Extreme E set for first European round this weekend - Enel X Island XPrix

Extreme E set for first European round this weekend - Enel X Island XPrix

20.10.2021: • Andretti United Extreme E keen to continue winning form from Greenland • Rosberg X Racing (RXR) currently at the top of the Championship standings • Enel X named title sponsor • Sporting format remains unchanged

•    Andretti United Extreme E keen to continue winning form from Greenland

•    Rosberg X Racing (RXR) currently at the top of the Championship standings

•    Enel X named title sponsor

•    Sporting format remains unchanged from the Arctic X Prix

•    Action available to watch via Extreme E social channels and more than 75 global broadcasters listed here

•    GridPlay goes live at 1100 CEST on Wednesday 20 October

Enel X Island X Prix
Capo Teulada in Sulcis-Iglesiente, Sardinia
23-24 October 2021

The Enel X Island X Prix takes place this weekend (23-24 October) at Capo Teulada in Sulcis-Iglesiente in Sardinia. Following on from the thrilling racing in Greenland in August, the world-class teams and drivers are hunting down success on an all-new course on an island which is no stranger to the world of motorsport.

Last time out, RXR’s winning streak was broken by Andretti United Extreme E, who were joined on the podium by JBXE and ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team, which has shaken up the leaderboard. RXR still top the table on 93 points and, if things go right this weekend, could mathematically take the Season 1 Champion title, but X44 sitting second on 84 points and Andretti United Extreme E on 76 points will be racing hard alongside the remaining six teams to ensure that doesn’t happen.

Alejandro Agag, Founder and CEO of Extreme E, said: “
Our Sardinian race is shaping up to be a true spectacle and I can’t wait to see the teams battling it out on the course for victory at our penultimate event of Season 1. Sardinia has a rich motorsport heritage and won’t be unfamiliar territory for some of our drivers, but the course will be one full of challenges.

“The island has been suffering at the hands of the climate crisis, and I’m really pleased our Legacy Programmes here will be two-fold, focussing on both the land and the ocean through reforestation in areas affected by wildfires, which are still so front of mind, and blue carbon through seagrass restoration and conservation.

“I would like to thank all of our partners for their continued support of the series, especially our friends at Enel X who are title sponsor of our first European event. I’m looking forward to hearing thought leadership talks from them, plus our Scientific Committee, as we strive to raise awareness of issues and solutions all while inspiring change.”

Motorsport heritage

Sardinia is the second largest island in the Western Mediterranean and is well known for hosting motorsport events, arguably most famously the Rally Italia Sardegna, which has been on the World Rally Championship calendar since 2004 and has been won by X44’s Sebastien Loeb four times.

The island hosted its first ever motorsport event back in 1922 – the Corsa Gentleman Sardi from Cagliari to Suelli - plus the Rally di Sardegna taking place from 1957 to 1968. In 1978, the first edition of the Rally Costa Smeralda was held and is widely recognised as the time when legendary rally brand Lancia showcased its latest models including the famous S4 and 037.

This event last ran in 1992, however in 2018 the Costa Smeralda Rally dedicated to historic rally cars was introduced and is part of the Italian Championship.

The challenge

This course, like each one so far, will present a whole new set of challenges for car and driver. After a hot Italian summer, the ground will be baked hard compared to the soft sands teams have become accustomed to. Not only that, but the terrain will also be rutted and the course will feature fast, downhill sections, water splashes, and natural obstacles in the form of trees and bushes. The full course will be revealed later this week.

The only thing connecting the all-electric ODYSSEY 21s to the course are the tyres, and sometimes even those are off the ground, as the cars fly over various natural obstacles. Creating those tyres is the championship’s Founding Partner Continental.

Catarina Silva, Team Leader for Product Management Summer, 4x4 and Van Products at Continental said
: “The particularly versatile track in Sardinia again places new demands on our tyres. It was a demanding challenge to develop a tyre that, as an all-rounder, can master not only the terrain in Sardinia but also in all other racing locations - especially since its intended use is not normal driving but racing. So far, the Extreme E Cross Contact has been convincing in all races, but we are particularly excited about the next race.”

Race rules recap

The Enel X Island X Prix will follow the same format as the Arctic X Prix with qualifying taking place on Saturday 23 October. There will be one session in the morning and one in the afternoon with each team completing two laps of the course, one per driver with a Driver Switch. The times recorded across the morning session will equate to classification points meaning first place receives 9 points, second place 8, third place 7 and so on. The same then happens in the afternoon with classification points awarded on the same scale.

The combined total of these classification points provides the intermediate standings, and the remaining races will take place as follows:

•    The teams will be listed 1st to 9th place based on the total combined points of each team’s two Qualifying runs.

•    Teams placed in first, fifth and sixth progress to Semi-Final 1, where the top two finishers claim spots in the Enel X Island X Prix Final.

•    Second, third and fourth from Qualifying go through to Semi-Final 2, where again the top two progress to the Enel X Island X Prix Final.

