‘Race for the Planet’ is a five-part docu-series giving audiences a comprehensive look at Extreme E’s 2021 season and the climate change story that underpinned it. The show has been executive produced by the sports production company NEO Studios.
Extreme E’s first campaign brought some of the world’s top male and female racers together to compete in electric SUVs in locations impacted by climate and environmental issues. The teams were founded by motorsport legends Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, Jenson Button, Chip Ganassi and Michael Andretti. Racers included nine-time World Rally champion Sébastien Loeb, two-time World Rally champion Carlos Sainz Sr, the Hansen brothers and double W Series winner Jamie Chadwick.
There were five races in total across 2021, taking the drivers from the Saudi Arabian desert in April to Dorset in the UK in December. NEO Studios’ crew were with the teams on each leg of the journey to tell the story.
Anouk Mertens, NEO Studios CEO and Race for the Planet Executive Producer, said: “The idea of Extreme E is so bold and exciting, and what we have is really the ultimate account of the competition’s first campaign. The series not only documents an incredible season of racing in some of the most extreme conditions imaginable - but also shines the light on some remarkable human stories. We are excited to be partnering with Prime Video to get the show to audiences later this year.”
Audiences will see the 2021 season unfold through the eyes of the drivers, teams and support staff. As well as capturing the drama of race days - from spectacular off road action, to blistering crashes - the show will tell the stories of its stars, and the organizers who made it happen in the face of the pandemic. The series also sheds light on the consequences of climate change in each race location.
Ali Russell, Chief Marketing Officer for Extreme E, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to announce our new documentary ‘Race for the Planet’, highlighting the untold stories behind the scenes of Extreme E on and off the track, taking audiences along with us as we race in the most remote locations of the planet.
“We have captured what it is like to race and breathe Extreme E. We break down the barriers, bring authenticity to displaying the ups and down of motorsport, the challenges and essentially, how gladiatorial Extreme E is. Listening into the intimate thoughts of some of the best drivers in motorsport makes this documentary even more exciting and entertaining.
“Working with Prime Video was the perfect way to release this original documentary to showcase Extreme E as pioneers and a sport for purpose Championship. Not only will ‘Race for the Planet’ bring our fans and viewers into the heart of our racing and legacy projects, but this documentary will also attract a new audience to Extreme E.”
Catie Munnings, Genesys Andretti United Extreme E, said: “Seeing ‘Race for the Planet’ gave me goosebumps. I could feel myself getting nervous again with my heart beating faster as we were sat on the start line because it brought back so many memories for me. It's really nice to have some time to reflect on last season and see the behind the scenes of other teams’ to understand what goes on as well as the life stories behind each individual athlete, which we would never normally see. I think that Extreme E has done it in a great light with lots of humour and competitiveness.
“It's really important to see the legacy work that happens as well and how that combines with the racing in a really clear and simple way that all fans will understand. I'm looking forward to it coming out and I hope the fans enjoy it.”
Race for the Planet Episode Synopsis
- Episode 1: “Bite The Dust” – Desert X Prix, Saudi Arabia
Set across the vistas of the AlUla desert, the challenges of putting on an Extreme E event became real - this inaugural race brought all the drama you were hoping for! Cars and drivers tested to breaking point, the heart-stopping ‘drop’ descent, and the realities of dust in the desert create last minute headaches for the race organisers. This episode features an in-depth chat with American racing legend, Kyle LeDuc, as he speaks on his family history in motorsport on his home turf in the USA.
- Episode 2: “Roots” – Ocean X Prix, Senegal
The crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean coast set the scene for the second round of Extreme E. This highly technical beach course meant new challenges for teams. It was no relaxing trip to the seaside, that’s for sure! Wheel-to-wheel racing between JBXE, X44 and Rosberg X Racing (RXR) made for some intense viewing, and a collision puts the Race Director under pressure. This time, we feature the ‘at home’ segment with British rally driver, Catie Munnings.
- Episode 3: “Thin Ice” – Arctic X Prix, Greenland
The third round takes us to the frontline of the climate crisis, where no motorsport has been before - the Greenland ice cap - as teams go to battle in this stunning weekend of racing. This course delivered fast racing, jumps and insane overtakes, and the Rock Garden tested the cars to new limits. A new five-car final format only increased the side-by-side action and drama, with racing going down to the finish line in dramatic scenes.
Features Laia Sanz, a Motocross rider as we follow her amazing progress of her first time ever swapping her bike for Extreme E’s four-wheel competition.
- Episode 4: “Fired Up” – Island X Prix – Sardinia
Taking on the harshest terrain yet, across the hard baked Sardinian terrain, drivers and cars were challenged beyond their limits. Hunting each other down, the title battle hots up between two teams, bringing history back into the fight for the championship. Who will come out on top? And could there be an end to the bad luck run for Chip Ganassi Racing? The battle continues as we approach the finale. A family feature showcases the Hansen brothers and heritage in motorsports with their family at home in Sweden.
- Episode 5: “Old Rivalries” – Jurassic X Prix – UK|
Bringing the action to Extreme E’s backyard, the final round is set on the Bovington tank lands of Dorset, UK. Here, drivers encountered the classic British winter. With the elements at their worst, visibility low and knee deep in mud at times, the season reaches a dramatic conclusion. A tale of two teams, the final race is not to be missed. Find out who wins the inaugural Extreme E season. We wrap up the season showcasing all the ecological legacy projects undertaken by Extreme E.