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Prototype hydrogen racer for Extreme H series set for June shakedown

A new chassis built by Spark Racing Technology for the forthcoming Extreme H hydrogen off-road championship is set to run for the first time in June.

Formula E Hydrogen

The new series, run by the same organisers as the all-electric Extreme E championship, was announced last February and is slated to begin in the second quarter of 2024.

Extreme E chief championship officer James Taylor told Autosport that French manufacturer SRT, which currently supplies XE and sister series Formula E, would build a new chassis for Extreme H that he described as “a generation two” evolution to accommodate a hydrogen fuel cell and accompanying systems.

Asked when the first Extreme H prototype would be operational, Taylor said: “We’re aiming to have the prototype ready to have its first run in June this year.

“We’re working with Spark again. Obviously Spark we’ve had great success with on the Formula E car and the Extreme E car, so it was a natural progression to work with them on Extreme H as well.”

Despite challenges presented by ongoing supply chain delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Taylor added that he was “confident that Spark have overcome that challenge and we’re pleased about where we are ready for the June testing”.

Emma Gilmour, Tanner Foust, NEOM McLaren Extreme E

Emma Gilmour, Tanner Foust, NEOM McLaren Extreme E

Photo by: Colin McMaster / Motorsport Images

Extreme H is set to be the first directly hydrogen-powered series of its kind.

Extreme E already uses hydrogen energy stations to power its travelling paddock at events, which Taylor said had given the organisation and its key stakeholders confidence in the technology.

“We feel confident we understand it, we feel confident we know how to handle it, how to transport it and understand the risks as well,” he said.

McLaren entered Extreme E for 2022, while Formula 1 world champions Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg and Jenson Button have backed teams since the start of the championship in 2021.

Asked if he expected existing Extreme E teams, manufacturers and sponsors to be part of the new hydrogen venture, Taylor said had held “really positive” discussions with potential new venues and companies.

“Due to the nature of what we’re doing, we’re attracting and retaining future-focused teams, sponsors, drivers, car manufacturers,” he said.

“I think it’s a similar pool that will also look at Extreme H as well, so I’m confident on that side of things.”

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