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Chip Ganassi Racing to Debut in Electric Motorsport with Extreme E

The American squad is the seventh team to join the electric SUV off-road racing series 2021 inaugural campaign.

Success and innovation are synonymous with a team that, for over 30 years, has been writing history in different touring series while becoming a referent in North American motorsport.

As a leader, Chip Ganassi has never been afraid to innovate and adapt – indeed, he has won awards for his visionary, future-thinking approach – and that is entirely in keeping with the ethos behind our ambitious and groundbreaking new series, which he was very quick to embrace,” Alejandro Agag, Founder and CEO, Extreme E explained. 

Floyd Ganassi Jr. is the man behind the wheel of a team born to push boundaries. A former racing driver, he is the only team owner to date to win six of the biggest races in the world, including the Indianapolis 500, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Daytona 500, the Rolex 24 at Daytona, the 12 Hours of Sebring and the Brickyard 400.

Overall, the team has won 19 championships, achieving four Indy 500 victories to date. 

After today´s announcement, the team gives its first step towards electric racing.

Extreme E is a very different proposition to anything we have done before, but it’s where I think motor racing is headed in the future. When I started our team in 1990, one of the founding principles I built it on was innovation. I’ve always been passionate about pushing the boundaries of what is possible, and Extreme E checks that box for us in a big way.

Everything about Extreme E is cool, from the car to the race format and the in-built technology. We’re thrilled to join the championship and to play a part in developing the future of our sport,” Chip Ganassi, Team Owner, Chip Ganassi Racing remarked.

Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR) long time on-track rival Andretti Motorsport has also committed to the Extreme E championship.

The American teams join Venturi Automobiles, HWA, ABT Sportline, Veloce Racing, and QEV Technologies in the Extreme E challenge.

CGR boasts a tremendous heritage and pedigree in motorsport, achieving consistent success over three decades in some of the toughest single-seater and sportscar series around. Of course, our championship poses a very different kind of challenge, but the team has proven itself to be a winner in every discipline it has contested and clearly possesses the skillset to similarly excel in Extreme E,” Agag said.

And then, of course, there is the competitive edge with Andretti Autosport, who we announced last month – and it will be fascinating to see how that plays out. These two teams have engaged in some truly classic duels over the years, and we look forward to many more to come in the unique environments that Extreme E will visit,” he added.

The new racing series will feature intense competition while raising awareness on climate change, competing in remote locations on the planet affected by the impacts of the climate crisis. 

During its first season, the all-electric ODYSSEY 21 E-SUVs will contest five races. The chosen locations are the Amazon Rainforest in Brazil, Kangerlussuaq in Greenland, the Nepalese Himalayas, Al-‘Ula in Saudi Arabia, and Lac Rose in Senegal. 

The series will also feature a male and a female driver´s line-up.

Each pair will compete as a driver and co-driver, with the teams ultimately deciding which driver will fulfill each role.

In late October, the teams (eight overall) should take delivery on the ODYSSEY 21 E-SUVs with a group test following.

Image courtesy of Extreme E Media.

About Cecilia Demartini
Cecilia is a freelance Journalist passionate about motorsport and writing.
Her articles are published in newspapers and online international media as well.
Her knowledge goes from F1, F2, and GP3 to other series such as MotoGP, IndyCar, Rally, WEC and particularly Formula E.