcaster in Japan, we also feel esteemed about supporting this promising project with the mission of enlightening public awareness of issues including climate change as well as gender equality.”
After the Championship debut in Saudi Arabia earlier this month, the championship will now visit Senegal on 29-30 May, followed by Greenland during 28-29 August, Brazil on 23-24 October and finally Patagonia during 11-12 December.
By scheduling races in the regions that are enduring severe effects of the environmental crisis, like the tropical rainforests and the Arctic, the objective is to increase audience awareness and interest in climate issues.
The series also features a unique viewing format, as races will be taking place without spectators as part of Extreme E's commitment of reducing the series' carbon footprint. Additionally the Championship is transporting requirements for each X Prix via sea through its floating centrepiece, the Wonderful, St. Helena.
Extreme E's innovative paddock with Airshelta
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.
beIN SPORTS bags Middle East & North Africa rights to debut Extreme E season
According to a press release by Extreme E, beIN MEDIA GROUP, the global sports and entertainment group, has acquired the non-exclusive broadcast rights to the debut season of environment-conscious racing series Extreme E in 24 countries in the Middle East & North Africa (MENA).
beIN SPORTS will broadcast live races having the 100 per cent electric motorsport cars, highlight shows along with the series' 20-part magazine programme, Electric Odyssey.
The Extreme E season kick started with the inaugural race in Saudi Arabia on April 3. The Championship will next tour Senegal (May 29-30), Greenland (August 28-29), Brazil (October 23-24) and Patagonia (December 11-12).
By scheduling races in regions that are facing the effects of the climate crisis, like deserts, tropical rainforests and the Arctic, the objective of the championship is to increase viewers’ awareness of climate issues and encourage them to take measures to protect the planet.
With some of the biggest names in motorsport which includes Jenson Button, Sebastien Loeb and Jamie Chadwick - the series guarantees to be an exciting adventure for motorsport lovers in the MENA region.
Duncan Walkinshaw, Director of Programs at beIN MENA said: “We are delighted to broadcast Extreme E to our millions of subscribers all across the Middle East and North Africa. Extreme E is not only committed to raising awareness of climate change, but it is also focused on promoting gender equality and creating a level playing field for all, with 50 percent of its drivers being women. By broadcasting the series, we look forward to shining a spotlight on the inspiring women in motorsport, aligning with the ambition behind our beINSPIRED project.”
Ali Russell, Chief Marketing Officer at Extreme E added: “This is another great broadcaster relationship for Extreme E and I’m delighted beIN Group will be showing our unique sport for purpose.
“Our inaugural X Prix in AlUla, Saudi Arabia was a great success and we can’t wait to continue the race for both our planet and to crown the very first Extreme E champions as we look ahead to our second X Prix – the Ocean X Prix – in Lac Rose, Senegal at the end of May. It is going to a great spectacle for fans across the world.”
beIN entertains and operates in 43 nations in the world, including 24 nations across the MENA.
With 4K and Full HD broadcast on satellite, the beIN experience is also available on computer, mobile, tablet, and other devices via beIN CONNECT.
Extreme E’s Desert X Prix content attracts 18.5 million TikTok views
According to a press release by Extreme E, the electric off-road racing series that completed its debut X Prix in the Saudi Arabia, prior to the event, had signed an agreement with Tik Tok to strengthen its social media offering.
Across the racing weekend, the Championship attracted 18.5 million organic views across TikTok content produced by partner Little Dot Studios, with a whopping 17.2 million people viewing #DesertXPrix videos alone. Extreme E also garnered 60,000 new fans, after Little Dot Studios activated the new partnership using its vertical video expertise, on behalf of the series.
Ali Russell, Chief Marketing Officer at Extreme E, said: “These numbers are phenomenal and I’m thrilled that in our first weekend we were able to reach so many people with our unique sport for purpose.
“A massive thank you to TikTok, Little Dot Studios and our in-house social team, these numbers are awesome and a testament to the engaging and innovative motorsport series we have created.”
The ambitious partnership saw Extreme E and Little Dot Studios craft an exclusive 90-minute production, which aired on Extreme E’s TikTok account on 3rd April. 386,000+ people saw the show, which featured a behind the scenes look at the Championship and the personalities at the heart of it.
'The Drop' was one of the most popular videos. 'The Drop'– a part of the course measuring 100 metres with a 45 degree descent, left the viewers with their hearts in their mouths. The on board video that showcased the view from the cockpit attracted 3.8 million fans as they witnessed exactly what the driver saw as they took on this challenging part of the course.
The association with TikTok covers each five of Extreme E’s X Prixs in 2021 and there is more to come when the Championship visits Senegal for its second race from 29 – 30 May.
