Agag: Inaugural Extreme E event created "motorsport gold"
Extreme E co-founder Alejandro Agag reckons he could not have devised “a better script” for the maiden event in Saudi Arabia and that the final race had created “motorsport gold”.
Agag was the first to speak in the post-race press conference and was received with a round of applause following the Desert X-Prix, which was won by Rosberg X Racing drivers Johan Kristoffersson and Molly Taylor.
He described the two years since he and Indianapolis 500 victor Gil de Ferran created the idea for Extreme E as “waterlogged” and acknowledged that myriad reliability issues for the Spark Racing Technology-built Odyssey 21 E-SUV and several large crashes had created a “very difficult” weekend.
But he reckoned “everything came together” for the inaugural event in the AlUla desert, adding that he could not have created a better storyline for a “perfect weekend”.
Agag said: “It's been beyond my wildest expectations. It's been the best weekend I can think of.
“If you were to write a script for the perfect weekend, I would not have come up with a better script than what happened here the last two days. This is a new championship and it's an extreme championship.
“We have really made our name proud. This is extreme racing.
“I have never seen such extreme racing in my life.”
Laia Sanz, Carlos Sainz, Sainz XE Team
Photo by: Colin McMaster / Motorsport Images
On the Thursday prior to the X-Prix, the format was changed to replace multi-car qualifying heats with single-entry time trials and races were capped as three cars due to excessive dust levels.
Talks were held on Saturday about again amending the finals to become one-car runs following lobbying from some teams and drivers, as reported by Autosport.
But Agag said he was “so happy” with the call to stick to bigger grids.
"I can tell you, I am so happy I made that call that I made last night,” he said. “They're not easy calls.
“I have people who know a lot about racing telling me it's better to do time trials.
“I had some other people, some racers saying, 'Let's race'. I had to make the call.”
Although he raised the issue that most races had been settled by the run to the first corner, he defended the lack of wheel-to-wheel action, commenting that Extreme E had created “motorsport gold”.
Agag said: “For me, the 20 or 30 seconds that we saw after the start of the final are motorsport gold.
“Those are the moments that really deserve the glory.
"Glory you win in one second, you don't need an hour to win glory.
"I'm over the moon.”
The Extreme E series heads to Dakar, Senegal for Round 2 on 29/30 May.
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