Jenson Button’s Extreme E outfit – JBXE Racing – will benefit from technical support from sportscar automaker and famous motorsport brand Lotus.
Lotus Engineering joins JBXE as a technical partner for the upcoming XE season which gets underway this weekend in Saudi Arabia. Button and Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky are the team’s two drivers.
“Lotus is a great British brand that is inextricably linked to motorsport, so we are delighted to welcome Lotus Engineering to JBXE. XE is a unique and exciting formula, full of ‘world firsts’ and challenges,” Button said.
“To announce that a brand such as Lotus Engineering is coming on this journey with us is a proud moment for myself and the team. We are very excited about our new technical partnership and can’t wait to show what we can do in the first race this weekend.”
Lotus’s motorsport history is immense as it won six drivers’ and seven constructors’ titles in Formula 1 between 1963 and 1978. It isn’t an established brand in off-road motorsport however, with its R-GT car only making one rally start, making this a step into the unknown for the brand.
Matt Windle, managing director of Lotus Cars, has called the “complex technicalities of EV racing” a “fascinating challenge” and believes supporting JBXE is a “another valuable demonstration” of what Lotus can do.
“We are on the cusp of an exciting new era of electrified motorsport, and we’re delighted to support the JBXE team as technical partner,” Windle said.
“Using our learnings from more than a decade of electrifying sports cars – most recently with the Lotus Evija hypercar – we can bring valuable knowledge to the team.
“We look forward to sharing the journey together and experiencing the next phase of electric racing with an equally admirable sustainability agenda.”
XE’s CEO and founder Alejandro Agag added: “Its fantastic that Lotus Engineering is entering XE alongside Jenson Button’s JBXE team.
“The long-term success of our series relies on bringing in top automotive manufacturers to utilize our extreme racing platform as a testbed for accelerating electric mobility innovation for the wider industry.
“Lotus Engineering brings a wealth of experience in electrification and will no doubt prove a huge asset to the JBXE team. Welcome to the XE family Lotus!”
JBXE is the third team to benefit from OEM support. The Abt team has teamed up with Cupra for its 2021 effort while Chip Ganassi Racing has the support of Hummer.