NEP Group's solution for Aurora, North One and Extreme E tests its metal in some of the world’s toughest conditions
According to a Press release by Extreme E, NEP Group, the premiere technical associate for content producers around the world , worked with the series and host broadcaster Aurora Media Worldwide and North One and created a cutting-edge, sustainable broadcast solution that aired the first race, in AlUla, Saudi Arabia, in 180 nations around the World.
Developed to mirror Extreme E’s goals of integrating the latest technology with sustainability and creating solutions to meet the rigors of the globe's harshest conditions, NEP’s innovative broadcast facilities will be utilized by Aurora and North One at events in Senegal, Greenland, Brazil and Patagonia as the championship continues. NEP’s complete end-to-end broadcast package features a custom IP flypack, remote production solutions, crewing, satellite along with fibre connectivity, edit, ingest, Augmented Reality (AR), Graphics, and specialty cameras.
“Extreme E is a truly world-class event that is highlighting one of the most important challenges facing our planet and bringing it to a new audience in a really innovative way. It has been a thrill to see the solution that NEP, Aurora, North One and Extreme E have created come to life,” says Brian Clark, Director of Sales for NEP Major Events. “What we have created is not only at the very cutting edge of technology, but it also delivers from some of the world’s harshest environments – all during COVID. There were certainly a lot of challenges to overcome, but the result is just fantastic.”
Lawrence Duffy, Managing Director, Aurora Media Worldwide says: “It was so rewarding to see all of the team’s hard work, dedication and ingenuity come to life. It was such a tremendous partnership between all of us – Extreme E, Aurora, North One and NEP – and it has really paid off. This is exactly what we wanted to achieve: a great marriage of sustainability and cutting-edge technology all coming together to create a really exciting production. We can’t wait for the next race.”
Keeping into account the sustainability goals, COVID restrictions, and challenges the remote race locations pose, decreasing the number of staff visiting to site was critical in NEP’s system design. Making use of a specialty IP flypack, NEP, Aurora and North One were successful in connecting every racing venue directly to their new “UHD ready” centralised production facility in London, through satellite. With around 30 different sources present in London, majority of the production team is able to handle record, replay, edit, audio mixing, vision mixing and playout without the need to travel to location. In addition to this, specialty Augmented Reality (AR) and Graphics are handled real time by NEP’s AR / GFX team at their production centre in Hilversum, once again reducing the need for travel.
NEP’s team in The Netherlands built several highly advanced AR and graphics solutions for the broadcast production provided by Aurora and North One. Integrating advanced drone and AR technologies, NEP worked with Extreme E, Aurora and North One to produce amazing results and provide audiences with a completely innovative experience. They also leveraged the AR and drone technologies in tandem with advanced RF solutions to minimize cable runs while still giving maximum and reliable coverage from the cars. This enables one to avoid use of fixed-wing or helicopter solutions, which have a much worse climate impact.
Taiwan's ELTA TV to air electric SUV race series Extreme E
According to a press release by Extreme E, the all-new electric SUV race series which made its debut in Saudi Arabia on 3-4 April, has today confirmed that Taiwanese broadcaster ELTA will broadcast each of the series X Prixs live in both Chinese and English through its Sports channel. This applies that viewers in Taiwan can also watch the Championship's behind-the-scenes magazine show and the documentaries on its subscription VOD platform.
ELTA TV, with its head offices in Taipei, was launched in the year 2008 to give Taiwan a high-quality relay of various top notch sporting events which also includes FIFA World Cup and UEFA Champions League. Besides, the station is also officially confirmed as Taiwan’s broadcaster for the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Severe weather has taken its toll on this country, like it has in many other parts of the world. In the last 100 years, the island’s cities have faced double the global average temperature rise. That along with rising sea levels could be capable of submerging one-third of Greater Taipei within the span of two generations. Not just that, typhoons too are becoming increasingly frequent and destroying vulnerable communities in the south. The country also ranks eighth in the world for carbon emissions per capita among nations with over 10 million population - although change is a foot owing to present government reforms and more investment in renewable energies.
Ali Russell, Chief Marketing Officer at Extreme E, said: “Extreme E aims to raise awareness of the climate crisis, and it is fantastic that we will air our sport for purpose series across Taiwan which unfortunately has its own environmental challenges.
“Extreme E is an incredibly entertaining format that shows the potential of electric vehicle technology through thrilling wheel-to-wheel racing. By shining a spotlight on the environmental crisis this way, we hope not only to raise awareness but also highlight changes that can be made to live a less carbon-intensive lifestyle and protect the planet.
“I’m really excited to bring Extreme E’s innovative broadcast product to the Taiwanese audience – we look forward to telling the stories of the race, the environment and the people involved.”
