37-year-old rally and rallycross star Patrik Sandell from Sweden is the latest driver to be announced to take-on the all-new Extreme E all electric off-road season next year.
Sandell, who is currently one of the factory drivers for Subaru Motorsport USA, has previously had success with several podiums in the Global Rallycross series as well as the Americas Rallycross.
Sandell made his rallycross debut at the age of 16 and started with rally one year after, claiming the Swedish Junior Championship title in 2004 and the Group N3 title in 2005.
After success in the Swedish series he moved over to international competition in 2006 to join the JWRC before doing several seasons in the WRC.
Now Sandell is ready for the Extreme E season-opener, he believes he got what it takes to control the Odyssey 21 car over all different surfaces, with the knowledge he has from rally and rallycross.
“With my cross-discipline background, I believe I have the potential to be a front-runner in this series if I will be racing in it, from competing all-over the world, I have first-hand knowledge of the different surfaces that the Extreme E calendar offers up, and rallycross has taught me the door-to-door racecraft and how to handle dynamic, intense race formats such as this.” Sandell said.
“Extreme E feels like a thrilling extension of off-road racing and a real look into the future of motorsport, there are electric series’ in the works but this championship, in my opinion, is by far the most exciting and challenging one.”
“Not only do I believe in the sporting offering and the racing format, but I also feel very strongly about the sustainability initiatives and goals that are central to Extreme E,” Sandell continues.
“Where I grew up, in northern Sweden, I think that we are just beginning to see the effects of our changing climate. Throughout my career I’ve traveled the world and seen places and societies far more affected than we have been so far.
“I feel that we all have a responsibility for what is happening, and that everyone needs to contribute to a better future. Extreme E is one of the ways I can make a real difference.”
The Odyssey 21 is the first-ever E-SUV to be designed for the future of off-roading competition, the car made its debut at Goodwood last year and made an appearance at the Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia earlier this year, with well known drivers such as Ken Block and Guerlain Chicherit tested the car during the event.
“Everything I’ve seen of the E-SUV looks absolutely awesome, and I’m very excited to test the car as soon as possible, I believe I have the tools needed to run right at the sharp end of this new series, but as for everyone else, there will be things that will be new to me.” Sandell added.
“I would say that getting to grips with the character and difference in drivability of the electric drivetrain will be the most interesting task, but I’m sure if I will participate that with a great team around me we will figure that part out pretty quickly!”