Extreme E, the new electric off-road racing series using motorsport to raise awareness of global environmental issues, has confirmed a five-round Season 1 calendar set to get underway in January 2021.
Extreme E’s inaugural campaign will get underway with its Ocean leg on the shores of Lac Rose on the West Coast of Africa in mid-January. Sand bars, salt beds, gravel, rocks and undulations will provide a challenge, as drivers navigate the narrow tracks between and around the lake and the Atlantic Ocean beyond.
The RMS St. Helena – a former Royal Mail Ship which fulfils the role of the championship’s unique floating paddock – will then set sail for the Middle East in March and the series’ Desert event in Sharaan, Saudi Arabia.
Next, Extreme E heads to the subcontinent ahead of the Mountain round in the heart of the Himalayas and Nepal’s Mustang District in May. The Kali Gandaki valley – site of the deepest gorge in the world – will provide a stern test for competitors at 9000 feet above sea level amid the Annapurna region of Nepal.
Then, on to Kangerlussuaq in Greenland for August’s Glacier round, set to take place in a landscape carved out by extreme cold and the glaciers that dominated the region for thousands of years, but which are now in rapid retreat at the hands of climate change.
At the end of October, the state of Pará in Brazil will round things off with the Rainforest race weekend, set in the heart of the Amazon on a tract of land deforested by slash-and-burn agriculture.
Provisional Extreme E Season 1 (2021) calendar:
22-23-24 January: Lac Rose, Dakar, Senegal
4-5-6 March: Sharaan, Al-‘Ula, Saudi Arabia
6-7-8 May: Kali Gandaki Valley, Mustang District, Nepal
27-28-29 August: Kangerlussuaq, Greenland
29-30-31 October: Santarém, Pará, Brazil
Head-to-head races will be staged over three days. Track designers have been tasked with carefully selecting course options, which provide the most challenging, exciting action, using existing obstacles and features with elevation changes and jumps, in order to minimize environmental impact.
Race organizers will ensure that thorough environmental, social and governance assessments are carried out in each location with a local third party to safeguard environmental protection, social inclusivity and fair political practices.
Additionally, in each race arena (Ocean, Desert, Mountain, Glacier, Rainforest) Extreme E will will work alongside local experts, governments and NGOs to implement positive legacy initiatives dependent on regional needs to combat issues such as deforestation, rising sea levels, melting glacier ice, desertification, and plastic pollution.
“Finalizing the first calendar is a great moment for any championship and today we have this moment,” said Alejandro Agag, founder and CEO of Extreme E.
“I had no idea what this journey was going to be like when we embarked on it a few months ago. I’ve been to five of the most spectacular, remote locations on the planet; each facing issues at the hands of climate change and human activity. It has been a life-lesson.
“In six months, I’ve seen the impacts of climate change first-hand and have met people that are experiencing the effects. For anyone that denies its existence or is unaware of the problems it is causing – just come with us on this journey.
“We were in Greenland for our first announcement a few months ago where we could see the ice cap melting. In Senegal, the boarding school that helped us with our beach clean at last week’s announcement has tripled in size because the coast is disappearing through sea-level rise and people are being displaced. You can see that all of the challenges are interlinked.
“I am incredibly grateful for the support we’ve received from all of our hosts and I can’t wait for what is going to be a special, unprecedented odyssey which will drive real change to get underway for the very first time.
“To have sealed all five of our locations by this point, with Extreme E having been little more than an idea on a napkin back in January this year, is an achievement I am very proud of.
“The team has worked tirelessly behind the scenes up to this point and will continue to do so right up to January 2021.”
Further news on teams, partnerships and drivers will follow in the coming weeks.