Alejandro Agag, the Founder and CEO of Extreme E, says it has been a very special day after the completion of the shakedown for the inaugural Desert X Prix on Friday.
All eighteen drivers were able to sample the track in the Al Ula area of Saudi Arabia, and Agag was delighted to see the first official running of the Extreme E cars despite the ongoing threat of COVID-19 across the globe.
“This is a very special day,” said Agag. “Extreme E was such an out-of-the-box idea that many people didn’t think it would ever happen – even I didn’t know if we would get to this day.
“In these COVID times, it would have been impossible to organise this event without the incredible support of our hosts and our teams, and I must thank Saudi Arabia for welcoming us. We are getting ready for something amazing this weekend.”
Agag believes Extreme E is perhaps the ‘biggest experiment’ ever seen in motorsport, and the weekend in Saudi Arabia is not just a race but also a big test about the credentials of the championship as a whole.
“I call Extreme E the biggest experiment ever seen in motorsport, and this weekend is like a test and race all at the same time,” he said. “We have an amazing line-up – if you add up all the world championships on the grid amongst drivers and team owners, there are more than 40 in total.
“Then we have the gender equality aspect and the major innovation of the Command Centre, which sees us putting all of these rivals together in the same room. It’s incredible, and these electric SUVs are going to put on a great show. We’re ready to race!”
“Motorsport is very important to us” – His Royal Highness Prince Kha li d bin Sultan Al Faisal
His Royal Highness Prince Kha li d bin Sultan Al Faisal, the Chairman of the Saudi Automobile & Motor Federation, says motorsport in Saudi Arabia is important to the country, and he insists Extreme E fits in well with their plans for sustainability within the Arab state.
“Motorsport is very important to us,” he said. “We have a big population that likes motorsport and entertainment and have been working with Alejandro since 2017 on Formula E, which marked our first major international motorsport event.
“We are very honoured to be working with Alejandro and his team again on such an ambitious new project. We are from the desert and have the best place for rallies, so to combine electric technology with rallying means Extreme E really fits well with our plans for sustainability and the future in Saudi Arabia.
“We are blessed to have different types of scenery and landscapes in Saudi Arabia, and this is one of the most spectacular areas. We wanted to share what we have, especially here in AlUla and also play our role in making the environment and the world safer.
“We are on a mission to safeguard our planet and preserve it for future generations, and this aligns very well with Vision 2030 and showing people around the world both our heritage as well as where we are heading.”