With one month to go until Extreme E’s penultimate Season 1 race in Sardinia, Italy - which marks the championship’s first European destination - organisers have confirmed the event will take place in the Army Training area at Capo Teulada in Sulcis-Iglesiente, an historic area situated in the south-west of the island.
Alejandro Agag, Founder and CEO of Extreme E, said: “We are almost at our penultimate race of the very first season of Extreme E. It has been a fantastic adventure so far and I’m so proud of what we have already achieved this year.
“We are all looking forward to this event in Sardinia, which holds a great history in rallying, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Automobile Club d’Italia, the Region of Sardinia, the Ministry of Defence and the Italian Army which has been supporting us every step of the way.
“This X Prix will highlight some of the issues facing Europe and the wider world. The event is developing really nicely; we have another epic course layout full of new challenges, incredible scientists who will join us to impart their knowledge on the climate emergency and innovative solutions, a Legacy Programme focussed on restoration on some of the areas hit by wildfires as well as showcasing electric vehicles and clean energy solutions."
Extreme E is working closely with Automobile Club d’Italia - the national sports federation co-organising and coordinating the event - the Region of Sardinia, and its Tourism Department plus the Ministry of Defence and Esercito, the Italian Army.
Automobile Club d’Italia president Angelo Sticchi Damiani said: "The Automobile Club d'Italia is the world of cars in Italy in all its forms, including sports cars. It is the historical memory of its entire cultural heritage, it is the irreplaceable driving force behind its present, and it is also the driving force behind everything that looks to the future. In this sense, we have enthusiastically supported the organisation of the Italian leg of the Extreme E series dedicated to electric SUVs.
"It is a series that is gaining wide acclaim all over the world. Once again we have to thank the Region of Sardinia, which as usual has shown prompt and concrete interest in the initiatives we are promoting. With it, special praise goes to the series' creator, Alejandro Agag, who has once again demonstrated his ability to look ahead with extreme determination. Finally, the decisive support of the Ministry of Defence, which has made available the Army Training Area of Capo Teulada, which will host the event, must be underlined. Once again, the contribution and work of AC Sassari and its president, Giulio Pes di San Vittorio, to whom I would like to extend my sincere thanks, was fundamental.”
The support of the Sardinian Regional Council was integral, as it was able to appreciate the positive values conveyed by Extreme E and recognised its potential for promoting tourism.
The Sardinian Regional Council President, Christian Solinas, emphasised this as he said: “Once again, Sardinia is delighted to host, this time in the enchanting setting of Capo Teulada, a prestigious event that has established itself on the international scene as a moment of high sporting value, thanks to the growing interest that this fascinating motor sport is enjoying all over the world.
“Such events allow us to promote our island worldwide through an innovative discipline and the positive values it embodies, and it is precisely the aim that, even in the difficult months of the pandemic, we wanted to pursue events of undisputed and internationally recognised prestige, such as Extreme E.
“Through this unique event on the national scene, we wish to send out a signal of hope and optimism, which is associated with the extraordinary energy inextricably linked to racing. We are certain that this can serve to give a new and original impetus to tourism in Sardinia."
The Commander of the Sardinia Army Military Headquarters, Major General Francesco Olla highlighted the importance of the event and stressed that: "The Army welcomed with great pleasure the choice of hosting the first European stage of the rally championship with electric SUVs, Extreme E, at the most important training centre within the national soil.
“The activity fits perfectly within the provisions of the Memorandum of Understanding regarding the shared use of selected areas of the above mentioned training centre, co-signed by President Solinas last December. In fact, under the right perspective, this Agreement provides for the use of parts of the training area, at no risk, for initiatives that could have an important economic impact on the surrounding territories, making it a resource for the entire area."
Extreme E has been carrying out operational recces in the region over the past couple of months, with one of the key elements being the development of the course, utilising Championship Driver and Course Advisor Timo Scheider, plus Tiziano Siviero, Italian rally navigator and two-time world champion with Miki Biasion.
Teams have so far faced the sand dunes of Saudi Arabia, beaches of Senegal plus rocks in Greenland, and Sardinia will provide a completely different experience for the 18 world-class drivers.
The Teulada route provides a blank canvas for the course which will measure around seven kilometres, and a completely contrasting landscape to the previous three rounds, providing a harder compact surface with many rocks and bushes plus riverbeds that crack due to the heat. The terrain could become softer come the October months, meaning drivers have many more natural obstacles to navigate. The aim is to provide a myriad of racing lines allowing for overtaking as well as fast flowing areas and tight corners. The course walk in the days leading up to the race will prove essential for drivers to do their homework before stepping into the cockpit of the all-electric ODYSSEY 21.
In addition to the action on the course, Extreme E will continue with its initiatives to highlight climate change issues and support local communities. The Legacy Programme in Sardinia will focus on both blue and green carbon stores.
Firstly, the series will look to highlight the rapid warming of the planet, which has an impact on so many countries and has caused many parts of Europe, America and Australia to experience wildfires. In Sardinia, Extreme E will work with local NGOs to support the forest restoration efforts in the Oristanese area and beyond that fell victim to extensive damage, therefore enhancing green carbon stores.
Secondly, the focus will be put on seagrasses - an ecosystem known as the rainforest of the ocean, and an environment that sequesters even more carbon dioxide than its terrestrial comparison and is equally threatened, making it a huge blue carbon store. Further details about the Island X Prix Legacy Programme will be revealed in coming weeks.
In addition, Extreme E has been working with Enel Foundation since inception, its Official Scientific Partner, that supports climate change research, something which is happening right now onboard the series’ floating centrepiece, the St. Helena in its laboratory. The ship is currently on route to Sardinia ready to unload the championship’s precious cargo ahead of the X Prix itself, set to run from 23 – 24 October 2021.