World-first gender equal motorsport series champions female drivers
8 March 2021, London: Today marks International Women’s Day and ground-breaking motorsport series Extreme E is primed to make its much-anticipated debut in Saudi Arabia in just under a month’s time.
The brand new electric off-road championship, starting 3 April 2021, is on a mission to use its sport for purpose platform for two important goals, to raise awareness for the climate crisis and the role of clean energy mobility, and to eradicate existing preconceptions around gender divides in motorsport.
Extreme E will see a plethora of top female drivers such as 2019 W Series winner Jamie Chadwick, Off-Road Truck Champion and X Games Medalist, Sara Price and Australian Rally Champion, Molly Taylor, going head-to-head with some of motorsport’s biggest names, including F1 Champion, Jenson Button and WRC legend, Sébastien Loeb – in a ‘Star Wars pod racing meets Dakar Rally’-style format – and all taking place in some of the world’s most remote locations.
The rules of this motorsport world-first state that each team will field one female and one male driver in identical 550-bhp electric SUVs, over a two lap race, known as an X Prix, ensuring a completely level playing field amongst competitors. Drivers will complete one lap each of the course with a driver changeover, ‘the Switch’, incorporated into the race format, and it’s up to the teams to determine the order in which they send their drivers out to best suit their strategy.
Veloce Racing Driver, Williams Formula 1 Development Driver and W Series Champion, Jamie Chadwick, is raring to go. She says: “Extreme E is definitely a leap into the unknown for me, having only previously driven single-seaters and sportscars, but I’ve never shied away from a challenge. The first time I tested the car, I knew I wanted to race it – an electric SUV is a large vehicle, yet the stunning power it produces when you put your foot down makes it exhilarating to drive. The fact that Extreme E is also committed to gender equality is just the icing on the cake.”
Jamie continues: “Winning the W Series was fantastic – and huge for my career – but I want to prove that I can beat everybody at this kind of level, which means men and women alike. The prospect of going up against the likes of Jenson Button and Sébastien Loeb – I mean, these guys were heroes to me when I was growing up – is incredible. If you want to succeed in sport, as in life, you must be prepared to really push yourself. That is exactly what I am doing in Extreme E and I cannot wait to get started!”
Rosberg X Racing Driver and Australian Rally Champion Molly Taylor is equally enthusiastic about Extreme E’s format and says, “One of the great things about motorsport is that when you put the helmet on it doesn’t matter what gender you are and that’s always been my philosophy. But what I have noticed through competing, is the number of young girls that when they see a female competing, they then want to be involved – so I think having that exposure at the highest level is really important to help improve the diversity and equality for the next generations coming up.”
Molly continues, “If [Extreme E] can help change the amount of girls that are involved in racing at grassroots level and therefore what the future of our sport looks like, I think it’s really important for that reason.”
Chip Ganassi Racing Driver, Off-Road Truck Champion and X Games Medalist, Sara Price adds, “When I put a helmet on you know I often get this question, ‘how is it being a female in a male dominated sport?’, and I say, ‘I’m not a female I’m not a male, I’m just a racer.’”
Sarah goes on, “What Extreme E is doing right now is pretty incredible. It is going to be able to provide girls who have incredible talent that’s never been seen before, a chance to showcase it – that itself is huge for women as well as for motorsport.”
Extreme E Founder and CEO, Alejandro Agag, comments: “We are striving for equality, and Extreme E’s sporting format is the truest reflection of that goal. Everybody will race together, and only the most effective combination of drivers, team, engineers and car will rise to the top.
“I believe that our race format will challenge all of the drivers, male and female, which is what makes this concept so exciting. There is no shortage of women drivers good enough to take the seats!”
Agag’s ultimate goal however? To end the emphasis on a driver’s gender entirely: “My aim is that one day, female participation and achievement throughout motorsport will be at such levels where it simply is not a story – then I will be happy.”
Glenda Slingsby, Engagement Officer for International Women’s Day said: “Extreme E is an exciting and progressive example of gender equality progress within motorsport. By choosing to challenge traditional norms, Extreme E sets a new benchmark in including and appealing to a wider cohort. From challenge comes change, and through the vision of Alejandro Agag and the talent of many women like Jamie Chadwick, Extreme E accelerates opportunities for all.”
