LONDON: Building on the success of its first year in 2021, Extreme E Season 2, dubbed The Race for the Planet, is set to kick off with the Desert X Prix at NEOM on February 19-20, while achieving its overall goal of combating climate change through sport.
The new season will kick off in the deserts of NEOM, northwest Saudi Arabia, where the Kingdom’s biggest global project is taking shape.
NEOM’s landscapes include diverse terrain ranging from vast red sands to dramatic sandstone formations and the location is destined to be the home and workplace of residents from around the world. It will include hyperconnected and cognitive cities, ports and business zones, research centers, sports and entertainment venues and tourist destinations.
The megacity was chosen as the location by Extreme E not only for its scenic desert landscape and shared values of sustainability and innovation, but also because the sports-for-purpose championship aims to highlight the causes of desertification, the loss of biological diversity and the importance of resilience due to the impacts of climate change.
Additionally, the distinct and diverse desert terrain of NEOM will also make it a whole new challenge for drivers and their ODYSSEY 21 electric SUVs.
Extreme E was held in Saudi Arabia, home to the world’s largest continuous sand desert, and its AlUla region, in Season 1 for its first X Prix, won by inaugural championship winners Rosberg X Racing (RXR).
Alejandro Agag, CEO and Founder of Extreme E, said: “Through our dedicated sports platform, Extreme E delivered some truly groundbreaking action in its debut season, on and off the racetrack, and now we are ready to go. and start all over again, with more experience and more determination than ever.
“Taking the championship to NEOM for our desert location will be an exciting time, as NEOM’s long term plans are very much in line with the philosophy of Extreme E – it is trying to do something that has never been done before and which comes at a time when the world needs new ideas and new solutions.
“As we saw in our very first Championship race, the terrain of the Kingdom is beautiful and unforgiving. The desert landscape promises to be intense, and it will be an unprecedented challenge for our competitors to explore new terrain. desert with warmer racing conditions,” he added.
Prince Khalid bin Sultan Al-Abdullah Al-Faisal, Chairman of the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation, and the Saudi Motorsport Co., said: “The return of Extreme E to the Kingdom for the second year in a row helps to further highlight Saudi Arabia. commitment to a more sustainable future.
“Hosting this groundbreaking series at NEOM aligns with one of the most important goals and pillars of Vision 2030 as well as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s personal aspirations, to make the Kingdom a leading country in developing and promoting alternative energy sources and the preservation of the environment for future generations.
“This next episode of Extreme E racing is further proof of the Kingdom’s transformation into a powerhouse of motorsport in the region, and the event taking place shortly after the conclusion of another successful Dakar Rally at the start This year highlights that even more, and we have just hosted our first F1 Grand Prix on the newest, longest and fastest street circuit in the world,” added the Prince.
NEOM CEO Nadhmi Al-Nasr said, “NEOM has made no secret of its desire to promote sustainability and raise awareness of some of the world’s most pressing challenges, such as climate change and nature conservation. .
“We believe that hosting an innovative racing event such as Extreme E in a region dedicated to pioneering clean technologies and mobility solutions perfectly manifests our goals.
“In line with our approach to encourage talent development and diversity, we are delighted to welcome the pilots, men and women, the Extreme E team and the main experts of NEOM.
“Sport is an important sector for NEOM and will be key to creating a new form of liveability and driving economic growth. In particular, adventure sports offerings will be a major contributor to the visitor economy,” Al-Nasr added.
Teams and drivers
The 10 teams and 20 drivers of the Desert X Prix are as follows:
ABT CUPRA XE – Nasser Al-Attiyah / Jutta Kleinschmidt
ACCIONA, Sainz XE Team – Carlos Sainz Snr. / Laia Sanz
Genesys Andretti United Extreme E – Timmy Hansen / Catie Munnings
Chip Ganassi Racing – Kyle LeDuc / Sara Price
McLaren XE – Tanner Foust / Emma Gilmour
JBXE – Kevin Hansen / Molly Taylor
Rosberg X Racing – Johan Kristoffersson / Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky
Veloce Racing – Lance Woolridge / Christine Giampaoli Zonca (GZ)
X44 – Sebastien Loeb / Cristina Gutierrez
XITE ENERGY RACING – Oliver Bennett / Tamara Molinaro