Sally Chen, CEO at ELTA, said: “ELTA has strived for professionalism and richness in passion for Sports throughout the years, and it is of great honor for ELTA to help bring awareness of the climate crisis through broadcasting Extreme E on MOD platform. ELTA's faithful audiences know that we have continued to try our very best on achieving quality performance on sports broadcasting and also taking part in changing for the better. Bringing Extreme E to our audience will be a fine example of such dedication.”
Extreme E is supported by some of the greatest names in motorsport that includes Formula One World Champions Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg and Jenson Button, along with American motors sporting icons Chip Ganassi and Michael Andretti.
All of the teams will field both a female and male driver, first time in the history of world motorsport - in an attempt for gender equality. The drivers will race in an electric SUV – ODYSSEY 21 – at five locations that have all been adversely impacted by the climate crisis.
Extreme E aims to highlight these issues through its sustainable motorsport, which will make use of a variety of methods to minimize its carbon footprint, right from racing electric SUVs to zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell car charging in partnership with AFC Energy, but it will move further and, by the end of first season, aim to be net-carbon zero.
Taiwan's ELTA TV to broadcast Extreme E
Extreme E extends its reach in South Africa with SABC
According to a press release by Extreme E, the path breaking electric SUV racing series, Extreme E has today announced that South Africa’s SABC (South African Broadcasting Corporation) will broadcast each five of this year’s X Prix live on its linear channels, SABC1, SABC2, SABC3 and SABC Sport Channel – which kick started with much anticipated debut X Prix which was held in AlUla in Saudi Arabia a couple of weeks ago.
With head offices in Johannesburg, the South African Broadcasting Company (SABC) is one of the country’s largest state-owned aggregates providing 19 radio stations and five television channels in the region.
The broadcast deal means fans in South Africa can witness Extreme E’s exciting race coverage along with its behind-the-scenes magazine show and documentaries like Climate Changers, How to Build a Race Car and Best of Extreme E - all free to air. Besides, Championship's coverage will be available on SABC’s digitals platforms like SABC Sport Portal, Telkom One OTT Platform and OpenView.
South Africa, like many places in the world, faces a host of climate challenges.
Climatically sensitive, the area already suffers from intense air pollution as 77% of the energy generated in the country is procured from coals resulting in vast deforestation which is equivalent to losing 20 football pitches every minute.
Ali Russell, Chief Marketing Officer at Extreme E said: “The impacts of climate change can be devastating, and nowhere is that clearer than in this region, where increasing deforestation and heavy use of fossil fuels is threatening an already fragile environment.
“Today’s agreement with SABC will allow Extreme E to reach a huge South African audience with our sport for purpose series. Our championship is so much more than just exciting electric racing, it’s the opportunity to raise awareness of climate change and highlight ways that we can live a less carbon-intensive lifestyle to protect our planet.”
Gary Rathbone, Head of SABC Sport said: “I believe the future of motorsport starts here with Extreme E, and SABC Sport is absolutely thrilled that we will be able to deliver this great new concept to our viewers on our channels. The fact that its’ focus goes way behind merely racing but delves deep into issues around the environment and the future of our planet's ecology makes Extreme E vital viewing in more ways than one.”
Some of the greatest names in motorsport that includes Jenson Button, Jamie Chadwick, Molly Taylor, Sébastien Loeb and Carlos Sainz, will lock horns for victory in ‘Star Wars pod meets Dakar Rally’ style-racing for the second X Prix to be held at Lac Rose, Senegal on 29-30 May. Every event is crafted to not only showcase the advantages of electrification through motorsport, but also to highlight the adverse effects of climate change.
In addition, the Championships makes it mandatory that each of the Extreme E teams must field both a male and female driver, for the first time in the world of motorsport.
The 1780-kilogram 2.3-metre-wide ODYSSEY 21, powered by hydrogen fuel cell technology, can accelerate from 0-62 mph in 4.5 seconds at gradients of up to 130 per cent.
Off the course story of Extreme E, the innovative racing championship with a purpose
According to a press release by Extreme E, the brand new electric racing series finished its debut X Prix last weekend at AlUla in Saudi Arabia with Rosberg X Racing as the winners. However, the series believes the real win was what Extreme E did off the course regarding climate change – one of the key drivers behind this one of its kind sport for purpose.
Extreme E is a Championship with a mission, to throw light at the destructive effects of the climate crisis and demonstrate positive measures that can be taken to safeguard the planet. The series has picked five remote locations for its X Prixs, with the first concluded in AlUla, Saudi Arabia, which was selected to highlight desertification, leading to a loss of biological productivity.
Alejandro Agag, Founder and CEO of Extreme E, said: “It has been two years in the making, but I’m thrilled that Extreme E’s first X Prix – the Desert X Prix – is complete.
