The first fully Spanish team of the Extreme E Championship is born with three-time Dakar Rally Champion Carlos Sainz – also a team owner, teaming up with five-time Enduro World Champion Laia Sanz.
Both drivers joined forces with ACCIONA – the first team to finish a Dakar rally with a 100% electric vehicle in 2017, and QEV Technologies as a technological partner.
The ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team will battle against eight other top teams that will take part in the inaugural campaign of the electric SUV off-road racing series, competing in the most demanding environments of the planet.
Madrid native and his teammate have set the target to be fighting at the top from the very beginning.
The 58-year-old added: “To compete in a championship where there is gender equality, where both drivers are equally important and where both are going to win and lose together seems very original and inclusive.
“For a veteran like me, this is one of the last things I am yet to try out: I would have left behind some unexplored territory!”
In joining the Extreme E Championship line-up – officially certified by the International Automobile Federation (FIA), ACCIONA marks its return to motorsport and Sanz’s official move from motorcycling to sports car racing.
According to the team, they aim to contribute to global awareness of the effects of climate change and the need to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy.
“We are excited about this championship and about being able to support the ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team.
“Our company has a history of success in a variety of races. The path we are on today is truly ambitious, and we look forward to getting started, said Joan Orús Chief Operating Officer of QEV Tech.
“Today is a great day for Extreme E, stated Alejandro Agag, Founder, and CEO of Extreme E, in his welcome to the Spanish team.
“Together with Laia Sanz, the female driver who will compete alongside Carlos, they join what is becoming the greatest line up in off-road racing!
“The team is also led by ACCIONA, a company that for many years has shown a strong commitment to sustainability, and by QEV Technologies, the leading Spanish company in racing operation and electric mobility.”
Agag concluded by announcing that “the son of El Matador and Formula One driver, Carlos Sainz Jr,” has become the fourth shareholder of Extreme E, which he outlined as an exciting project.
Carlos Sainz won the Dakar Rally in 2010, 2018, and 2020, and was crowned World Rally Championship twice, in 1990 and 1992.
He has also received the Princess of Asturias Sports Award 2020 for his successful career in the elite of world motorsport.
The Spanish sportswoman finished the Dakar Rally ten times, between 2011 and 2020, winning in the women’s motorcycle category in all of them.
In 2015, she finished 9th in the Dakar Rally´s overall standings – the best result of a woman in motorbikes, within the 37 editions of the competition.
“I’m tremendously motivated and excited as this is an important step for me; I’ve always had an interest in sports cars, and I am sure I’m going to learn greatly alongside Carlos.
“I hope to live up to expectations and to learn quickly to help the team out as soon as possible”, said Laia Sanz.
THE EXTREME E CHALLENGE
Extreme E will kick off its first campaign in Al-‘Ula, Saudi Arabia in March, Lac Rose, Senegal is the second stop scheduled for late in May; then, St Helena heads to Kangerlussuaq, Greenland, where is set to arrive by August.
In October 2021, the journey continues at the Brazilian Amazon in Para, Brazil, and early in December, the series will celebrate its finale in Tierra del Fuego in Patagonia.
ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team will go racing alongside the teams founded by seven-time Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton and Former Formula One world champion Nico Rosberg – Team X44 and Rosberg Xtreme Racing (RXR), respectively.
Team Techeetah, HWA, ABT Sportline, Veloce Racing, Andretti United, and Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR) complete the grid of Extreme E season 1.
Designed by Spark Racing Technology, all teams will be competing using the same spec-vehicle, the off-road, all-terrain, E-SUV ODYSSEY 21.
The electric SUV also features a niobium-reinforced steel alloy tubular frame and purpose-built tyres.
The series, following his innovative footprint, partnered with AFC Energy, becoming the first event organizer to utilize green hydrogen, fuel cell power generator for charging.
Recently, the Enel Foundation has been introduced as Extreme E Founding Scientific Partner.
Images courtesy: QEV Technologies