Andretti Autosports to enter first Extreme E season

Andretti Autosport will enter the inaugural season of the Extreme E off-road electric racing SUV championship due to start in January 2021

The American concern is the sixth team to join the series, along with Mercedes affiliate HWA, Venturi, ABT Sportsline, Veloce and QEV Technologies.

Its move into XE will fit alongside existing campaigns in Formula E - where it competes in partnership with BMW - and IndyCar most notably.

Michael Andretti, the chairman and CEO of Andretti Autosport, said: "We remain dedicated to expanding and diversifying our team effort, in both traditional motorsport and with new, revolutionary racing concepts.

"I think that Extreme E is an exciting opportunity for the team as we continue to grow globally."

The former McLaren Formula 1 driver, who was team-mates with Ayrton Senna for the first half of 1993, added: "The current COVID-19 crisis is bringing attention to a changing world, and our traditional mindsets have to adapt with that.

"We feel that announcing now can help bring hope for the future of motorsport and a new focus to the sustainability message.

"I believe the entire motorsport industry is going to emerge from this time stronger than ever, and I look forward to seeing our team join Extreme E to do our part in leaving an impactful legacy in each race location."

The first season of XE consists of five events on 6.2-mile (10km) circuits in Senegal, Saudi Arabia, Nepal, Greenland and Brazil and all teams will run the ODYSSEY 21 XE car, for which they can adapt the powertrain and body shape.

Roger Griffiths, Andretti Autosport team principal, said: "The proposed format of Extreme E is unique, not only from the competition perspective but also from what it means to the planet, the impact on it and our contribution to improving it.

"Motorsport has always spoken of racing in harsh environments and now with Extreme E we really will be putting this to the test and showcasing the abilities of an all-electric racing platform.

"It is an exciting opportunity to combine our knowledge and experience of electric racing with that of short circuit off-road competition.

"We have proven to be successful in both arenas in the past so hopefully we carry this over into the new venture!"

Series founder and CEO Alejandro Agag added: "Andretti Autosport has been fine-tuning its expertise in electric racing as a founding Formula E outfit, and off-road as multiple rallycross title-winners.

"These experiences will be invaluable in making the jump into Extreme E.

"That said, the series is a unique prospect all of its own.

"The sporting challenge will be intense and the scope for innovation is far-reaching, and I for one am eager to see how the Andretti Autosport team adapts to its new test."

Teams are planned to take delivery of their ODYSSEY machines in October.

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