The “automotive spring” began at Easter in the desert of Saudi Arabia, the same country that already hosts the Dakar and some races of the Formula E. The first and historic stage of theExtreme AND, the new series reserved for the Odyssey 21, electric SUVs that accelerate from 0 to 100 hours in 4.5 seconds, invented in Alejandro Agagformer founder of the electric single-seater circuit that stops in Rome at the weekend (two races, Saturday and Sunday), took place in Alula, over 1,000 kilometers west of the capital Riyadh and almost 250 from the Red Sea.
The championship, in which nine teams take part, three of which have as many Formula 1 champions as a reference (Nico Rosberg And Lewis Hamilton as stable owners e Jenson Button also as a pilot), is a banner in favor of the environment and a flag against gender discrimination.
In the first case, not only because of the use of electric vehicles from 1650 kg of weight and 545 Hp of power (the battery is 53 kWh), the same for all and made by Spark, but also for the places chosen for the competitions: Lac Rose in Senegal, Africa, where the second stage takes place on 29 and 30 May, the increasingly endangered ice of Greenland, the increasingly deforested Brazilian Amazon and the Earth of the Argentine Fire. In addition, the Extreme E moves to a floating paddock, the St. Helena, a former Royal Mail postal vessel equipped with a fuel cell system also used as a research laboratory.
Against discrimination because each team is composed by a man and a woman and Agag’s will is to make sure that some measure themselves more and more often with the other. The German of Abt Cupra Claudia Hürtgen she has already had a baptism of fire because she was hit by the American Kyle LeDuc (Segi TV Chip Ganassi Racing) in the final for seventh place: although spectacular, the accident fortunately had no consequences for the two.
As in Rallycross, the competition is an elimination competition and the score is assigned based on the placements of each stage. After the first, for example, the Spaniards had the advantage Carlos and Laia Sainz: no kinship, but just a great experience in the Dakar. Then the fastest were the drivers hired by Hamilton for his X44, the French rally champion Sébastien Loeb (9 world titles in assets) e Cristina Gutiérrez. In the last lap – that is the “usual” two laps of a handful of kilometers each with a mandatory driver change after the first – the Swede won Johan Kristoffersson and the Australian Molly Taylor, lined up by Nico Rosberg’s team, who celebrated their success in the desert. “I have never seen such extreme racing in my entire life,” commented Agag.
After the first fraction, the RXR is at the top of the standings with 35 points followed at 30 by X44 and Andretti United (Timmy Hansen and Catie Munnings) with 28. Then Acciona Sainz XE Team with 26, the Hispano Suiza XITE Energy Team (Oliver Bennett and Christine Giampaoli Zonca) with 20, the JBXE team (Button and Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky) with 17, the ABT Cupra XE (Mattias Ekström and Hürtgen) with 13, the Segi TV Chip Ganassi Racing (LeDuc and Sara Price) with 12 and Veloce Racing (Stéphane Sarrazin and Jamie Chadwick) with 8. This latter team has another former Formula 1 among its patrons, namely Jean-Eric Vergnewho is so far the only driver to have won the Formula E championship twice in a row.