Extreme E unveils race format for maiden season

New-for-2021 off-road series takes rallycross-style format and "hyperdrive" jump incentive


Extreme E has revealed the first details of its race format ahead of its maiden season next year.

Each event will be known as an ‘X Prix’, and will take on a rallycross-style format, with two qualifying races, two semi-finals, and a final.

All races will feature four cars and will be run over two laps of a 16-kilometer (10-mile) course, with the male and female drivers that make up each line-up completing a lap each. The course will also be filled with natural challenges such as extreme gradients, jumps, banks, berms, pits, dunes and water splashes.

The four fastest crews from the qualifying races will go straight into the semi-final race, with the bottom four going into a second semi-final race.

That second semi, dubbed the ‘crazy race’, has been described as a “tooth-and-nail, all-or-nothing fight”. The top three finishers from the first semi-final advance to the final, but only the winning team from the ‘crazy race’ will get a shot at the final.

The final will be another four-car affair, in which the victor will be crowned the overall event winner.

While incorporating eight teams of two drivers at first, the XE format has been designed to be easily adaptable should additional entries join the series.

In addition to the race format, XE has also revealed details of its innovative ‘hyperdrive’ feature. Hyperdrive will be awarded to the team that performs the furthest jump on the first jump of the course, giving them a temporary power boost that can be used at any point during the race.

“Extreme E is a championship like nothing else that has come before in sport. Its goal and objective is to accelerate innovation and tackle climate change head on using transportation,” said Alejandro Agag, XE founder and CEO.

“Creating this innovative sporting format, which we’re likening to Star Wars pod racing meets Dakar Rally, is vital in order to engage the next generation of motorsport fans.

“We hope our fans will enjoy the short, sharp, wheel-to-wheel racing this format has been built around, and with our high performance electric vehicle, driver changeover, the hyperdrive feature, and the crazy race qualification format, there is plenty to watch out for, and many chances for positions to change hands, our races really will go right to the wire.”