Extreme E

2023 Desert X Prix course to run along Red Sea beach

1 Mins read
Credit: Extreme E

The 2023 Desert X Prix will once again be in NEOM, Saudi Arabia, but will feature more sights than just dunes and sand. Instead, Extreme E drivers will be treated to a view of the Red Sea as the race will run along the coast.

The course is 3.4 kilometres in length, half that of the 2022 version. Races will begin with a short run leading into a right turn, followed by a series of hairpins before hitting the aforementioned beach straightaway. Dunes in the area will also contribute to elevation changes, including a steep drop after the coastal run and a pair of jumps at the start/finish line.

“There are lots of challenging sections on the track, with compressions, crests, difficult corners and two very spectacular jumps,” said Championship Driver Andreas Bakkerud, who along with Tamara Molinaro has been testing the course beforehand. “A number of the turns are pretty wide, so drivers will be able to choose multiple lines out on the course, and that sort of variety will allow for lots of overtaking opportunities.”

The beach dash also provides a passing opportunity via the ENOWA Hyperdrive, a push-to-pass function that works best on such straights.

“All of the Extreme E courses have that something special and this latest design in NEOM certainly has it,” Molinaro commented. “The drivers are really going to enjoy racing on this course as they can make a huge difference to lap time by being smooth, consistent, and fast, and there should be plenty of overtaking out there if you are quick out of the corners. It should be a great first round of Season 3.”

The Desert X Prix begins this weekend. Saudi Arabia has hosted the Extreme E opener every year since the inaugural season in 2021, with the first edition taking place in Al-‘Ula before being relocated to NEOM for 2022.

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