The first season of the Extreme E, the new electric category of off-road vehicles, will have women as key protagonists inside the car.

The Extreme E, the first championship off road 100% electric, it will premiere this weekend in the desert of Al Ula (Saudi Arabia), an area that the Dakar has already passed through in the last two years.

The new category, in which they will participate 9 teams With two drivers each, it will not follow the open country style of raids, but will be more like rallycross, only with circuits noticeably longer than World Rallycross. In addition, the results will be counted by the position on the track, not by the time of each one.

But the key to everything seems to be in them, the pilots who will share a seat with the Loeb, Sainz, Button and company.

For the first time in the history of motorsport, teams, by regulation, have to be made up of one male and one female driver, who will compete the same number of kilometers in each of the five events scheduled for 2021.

Looking at the enrollment roster, one might think that the majority (although perhaps not all) of the boys will offer an even level, on the other hand, there may be more difference in benefits between the females. There, Cristina Gutiérrez (four times finisher Dakar and stage winner in T3 last January) can be decisive from day one.

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This is Extreme E: Drivers, calendar, format and much more

In the same way, Molly o Sara Price, also regulars of different off-road disciplines can provide an extra over their grid companions.

Laia Sanz, 11 times Dakar finalist and who will form a partner in the team ACCIONA | Sainz With Carlos Sainz, she is clear that she will not be in that group of first, since the competition is not a raid in itself and she will not be able to get a plus from the navigation factor, in which she has ample experience.

“Yes, I think so, that in the end the races will practically be decided by girls more than boys. Because boys are very competitive, although they come from different things and I think there will be much more equality. On the other hand, between us there will be more differences, I think, because there are some like me who have no experience in this discipline, nothing, “he told Motorsport.com from Saudi Arabia.

“I think that there are Cristina, Sara, Molly … all these girls who have a lot of experience in this. I do not consider myself in that group to be able to make a difference right now. Besides, if it were a rally raid, yes I would say yes, Because in terms of driving, I would have to learn, but there are other things such as experience and navigation that can supplement it. But it is a format that is not a raid, there will be a bit of sand, but we will start on a grid of 4 or 5, with contact, it’s another roll. For me it’s all new and the experience of the raids I don’t think it can help much either. “

For his part, Gutiérrez, who will team up with Loeb in X44, believes that other factors will also affect such as the fact that it is a completely new championship or the lack of training.

“The championship is very nice in that sense, because they are not used to having teammates, we want to learn and we are super motivated. I think that in the end the difference will be in many other things, not only in us, because it is a new championship, we have to work together and I think that communication in this aspect will be very important when the first driver transmits what there is on the track to the second “, he says to Motorsport.com.

“The change of driver will also be interesting. This first race will give us many conclusions for the following ones. It is something so new that nobody knows how it will develop. I am very motivated and hopefully we can play a great role from the first race.”

Christine Giampaoli It will be the third Spanish representative in the category, and is excited to participate in its first major competition with the mythical brand Hispano Suiza.

“Gender equality here is brutal and we have always talked about it, that in the end there are not many women in this world. But I think that little by little it is normalizing. For example, in the US we are 6-7 girls where I compete and never there have been problems. I feel like one more rider, I don’t see myself as a girl, and I hope this helps for the future, so that it looks like something normal now, “she says.

(Look at the photos before reading on)

Christine Giampaoli Zonca, Hispano Suiza Xite Energy Team

Colin McMaster / Motorsport Images

Laia Sanz, Sainz XE team

Colin McMaster / Motorsport Images

Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky, JBXE Extreme-E Team, y Jenson Button, JBXE Extreme-E Team

Colin McMaster / Motorsport Images

Jenson Button, JBXE Extreme-E Team y Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky, JBXE Extreme-E Team

Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky, JBXE Extreme-E Team y Jenson Button, JBXE Extreme-E Team

Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

Sara Price, Chip Ganassi Racing

Colin McMaster / Motorsport Images

Sara Price, Chip Ganassi Racing

Colin McMaster / Motorsport Images

Sara Price, Chip Ganassi Racing

Colin McMaster / Motorsport Images

Sara Price, Chip Ganassi Racing

Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

Sara Price, Chip Ganassi Racing

Colin McMaster / Motorsport Images

Catie Munnings, Andretti United Extreme E, en el barco logístico St Helena

Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

Catie Munnings, Andretti United Extreme E

Colin McMaster / Motorsport Images

Molly Taylor, Rosberg X Racing

Colin McMaster / Motorsport Images

Nico Rosberg, founder and SEO of Rosberg X Racing, takes a selfie with Molly Taylor, Rosberg X Racing

Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

A competition with a scientific and ecological side

Contrary to what may seem a priori, the Extreme E was born with a clear objective: to raise awareness about the change climate and help with local initiatives to fight it.

