Five-time Indianapolis 500 winner Andretti Autosport has become the first American team to sign up to next year’s all-new SUV electric off-road series Extreme E.
While Andretti is a significant force in circuit racing, it’s no stranger to the dirt either having captured multiple Stateside rallycross titles.
That includes three Global Rallycross titles with Scott Speed and the Volkswagen Beetle from 2015-17, then both Americas RX titles in 2018 – with Speed – and last year with Tanner Foust before that series folded.
The Michael Andretti-led team’s decision to announce its participation in the five-round series was prompted partly by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“The current COVID-19 crisis is bringing attention to a changing world, and our traditional mindsets have to adapt with that,” said Andretti, chairman and CEO of the team.
“We feel that announcing now can help bring hope for the future of motorsport and a new focus to the sustainability message. I believe the entire motorsport industry is going to emerge from this time stronger than ever, and I look forward to seeing our team join Extreme E to do our part in leaving an impactful legacy in each race location.
“We remain dedicated to expanding and diversifying our team effort, in both traditional motorsport and with new, revolutionary racing concepts. I think that Extreme E is an exciting opportunity for the team as we continue to grow globally.”
Series founder and CEO Alejandro Agag was pleased to see Andretti Autosport making the step alongside him from the Formula E circuits to Extreme E competition at five of the world’s most climatically challenged locations.
“I am absolutely delighted to welcome Andretti Autosport, a true powerhouse in racing, as the latest team to join Extreme E,” said Agag.
“Andretti Autosport has achieved across multiple disciplines at the highest level of our sport over many years. The team has a real passion for motorsport, both as a driver of change and in promoting sustainable practices and technologies, making its decision to join Extreme E at this early stage, a natural one.
“Extreme E is an ambitious new project born out of a concern for the future of our planet, and now more than ever, as motorsport adapts its behaviors and values to stay relevant in these changing times, that concern is critical for us all to consider.
“Andretti Autosport has been fine-tuning its expertise in electric racing as a founding Formula E outfit, and off-road as multiple rallycross title-winners. These experiences will be invaluable in making the jump into Extreme E.
“That said, the series is a unique prospect all of its own. The sporting challenge will be intense and the scope for innovation is far-reaching, and I for one am eager to see how the Andretti Autosport team adapts to its new test.”
Andretti, like the rest of the Extreme E teams will take delivery of its ODYSSEY 21 E-SUVs in late October. The first time the cars will be seen in action together is at a group test soon after delivery.
Extreme E will run over six-mile circuits in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland, the Amazon Rainforest in Brazil, Al-‘Ula in Saudi Arabia, the Nepalese Himalayas and Lac Rose near Dakar, Senegal.