Chip Ganassi. Lewis Hamilton. Nico Rosberg. Michael Andretti. What in the world are these three motorsports legends doing with off-road vehicles? Well, they’re each starting new Extreme E off-road teams in 2021, taking revolutionary technology along for the ride.
The new FIA-sanctioned division will travel across the globe via a ship, minimizing its carbon emissions. The series will compete at five completely different courses in extreme climates, from the desert of Saudi Arabia to the ice-soaked Greenland. The five races, which will be seen on Fox, will take place at Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Greenland, Brazil and Argentina. The electric off-road racers are designed to handle each of the very different conditions.
St. Helena, a former passenger cargo ship, will serve as the operations hub for Extreme E. The ship will have an on-board laboratory to conduct research on the Extreme E vehicles. And the ship has quite the history, too. It sailed between Cape Town and St. Helena in the Atlantic Ocean from 1990 to 2016.
Each team will have one male and one female driver, with most driver lineups already being announced. Ganassi will have Sara Price and Kyle LeDuc pilot the team’s vehicle, with Cate Munnings and Timmy Hansen driving for Andretti. Rosberg’s Xtreme Racing squad will be led by Molly Taylor and Johan Kristoffersson. Hamilton, the seven-time Formula 1 champion, will field his own Extreme E entry with Sebastien Loeb and Cristina Gutierrez behind the wheel.
The new off-road division is set to take the green flag on March 20-21 in Saudi Arabia. The season continues with races in May, August, October and December as it avoids conflicts with other major motorsports divisions.