“The weekend delivered on its promise of exciting racing, but more importantly our mission to race without a trace and leave a long-lasting positive impact. I’m very proud of what we have achieved in Saudi Arabia, from our talks on the St. Helena by world-renowned scientists focussing on the global climate crisis and solutions, through to our turtle conservation project with the Ba’a Foundation.
“Extreme E is much, much more than just motorsport and I hope people have taken away from it that the climate crisis is a major issue we are facing right now, and that there are many small actions we can take to save the planet.”
At every racing location, Extreme E will leave a long-lasting positive impact through its Legacy Programmes. In Saudi Arabia, the series collaborated with the Ba’a Foundation to extend its support for turtle conservation along the Red Sea coastline.
The project was disclosed on-board the St. Helena by members from Extreme E’s Scientific Committee, which was then followed by a tour to Ras Baridi - the place where this initiative will be focussed at, where several of the championship’s star drivers including Jenson Button, Sara Price and Jamie Chadwick come together for a beach clean.
Extreme E's floating centrepiece, the wonderful St. Helena, taking a centre stage in the Red Sea, hosted several workshops before the debut X Prix centering not only around the Legacy Programme, but also the broader climate change issue along with the solutions.
Hydrogen Fuel Cell
AFC Energy, that provides the championship with hydrogen fuel cell – facilitating the fleet of ODYSSEY 21s to be charged emission-free – made use of the Desert X Prix to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with Altaaqa, the operator and owner of one of the world’s biggest mobile diesel generator rental fleets. This will back the transition of the area's power generation industry to zero emission solutions making use of AFC Energy’s hydrogen fuel cell technology.
Many measures were taken to ensure Extreme E would remain the most sustainable event possible, right from zero single-use plastic on-site to communal water stations so reusable bottles could be filled along with sustainable and biodegradable food packaging by Polymateria to even feilding the bin police to make sure the people were recycling properly.
Extreme E Count Us In Challenge
Launched last month, The Extreme E Count Us in Challenge enables fans to take practical measures on climate change to bring down their carbon footprint. In the course of just three weeks, around 300 fans have already pledged to take steps that will help them lead a less carbon-intensive life.
However this leaderboard isn’t just a competition for the planet, as the side having the most number of fans committing their support will be given the Extreme E Sustainability Award at the end of this year, presently X44 is at the top of the table.
Extreme E’s next event, the Ocean X Prix, will be held from 29-30 May at Lac Rose, Senegal, Dakar.
Electric race series Extreme E expands its digital reach in China
According to a press release by Extreme E, the brand new electric race series which made its much awaited championship debut in Saudi Arabia this weekend, confirmed today that China’s CCTV.com will also air the remaining four X Prixs through its sports platform.
CCTV.com is the online portal of China Media Group (CMG) and its sports platform is widely acclaimed as the first choice for sports lovers with its timely and fine coverage of top events such as Formula One, the Olympic Games, the Winter Olympic Games, FIFA World Cup, UEFA European Football as well as tennis, basketball along with many others.
Along with being aired live on CCTV.com, Extreme E’s exciting race footage can also be availed on Cbox and New TV, CMG’s fun and interesting apps which enables Chinese viewers to interact between large screen and small screen devices, and hence enhance the user experience while watching sport.
Ali Russell, Chief Marketing Officer at Extreme E, said: “We are delighted to have confirmed Extreme E’s broadcast on China’s CCTV.com as well as being available on its state-of-the-art apps, Cbox and New TV - these are hugely exciting technologies that will bring an even greater audience to our championship. One of the missions of Extreme E is to highlight climate issues and encourage change and we can only do that by reaching as many viewers as possible.
“In addition, I’m confident that CCTV’s sport loving viewers will be thrilled by our innovative race format whilst at the same time, be fascinated to learn the stories behind the series.”
Extreme E is a sporting event with a purpose and aims to bring into the limelight the climate emergency that is affecting the entire world. By touring five distant destinations this year, starting with Saudi Arabia, followed by Senegal, Greenland, Brazil and Patagonia – all of which have been adversely hit by the climate crisis - the event will highlight the devastation caused by climate issues, and encourage change, while leaving behind a long sustaining positive impact by its Legacy Programmes.
Besides, racers compete in an all-electric SUV – ODYSSEY 21 – to advocate the benefits of e-mobility, and as the biggest names in electric vehicle production and sales, it is important to bring China on this endeavor and continue to display new technologies.
The series also features a unique viewing format, as races will take place without spectators and aired as two-hour programs in an effort to minimize the championship’s carbon footprint. Not just that, the championship will transport the racing equipment by sea on its floating centerpiece, the wonderful St. Helena which will soon leave Saudi Arabia and move forward on its journey to Senegal for the Ocean X Prix starting from 29-30 May.