Officials from the Mint 400 recently announced the designation of a specified “electric vehicle” class to be added for the 2021 competition. The event, originally scheduled to take place in March and now postponed till December, will categorize all electric-powered race vehicles into one exclusive division.
Open to all electric vehicle manufacturers, makes, and models, the new EV Class will be supervised by Mint 400 Technical Director Bill Savage. Savage is a world-renowned veteran of off-road racing vehicle standards. Further class structuring, as soon as 2022, will bring more clarified rules and equalize the competition based on vehicle capabilities, performance, and chassis types.
Mint 400 co-owner and CEO Matt Martelli stated, “We are the proving ground for new technologies. We compete in brutal conditions at a pace that destroys anything that isn’t rock-solid.” Martelli went on to share with Off Road Xtreme that many EV manufacturers, as well as innovating individuals, have reached out to express their interest in future participation. “We can say that there are multiple entries planning on racing the new EV Class,” commented Martelli. “As things firm up, more announcements will be forthcoming.”
Matt continued, “There is a place for every racer and vehicle. Off-road racing has always been a welcoming platform and accommodating to anyone attempting to prove their technology. If they do not yet have a fitting category, we can create one.”
The creation of an exclusive EV Class is not new to off-road desert racing. Recently, SCORE International featured its own “Baja-e Class,” an open class for electric-powered vehicles, beginning in 2018. Additionally, on the international stage, off-road electric-powered race cars have been seen competing at the Dakar Rally as early as 2017.
The future of off-road racing will clearly be electrified at one level or another. As technology continues to develop, we will likely witness major advancements trickle out to modern consumer vehicles for both on-road and off-road applications.