Extreme E, the innovative racing series, is delighted to announce the addition of LEGACY MOTOR CLUB (LEGACY M.C.) in partnership with Jimmie Johnson to its lineup for Season 4. This move finalizes the grid for the 2024 championship, which kicks off this weekend in Saudi Arabia.
Led by seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion and 2024 NASCAR Hall Of Fame inductee, Jimmie Johnson, LEGACY M.C. will debut in Extreme E with an all-American team and extensive off-road racing experience. Johnson is noted as the primary male driver and his female counterpart will be off-road ace Gray Leadbetter. Travis Pastrana is also slated as a fill-in for Jimmie Johnson.
Due to a scheduling conflict with the Daytona 500, Johnson will miss the first two rounds of the season. Instead, his compatriots Travis Pastrana and Gray Leadbetter will take the wheel of the LEGACY M.C. ODYSSEY 21 for the upcoming Desert X Prix.
LEGACY M.C. will be the only American team operating in Extreme X for the 2024 season. It was announced earlier that Chip Ganassi Racing program has suspended its efforts but is considering future involvement. Extreme E is transitioning away from an EV-based ODYSSEY 21 and is currently developing a new hydrogen-powered platform for Extreme H which is planned to launch in 2025. Several other teams have made similar moves pulling back.
Legacy Motor Club And Jimmie Johnson Join Extreme E
Jimmie Johnson expressed his enthusiasm for the opportunity, stating, “The opportunity for LEGACY M.C. to field an off-road vehicle in the Extreme E championship is exciting in many ways. We are essentially representing America in this unique and very competitive series and we are committed to the challenge. I’m excited to watch our LEGACY MOTOR CLUB colors race on foreign soil for the first time while I’m in Daytona for the Great American race. I know Travis and Gray will represent us well and I can’t wait to see what they accomplish.
“Our goal is to learn as much as we can and see what the future might bring. The fact this series competes globally and focuses on sustainably, inclusion, and equality really piques our interest. From a technical standpoint, the changeover to hydrogen in 2025 is really intriguing and the entire motorsports community is watching closely. Personally for me as a driver, going back to my off-road roots and to the type of racing I started my career with is going to be a blast.”
– Jimmie Johnson
Alejandro Agag, Founder and CEO of Extreme E, welcomed Johnson and LEGACY M.C., highlighting Johnson’s winning track record and the team’s commitment to the series’ future. “Jimmie is a proven winner and adds to our already healthy list of champions competing in the series. Racing in Extreme E with his own team is something that excited him, and it is great that Jimmie is also looking towards the future and our transition to Extreme H – the world’s first off-road hydrogen-powered racing series – next year.”
“We are sure that for the Desert X Prix Travis Pastrana and Gray Leadbetter will be competing up at the front of the field, demonstrating the US’ prowess for exciting off-road racing. It is great to have further US involvement in the championship, especially with our first-ever North American event to end the season in Phoenix, Arizona.”
For the Desert X Prix, Pastrana and Leadbetter will make their Extreme E debuts. Gray Leadbetter, hailing from Morganton, North Carolina, brings a strong off-road background, being the first woman to win a US Pro Class Championship in the Championship Off-Road series.
Leadbetter expressed her excitement, stating, “I’m super excited and thankful for this opportunity.”
“I’ve always been interested in Extreme E, but just never found the right opportunity to step foot in it. When Travis texted me last week that there might be a chance to race with Jimmie Johnson and LEGACY M.C., I couldn’t have been more thrilled. I’ve never driven these cars so it’s sure to be an adventure, but I will be in great company. This is a dream come true.”
Travis Pastrana, a motorsports legend from Annapolis, MD, with numerous championships across various disciplines, also looks forward to the challenge. He praised Johnson and LEGACY M.C.’s vision and expressed confidence in their success. “This all came together pretty quick, but I’m really excited!
“I have quite a bit of experience in electric vehicles, although I’ve never been in an Extreme E ODYSSEY 21 before. I compete in a lot of off-road events and some desert stuff – mostly on two wheels – but this should be really fun for us. I believe in Jimmie Johnson and in LEGACY M.C. and all he is doing with the Club, so when he asked me it was a no-brainer.
“I’ve worked with Gray before and she is a huge talent, so overall it is just a great opportunity for both of us to compete in this championship series together. She’s the top female young up-and-coming talent in Nitrocross and has the speed.
“So hopefully as Americans, we will do our country proud and return home with a win and some smiles on our faces.”
Pastrana humorously mentioned his desire to beat rival Mattias Ekström on the track, adding an extra layer of excitement to the competition. “I’ve never beaten Mattias [Ekström] at anything, and before he retires I want to beat him at something! With that in mind, I guess my two biggest reasons for participating in this event are to help out my friend Jimmie, and, for the first time in my life, beat Mattias.”
Extreme E Is Excited to Have A New American Team On The Grid
Extreme E’s Managing Director, Ali Russell, emphasized the significance of LEGACY M.C.’s entry into the championship, particularly with the upcoming North American event in Phoenix. “Welcoming Jimmie Johnson and LEGACY MOTOR CLUB into our championship for Season 4 is a huge coup. We are thrilled that the LEGACY MOTOR CLUB has joined Extreme E and we wish them the very best for the campaign ahead.
“Jimmie knows what it takes to win and he has done it all throughout his career, so we look forward to seeing him and his team mix it with the very best in Extreme E. Travis Pastrana and Gray Leadbetter make an exciting combination for the first event in Saudi Arabia before Jimmie gets behind the wheel as they fly the flag for the United States.”
“North America is such a key market for our championship, so to make our debut in the US later this year in Phoenix for the 2024 finale, with LEGACY MOTOR CLUB on the grid, will be extra special.”
The debut of LEGACY M.C. in Extreme E promises thrilling competition and showcases the series’ commitment to innovation and inclusivity. Witness LEGACY M.C.’s Extreme E debut as the 2024 season kicks off in Saudi Arabia this weekend (17-18 February).
Extreme E Season 4 Calendar:
- Saudi Arabia – 17-18 February 2024
- Europe, TBD – 13-14 July 2024
- Sardinia, Italy – 14-15 September 2024
- Sardinia, Italy – 21-22 September 2024
- Phoenix, Arizona USA – 23-24 November 2024
For more information about Extreme E, visit www.Extreme-E.com.