•    The bottom three teams (7th, 8th and 9th) head to the Crazy Race, with the winner reaching the Enel X Island X Prix Final.

•    The Enel X Island X Prix Final features five cars.

The ‘Continental Traction Challenge’ formally known as the ‘Super Sector’ was won by Arctic X Prix winner Andretti United Extreme E’s Timmy Hansen in Greenland, bagging an extra five points for his team. With the top of the table so close these points could prove vital. They are awarded to the fastest driver in a pre-determined section of the course over the weekend.

The nine teams and 18 drivers are as follows:

•    ABT CUPRA XE - #125 – Mattias Ekström / Jutta Kleinschmidt
•    ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team - #55 – Carlos Sainz Snr. / Laia Sanz
•    Andretti United Extreme E - #23 – Timmy Hansen / Catie Munnings
•    SEGI TV Chip Ganassi Racing - #99 – Kyle LeDuc / Sara Price
•    XITE ENERGY RACING powered by myenergi - #42 – Oliver Bennett / Christine GZ
•    JBXE - #22 – Kevin Hansen / Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky
•    Rosberg X Racing - #6 – Johan Kristoffersson / Molly Taylor
•    Veloce Racing - #5 – Stéphane Sarrazin / Emma Gilmour
•    X44 - #44 – Sébastien Loeb / Cristina Gutiérrez


GridPlay, which allows fans to vote for their favourite team, and in turn influence the starting line-up for the Final will open at 1100 CEST on Wednesday 20 October and close at 1700 CEST on Saturday 23 October.

Sardinia and the climate crisis

Scientists are warning of worsening extreme weather patterns if global temperatures continue to rise without solutions being put in place to cut carbon emissions, and that greenhouse gas levels are already too high for a manageable future for humanity.

Rising temperatures and wildfires are now a threat across every continent. In just the last couple of years the world has seen devastation in the Amazon, Australia, Siberia, Canada and the Mediterranean region. With thresholds already crossed by climate change, wildfires are more extensive, more intense, and more damaging.

In the Mediterranean alone, it will take at least 15 years to rebuild the woods and the trees destroyed by the flames that have reached pastures, olive trees, sheds, barns with fodder stocks and agricultural vehicles, and killed animals including 30 million bees - and represent a calamity costing incalculable damage to agriculture in over 20,000 hectares burned.

Ultimately, the driver of all this is climate change. To reduce the devastation, carbon emissions need to be reduced. If the world continues as it is the carbon emissions by the end of the century will make the wildfires of recent years look modest.

Extreme E is at the forefront of the drive towards a better future, a new way of doing things and a world which does not rely on deadly carbon emissions.

Positive Impacts

Extreme E will be working alongside MEDSEA (Mediterranean Sea and Coast Foundation) in Sardinia to support two significant projects.

The first explores Green Carbon, incorporating the recovery response to this year’s devastating forest fires on the island. The second project supports the conservation of Posidonia oceanica (seagrass), mitigating the detrimental effects of Blue Carbon in Mediterranean waters.

During July 2021 there were 13,000 more wildfires in Italy than has ever been recorded before. The resulting calamity has resulted in incalculable damage to thousands of people’s livelihoods, as well as to nature. It is estimated that it will take at least 15 years to rebuild the 20,000 hectares of land impacted.

Working alongside MEDSEA, Extreme E personnel and volunteers will meet the affected communities and work alongside local NGOs, including Italy’s environmental association, Legambiente, to support the mammoth forest restoration project.

Additionally, in collaboration with Extreme E, EY will launch a forest fire mapping and detection tool that can help firefighters make more timely and informed decisions, and ultimately help to save lives, property and biodiversity from the effects of wildfires.

Posidonia oceanica, which is instrumental in sequestering harmful ‘Blue Carbon’, is also under threat. However, research has shown that replanting seagrass can be an effective tool in significantly improving the overall ecosystem function.

The Smithsonian Institute estimates that just a hectare of seagrass can produce 100,000 litres of oxygen a day. Extreme E’s own scientists, in partnership with ENEL, will also be working with MEDSEA to reconnect and replenish the seagrass beds of Posidonia oceanica in the waters of the Marine Protected Areas around Sardinia.

Make your mark

The series welcomes everyone to get involved in the Extreme E Count Us In Challenge – a set of steps all with reducing carbon footprint in mind.

The aim is to use the power of sport and excitement of motor racing to inspire fans to take practical steps to reduce their carbon footprint and, in doing so, urge governments, cities and businesses to accelerate progress on climate action, and with COP26 just around the corner there couldn’t be a more important time for action.

Steps include walking more, eating more plant-based foods and driving an electric vehicle, and fans then attribute them to their favourite team and the team with the most steps at the end of the season will win the Extreme E Sustainability Award.

To learn more about Extreme E, visit - www.Extreme-E.com

Julia Fry - photo Extreme E

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/extreme-e-first-european-round-enel-x-island-xprix---230157.html

20.10.2021 / MaP

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