Three of the teams entered into the 2021 Extreme E championship – Chip Gnassi Racing, Veloce Racing and Andretti United – have taken delivery of their new ODYSSEY 21 vehicles and each conducted a shakedown test ahead of the inaugural season.
Each squad took their new machinery to very different locations however; Chip Gnassi conducted a pre-season test near their Indianapolis base in the USA, Veloce chose to travel to France to pull the wraps off their new car, while Andretti United headed to Wales to begin their testing program.
Chip Ganassi’s delivery of the fully-electric car is the first to take place in America, and both of their drivers – Sara Price and Kyle LeDuc – were quick to praise the new car.
“Our shakedown with the Extreme E ODYSSEY 21 was a success!” said the delighted Price.
“We came out to the desert, a place I am super familiar with, but with a car that is brand new for me. We had a great time as a team learning the new car and this electric beast.
“It’s very new to all of us, so we are learning everything for the first time and working together to make it the most successful program we can and I can’t wait to take on the 2021 season; it’s just around the corner.”
“Last week we have done the impossible, drive an electric off road truck through the desert and sand dunes, and even send it on its maiden flight!” added her teammate.
“I am blown away at what the Extreme E series has put together with this truck built by Spark and how this Chip Ganassi team has built a massive program to prepare for the 2021 season.”
Andretti United also had both of their drivers recently test the new car, with former FIA World Rallycross champion Timmy Hansen lining up alongside up and coming rally driver Catie Munnings for their 2021 campaign, and they were also delighted with their first experience with the ODYSSEY machine.
“It was great to work with Timmy again, he’s got so much experience and racecraft and he’s been invaluable for my learning process,” added Munnings.
“Being able to have the data to compare ourselves against each other has been great and although it’s a shakedown for the car, it’s for us to understand the car more. Of course, this is a race and we want to be competitive so we’ve been working hard to make sure that we are doing everything in our power to be fast.”
Hansen was also full of praise for both his team and car: “This is the first time I’ve met the team, and I must say it’s gone above expectation.”
“We’ve ticked all of the boxes that we wanted to and we’ve discovered new things on the car. It’s been really interesting getting to know my new office and a fantastic start for us on our journey. I’m looking forward to getting more testing under our belts.“
The third team to so far begin testing in preperation for the new championship – the co-ran Andretti United between Andretti Autosport and United Autosports – has recruited reigning W-Series champion Jamie Chadwick for the 2021 season that begins in Saudi Arabia.
She was on hand to give the team’s new car it’s first shakedown, and as like the other drivers above, was pleased with what she’s seen so far.
“I can safely say that testing the car was one of the best and most fun experiences I have had in my career so far,” commented Chadwick.
“I can’t wait to get out to the amazing venues where we’ll be racing next year; these are some of the most beautiful and endangered locations on our planet. Both on and off-track, it promises to be an incredibly rewarding journey.”
Each team in the 2021 Extreme E series must run one male and one female driver, and the series’ inaugural season is set to take place over five rounds across the world between March and December next year.
The aim of the series is to help show the situation around climate change, with the championship vowing to help show that electric vehicles should be used to help reduce emissions around the world and into the future.