Extreme E

Island X Prix tweaks Traction Challenge, introduces Hyperdrive

2 Mins read
Credit: Charly Lopez/LAT Images

After over four months of waiting, Extreme E resumes its season with the second and third rounds in Sardinia, now dubbed the NEOM Island X Prix to reflect the Saudi megaproject’s increasing investment into the series. NEOM’s energy supplier ENOWA, now an official partner of Extreme E, is also chipping in by sponsoring the ENOWA Hyperdrive, one of two rule changes for the event alongside a revised Continental Traction Challenge.

The ENOWA Hyperdrive is a push-to-pass mechanism that provides a limited boost for each driver by pressing a button on the steering wheel. Extreme E’s cousin Formula E has a similar setup with Attack Mode, although Hyperdrive appears to be freely available unlike Attack Mode which requires drivers to drive across a designated area in a suboptimal line to accumulate boost. Other series like IndyCar and Formula One also utilise overtaking encouragement systems such as the latter’s KERS and DRS.

The Continental Traction Challenge is now a team effort as both male and female drivers will contribute. Like in past races, whoever sets the fastest time in a defined “super sector” earns five bonus points, though the Island X Prix will determine the Traction Challenge winner as the team with the fastest combined time between its drivers rather than just one person.

In the event of a tie in qualifying, the team with the better super sector time has the advantage. The Traction Challenge is also used to classify the sixth-place finisher between those who finished third in the two Semi-Finals.

“We are really excited for the upcoming Island X Prix double-header and are looking forward to once again proving the outstanding performance of our tires under the toughest and most challenging conditions,” commented Continental Tire EMEAS marketing head Enno Straten.

“Although we have already raced in Sardinia, this time around it will be in a different season and will offer different challenges. We look forward to demonstrating that Continental is up to the test, as well as the thrilling racing throughout the week as Extreme E returns to action.”

The course will remain the same from 2021, though the summer weather results in a drier surface.

Round #2, the first in the doubleheader, takes place on 6/7 June. The second round comes two days later on 9/10 July. Rosberg X Racing enters as the defending winner when the X Prix was a single event (the double for 2022 arose after the Ocean X Prix’s cancellation).

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Justin is neither a NASCAR nor off-road racer, but he has covered them for The Checkered Flag since 2018.
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