Chip Ganassi Racing’s Extreme E program has taken on an even more American feel with the backing of US giant General Motors.
The Detroit-based carmaker is the first to remodel Extreme E’s Odyssey 21 vehicle, with American off-road stars Sara Price and Kyle LeDuc set to drive a Hummer EV in the five-round series which starts in Saudi Arabia in April.
“I can’t think of a better fit than showcasing the look of GMC’s Hummer EV in Extreme E with Chip Ganassi Racing,” said Jim Campbell, General Motors’ US vice-president of performance and motorsports.
“Both GMC Hummer EV and the Extreme E series are designed to be revolutionary – to challenge perceptions of electric vehicles and to showcase their true capability.”
CGR team owner Chip Ganassi said he was proud with his team’s new association.
“It’s truly an honor to represent GMC, especially during such an exciting time in auto racing,” said Ganassi.
“The new GMC Hummer EV is going to be a game-changer in terms of how the world views off-road EV capability, and we couldn’t be more proud to represent GMC in such an innovative new series.”
The CGR-run 550bhp electric SUV will have bodywork that is unique among the XE grid, drawing inspiration from the GMC Hummer EV, the world’s first production all-electric off-roader.
GM isn’t the first automotive brand involved with XE, as Cupra is already working alongside Abt and Hispano-Suiza has a long history as a carmaker.
XE’s founder and CEO Alejandro Agag said the off-road series offered the perfect shop window for manufacturers to demonstrate sustainable cross-country competition.
“We feel very proud to welcome GMC and its iconic GMC Hummer EV to the Extreme E family, as it joins forces with our Chip Ganassi Racing team,” said Agag.
“Not only will Extreme E be a thrilling motorsport, it will also showcase the performance and benefits of electric vehicles.”
While Ganassi and GM’s partnership will be the first foray into electric racing for both American giants, it won’t be the first time the Hummer name has been seen in motorsport.
IndyCar and NASCAR veteran Robby Gordon drove a Hummer on the Dakar Rally between 2006-2015, taking a best result of third in the 2009 edition of the rally raid.
The Hummer name was also a fixture in off-road racing stateside in the 1990s and 2000s, taking 11 production class wins at the Baja 1000.