Chip Ganassi Racing has become the second US-based team to commit to Extreme E, the new all-electric SUV racing series set to start in 2021.
The announcement of the IndyCar powerhouse’s joining of the series comes after rival outfit Andretti Autosport became the first American team to sign up for the groundbreaking new series, and takes the total team count to seven.
It also marks the first time a team with no previous involvement in Formula E has committed to the series, and the first time Ganassi has ventured into the world of electric racing.
“Extreme E is a very different proposition to anything we have done before, but it’s where I think motor racing is headed in the future,” said team owner Chip Ganassi. “When I started our team in 1990, one of the founding principles I built it on was innovation. I’ve always been passionate about pushing the boundaries of what is possible, and Extreme E checks that box for us in a big way.
“It represents an opportunity in motor racing to use the latest technologies to attract a new, younger audience to this great sport of ours. Everything about Extreme E is cool, from the car to the race format and the in-built technology. We’re thrilled to join the championship and to play a part in developing the future of our sport.”
Like Andretti Autosport, Ganassi has also competed in US rallycross, running a pair of M-Sport-built Ford Fiesta STs for Steve Arpin, Brian Deegan, and Ganassi IndyCar race winner Jeff Ward in 2015 and 2016.
After a strong debut season, which featured podium finishes for both Arpin and Deegan, the Canadian took the squad’s first rallycross victory at Daytona in 2016. Deegan added a second at that year’s season finale.
Ganassi’s two-year commitment to the series ended at the conclusion of the 2016 campaign, after which Arpin continued to lead the rallycross operation under the Loenbro Motorsports banner.
Since then, Ganassi has focused on its IndyCar operation as well as competing in the NASCAR Cup series. Its involvement in Extreme E brings its number of motorsport programmes back to three, following the conclusion of its sports car deal with Ford at the end of last season.
“Our championship poses a very different kind of challenge, but the team has proven itself to be a winner in every discipline it has contested and clearly possesses the skillset to similarly excel in Extreme E,” said Extreme E founder and CEO Alejandro Agag.
“And then, of course, there is the competitive edge with Andretti Autosport, who we announced last month – and it will be fascinating to see how that plays out. These two teams have engaged in some truly classic duels over the years, and we look forward to many more to come in the unique environments that Extreme E will visit.”