Thus, in the St. Helena freighter (remodeled to reduce its pollution), a group of scientists along with the 9 championship cars. Your task will be to collect data from those areas and develop through the Program Legacy a series of initiatives such as cleaning the beaches, planting mangroves or protecting turtles on the Red Sea coast.

So much Gutierrez Like Sanz, they agree that this is one of the attractions of the championship and they believe that it can help to convey to more people a problem as decisive for the world population as this one.

“When this championship arose it always motivated me especially, because it fits a lot with my values ​​and with what I have thought for a long time. For people to begin to understand what is happening with climate change, they need that visibility and sport is a perfect medium for this. This championship is especially involved with it by going to those places where they are suffering the most and leaving zero climate footprint. But he also has his own investigators at the St. Helena and what better way to promote it than with big name riders like Jenson Button, Nico Rosberg, Carlos Sainz or Sébastien Loeb “, Gutiérrez points out.

“In the talks with Lewis Hamilton and Loeb that we have had, they have especially stressed the importance we have of transmitting and involving society more. Hamilton is very involved with the environment and beautiful causes and I love being part of X44 for this reason”.

Sanz adds: “In the end, motorsport is sometimes frowned upon and I think unfairly. It is good to do something different, innovative, that also helps raise awareness of the problem that exists in many places. We are going to race in threatened places, beautiful places and that is a very different championship. All of us who do off-road love nature and it’s great to send that message. “

The photos of the tests of the Extreme E with the cars in action

Sebastien Loeb, Team X44 Team

Team X44

Sebastien Loeb, Team X44 Team

Team X44

Sebastien Loeb, Team X44 Team

Team X44

Sébastien Loeb, X44

Extreme E

Cristina Gutierrez, X44

Extreme E

Andretti United Extreme E

Extreme E

ACCIONA Sainz XE Team

Extreme E

ABT CUPRA XE

Extreme E

ABT CUPRA XE

Extreme E

ABT CUPRA XE

Extreme E

X44

Extreme E

X44

Extreme E

Fast Racing

Extreme E

Rosberg Xtreme Racing

Extreme E

Oliver Bennett, Hispano Suiza Xite Energy Team

Extreme E

Molly Taylor, Rosberg Xtreme Racing

Extreme E

Mattias Ekstrom, ABT CUPRA XE

Extreme E

Laia Sanz, ACCIONA Sainz XE Team

Extreme E

Kyle Le Duc, Chip Ganassi Racing

Extreme E

Johan Kristoffersson Rosberg Xtreme Racing

Extreme E

Hispano Suiza Xite Energy Team

Extreme E

Extreme E group testing

Extreme E

Claudia Hürtgen, ABT CUPRA XE

Extreme E

Christine Giampaoli, Hispano Suiza Xite Energy Team

Extreme E

Chip Ganassi Racing

Extreme E

Chip Ganassi Racing

Extreme E

Catie Munnings, Andretti United Extreme E

Extreme E

X44

Extreme E

Fast Racing

Extreme E

Fast Racing

Extreme E

Sébastien Loeb, Cristina Gutiérrez, X44

Extreme E

Sebastien Loeb, Team X44 Team

Team X44

Rosberg Xtreme Racing

Extreme E

Rosberg Xtreme Racing

Extreme E

Jamie Chadwick, Veloce Racing

Extreme E

Chip Ganassi Racing, Andretti United ExtremeE

Extreme E

Carlos Sainz, ACCIONA Sainz XE Team

Extreme E

Carlos Sainz Jr.

Extreme E

Andretti United Extreme E

Extreme E

ACCIONA Sainz XE Team

Extreme E

ABT CUPRA XE

Extreme E

ABT CUPRA XE

Extreme E

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