The Goodwood Festival of Speed on 23–26 June will see a trio of off-road teams showing off their vehicles as Extreme E operations Andretti United XE and Veloce Racing do head-to-head time trials in their Spark ODYSSEY 21s while XITE Energy Racing brings a pair of Nitro Rallycross FC1-X cars.
The Spark ODYSSEY 21 débuted at Goodwood as a prototype in 2019, two years before the inaugural Extreme E season, with current XE points leader Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky as its driver. While Andretti is bringing its usual driver lineup of Timmy Hansen and Catie Munnings to the 2022 Festival, Veloce will recall Jamie Chadwick to its XE programme alongside sim racer and ex-Formula 3 driver Max Fewtrell.
Munnings and Fewtrell will race against each other during qualifying on Saturday, while Hansen takes on Chadwick in the next day’s final. The first two days of the Festival serve as practice days.
“We are thrilled to be returning to the Goodwood Festival of Speed and are excited for this head-to-head duel between two of our teams, which we hope will be an exciting feature of the weekend for the Goodwood audience,” Extreme E chief officer James Taylor stated. “Though our ODYSSEY 21s are designed for off road terrains, we have seen in our brief history that our cars can tackle any conditions and will be quite a sight to see the drivers battle it out on the Hillclimb.”
The Andretti duo finished seventh in February’ season-opening Desert X Prix. In the week leading up to Goodwood, they tested their ODYSSEY 21 in Wales to prepare for the next round in Sardinia in July.
“I’m so excited to be back at Goodwood this year,” said Munnings, who previously worked the Festival as a television presenter and judge for the Style et Luxe car show. “We can’t wait to show off the car to all the fans and have some fun doing it.”
“It’s fantastic that we can showcase our electric car at such an iconic event, sharing the road with so many other iconic cars,” Hansen offered.
Chadwick ran three rounds for Veloce in 2021 while also racing for the W Series championship, during which she scored a runner-up finish at the Ocean X Prix, while Fewtrell is from the Quadrant esports team founded by F1 driver Lando Norris. Veloce, who also has an esports division, will partner with Quadrant to run a sim racing and apparel booth at the Festival.
“It will be great to get back in the Veloce Racing Extreme E car again and to be with everyone from the Veloce family,” commented Chadwick. “I was able to drive the car at a recent sponsorship event, which was great, but to take the car up the prestigious Goodwood Hillclimb will be a huge honour. The Festival of Speed is always such a fantastic event and I’m really looking forward to seeing the fans, as well as some familiar faces there.”
Fewtrell stated, “It’s been two years out of a racing car for me, and I’m itching to get back on a track and feel that buzz again. It’s going to be a mega event and we look forward to welcoming many of the Veloce and Quadrant fans over the course of the four days.”
Veloce’s regular drivers Lance Woolridge and Christine GZ are unavailable for Goodwod as the former is competing in the TGRSA 1000 Desert Race while the latter has been doing autocross to refine her driving now that she has been medically cleared to race. The pair along with test driver Hedda Hosås, who replaced GZ for the season opener due to her injury during qualifying, have been testing the ODYSSEY 21 in France ahead of the next round in Sardinia in July.
“We absolutely rocked Goodwood last year. It was a huge success for us and our fans really loved it,“ said Veloce Group CEO Rupert Svendsen-Cook. “With that in mind, we’ve doubled down this year to bring even more access across the entire Veloce family with our Veloce Esports, Racing and Quadrant squads in attendance showcasing all that we do. It’s an honour for our Extreme E car to be going up the hill and even better that it’ll be piloted by our superstar Jamie Chadwick who represents Veloce’s ethos in so many ways. With that said, to have Max Fewtrell in the car on behalf of Quadrant also really goes to further communicate our commitment to the next generation of fans and audiences we’ve been built upon as a company.”
While XITE Energy Racing also boasts an Extreme E stable, the team’s Goodwood entry comes with the FC1-X, a electric rallycross car competing in the newly formed Nitro Rallycros Group E division. After the FC1-X raced in competition for the first time at the 2022 Race of Champions, Group E’s maiden round came this past weekend as part of the Nitro RX season opener at Lydden Hill. The team’s two cars, piloted by owner Oliver Bennett and Kris Meeke, showed pace but were victims of circumstance as Bennett suffered a penalty that prevented him from making the final while Meeke was taken out in a late wreck.
Bennett will once again drive an FC1-X at Goodwood, though with Jenson Button as his partner in the other car. Button missed the Lydden Hill round as he was covering F1’s Canadian Grand Prix. Both will drive on Goodwood’s Forest Rally Stage.
“Goodwood’s going to be very cool and having Jenson back with us will be great, obviously he was busy in Canada at the weekend,” said Bennett. “We kept in touch with Jenson throughout the weekend, he was keen to understand where we were with the car and how the event was progressing. It’s fair to say, he was excited by the performance we’ve shown as a team, and he’ll be very much part of that in Sussex this week.
“The eyes of the motorsport world will be on the Festival of Speed, they always are. To be part of the Festival with a car and a team that everybody is talking about is going to be pretty special.”