Extreme E’s opening race, the Desert X Prix, starts 03- 04 April 2021 in AlUla, Saudi Arabia, before heading on to the Ocean X Prix: Lac Rose, Senegal, 29-30 May 2021. The Arctic X Prix takes place in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland on 28-29 August 2021, before the event heads to South America for the Amazon X Prix: Pará, Brazil, 23-24 October 2021, and the finale, the Glacier X Prix in Tierra del Fuego, Argentina on 11-12 December 2021.
In addition to being a gender positive sporting format, this five-race global voyage highlights the impact of climate change and human interference in some of the world’s most remote locations and promotes the adoption of electric vehicles in the quest for a lower carbon future for the planet.
To learn more about Extreme E, visit – www.Extreme-E.com
About Extreme E:
Please visit the Extreme E media centre to access images, videos and press releases: https://www.extreme-e.com/en/mediacentre
Extreme E is a radical new racing series, which will see electric SUVs competing in extreme environments around the world which have already been damaged or affected by climate and environmental issues. The five-race global voyage highlights the impact of climate change and human interference in some of the world’s most remote locations and promotes the adoption of electric vehicles in the quest for a lower carbon future for the planet.
To minimise local impact, Extreme E races will not be open to spectators, with fans instead invited to follow the action through live TV broadcast, and on social media.
The St. Helena, a former passenger cargo ship, has undergone a multi-million Euro refit to minimise emissions and transform her into Extreme E’s operations hub. The ship will be used to transport the championship’s freight and infrastructure, including vehicles, to the nearest port, minimising Extreme E’s footprint, as well as being used to facilitate scientific research through its on-board laboratory.
Extreme E is also pioneering hydrogen fuel cell technology which will enable its race fleet to be charged using zero emission energy. This innovative solution from AFC Energy uses water and sun to generate hydrogen power. Not only will this process emit no greenhouse emissions, its only by-product will be water, which will be utilised elsewhere on-site.
Season 1 Calendar:
Desert X Prix: AlUla, Saudi Arabia
3-4 April 2021
Ocean X Prix: Lac Rose, Senegal
29-30 May 2021
Arctic X Prix: Kangerlussuaq, Greenland
28-29 August 2021
Amazon X Prix: Para, Brazil
23-24 October 2021
Glacier X Prix: Tierra del Fuego, Argentina
11-12 December 2021
About Continental Tyres: Founding Partner and Official Tyre Partner
Continental develops pioneering technologies and services for sustainable and connected mobility of people and their goods. Founded in 1871, the technology company offers safe, efficient, intelligent, and affordable solutions for vehicles, machines, traffic and transportation. In 2019, Continental generated sales of €44.5 billion and currently employs more than 230,000 people in 59 countries and markets.
The Tyres business area has 24 production and development locations worldwide. Continental is one of the leading tyre manufacturers with more than 56,000 employees and posted sales of €11.7 billion in 2019 in this business area. Continental ranks among the technology leaders in tyre production and offers a broad product range for passenger cars, commercial and special-purpose vehicles as well as two-wheelers. Through continuous investment in research and development, Continental makes a major contribution to safe, cost-effective and ecologically efficient mobility. The portfolio of the Tyres business area includes services for the tyre trade and fleet applications, as well as digital management systems for tyres.
About CBMM: Founding Supplier
CBMM is the world leading supplier of niobium products and technology. Headquartered in Brazil, with offices and subsidiaries in China, Netherlands, Singapore, Switzerland and the United States.
CBMM offers technical innovation to customers around the globe through a team of over 2,000 highly trained, dedicated professionals providing cutting-edge niobium products and technology to over 400 clients in around 40 countries.
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About Neat Burger: Official Plant-based Partner
Neat Burger is the first of its kind – the planet-friendly, plant-based, full-flavoured game-changer the world has been waiting for. The world’s first plant-based sustainable burger chain, Neat Burger offers a menu that appeals to not only those who follow plant-based diets, but anyone, meat-eaters included, who wants to eat delicious meat-free dishes that are more sustainable, healthier and ethical. The brand is backed by seven-time FIA Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton, in collaboration with hospitality organisation The Cream Group and investors, as well as UNICEF Ambassador and early backer of Beyond Meat Tommaso Chiabra. Neat Burger opened its first site in September 2019, just off Regent Street in London, and its second and third dine-in outlets at Camden Market and Soho in 2020. Plans for global expansion across Europe, the US and Middle East are already in place for 2021 and beyond.