I want to introduce you to what I believe is the best motorsport ever! Extreme E is an all electric race series.
Yes – I can hear the moans and groans already from all the die-hard F1 fans but this is truly a remarkable and ground-breaking new motorsport created with a social purpose at its heart.
Now you are probably thinking it’s going to be competitors in brown sandals and loose second-hand jumpers battling it out gently on electric bikes – but no!
By Motoring Editor Phillipa Sage
At Frank, we are the latest over-excited fans to become ardent followers. Not only was this unique and progressive series set up with saving our planet from the climate crisis as its number one goal, but it is also passionate about equality. Each of the nine teams has one woman and one man. As part of the incredibly fast paced crazy racing format they have to perform a driver swap, so they equally contribute to the outcome of the race.
The cars are so entertaining to watch and resemble something of a mash up between the Dakar Rally cars, Disney ‘Cars’ characters and ‘Mad Max’ vehicles – interested yet?
You should be. Each event is staged at a far-flung corner of the world specifically chosen to highlight the impending doom it faces due to pollution, global warming and the like.
The series started in April this year in the Saudi Arabian desert. It then moved, by its own unique and planet friendly ship, to Senegal for the Ocean X Prix. The series has just completed the Arctic X Prix in Greenland at the edge of the rapidly retreating Russell Glacier. Go to our earthmatters section (under, conservation and nature ) to read an inspiring piece from Christiana Figueres – co founder of Global Optimism and former UN Climate Chief, who was on location in Greenland with other activists and scientists for change.
I had the rare pleasure of watching the latest leg of the series from beginning to end via BBC iplayer. It can also be watched worldwide on various channels via a unique digital platform that the series is working with, also set up to minimise the carbon footprint as commentators stay home.
The unique format keeps you gripped, is easy to follow and is incredibly exciting. There is guaranteed drama but with minimum risk. I watched the courageous and determined Molly Taylor go airborne, flip her race buggy right over, right herself and continue straight on! The Command Centre where team bosses and the second driver waits for their turn whilst watching and listening to the live action resembles something from Star Wars!
The uniquely engineered cars are all electric but a far cry from the G-Whizz, Little Tikes lookalikes and are a joy to watch as they are pushed to the limit over extreme terrain in some of the most vulnerable, outstandingly naturally beautiful parts of the world. It’s like David Attenborough meets motor sport and the viewer is educated and enlightened not only by the issues facing the area but about the wildlife and people that inhabit them.
The series makes for a great watch with the whole family and you can get involved too by online voting, in “Grid Play” to give your favourite driver race advantages.
The teams are made up of world-renowned legends including Carlos Sainz, Sebastien Loeb and Jutta Kleinschmidt. They are joined by young, up and coming drivers such as GB’s Catie Munnings teamed with Sweden’s Timmy Hansen in Team Andretti Utd and the Veloce Team with young Jamie Chadwick as their leading GB lady. Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton are heavily involved too, running their own teams.
Click here for current standings where you will see the incredible Catie Munnings, Timmy Hansen and Team Andretti Utd take the win in Greenland.
Catie Munnings said, “It’s the first motorsport event to come to Greenland. It’s incredible that it’s at this level but I’m also really proud of how far we’ve come as a team, especially from Senegal where we didn’t have a brilliant result. To come back now, it gives us a really good feeling going into the Island X Prix.”