Tamara Molinaro has joined Extreme E in the role of Championship Driver. She replaces Jutta Kleinschmidt, who is moving over to race for ABT CUPRA XE for the remainder of the 2021 season.
The 23-year-old Italian’s background includes racing in the U27 European Rally Championship. There, she captured the 2017 Ladies ERC title after winning four of eight rounds and finishing on top of the leaderboard in 40 stages. Molinaro spent the following two seasons racing in WRC2, a support class in the World Rally Championship, before moving on to WRC2, the support series in the World Rally Championship. She later competed in the Titans RX Rallycross Championship – another WRC support series – where she finished fifth overall and won several qualification races.
In 2020, Molinaro competed in the Italian Gravel Championship, finishing second in the U25 standings. She remains a fixture in the series this year, where she currently sits sixth in the overall standings and is coming off a recent seventh-place result in the San Marino Rally.
As with fellow Championship driver Timo Scheider, Molinaro’s Extreme E responsibilities will be to support the series in both an advisory role and as a backup driver in the event a team would require a replacement at any point during an X Prix. Teams do not have reserve drivers on site due to the locations of the events. Molinaro’s first event will be the upcoming Arctic X Prix in Greenland on Aug. 28-29.
“I have been working really hard to try and get involved in Extreme E over the past few months as I’ve followed the series with huge interest since the beginning,” Molinaro said. “I think it is one of the most exciting and fair racing formats ever and the thought of being able to race with a purpose gives me extra motivation.
“My goal has always been to make it to the top of the motorsport ladder so the opportunity to work within Extreme E as a Championship Driver is a dream come true, and I will put all my efforts into doing my job in the best way possible. I can’t wait to get started in Greenland.”
— Extreme E (@ExtremeELive) July 2, 2021
James Taylor, chief championships officer of Extreme E, shared his excitement in welcoming the newest member to the series.
“We are delighted to welcome Tamara to Extreme E,” Taylor said. “She has a great pedigree already at such a young age in both rallying and rallycross, and we think she will bring a lot to Extreme E, and be the perfect replacement should any teams require her at our upcoming X Prixs.
“But her role is much wider than that, and we are looking forward to having her in Greenland with us for the Arctic X Prix and receiving her input on the course alongside Timo. Having spent time as both a driver and co-driver she has a fantastic perspective on racing, so her feedback will be crucial to creating another spectacular X Prix.
“Finally, our thanks and appreciation go out to Tamara’s predecessor Jutta Kleinschmidt who played a big part in the success of our opening two events. We now look forward to watching her race for ABT CUPRA XE for the rest of the season.”