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Ogier and di Grassi headline Extreme E's new driver programme

The Extreme E electric off-road SUV racing series has launched a driver's programme to recruit competitors for its first season in 2021, which includes Sebastian Ogier and Lucas di Grassi

The programme is designed to promote professional drivers and assist the teams - Venturi, ABT and HWA are the outfits confirmed so far - with choosing their competitors for the inaugural Extreme E campaign. Teams will still be able to select their own drivers from outside the pool.

Multiple World Rally Championship title-winner Ogier and 2016 ABB FIA Formula E champion di Grassi are joined in the programme by double DTM champion Timo Scheider and inaugural W Series victor Jamie Chadwick.

The other drivers making up the talent pool are Porsche FE driver and Le Mans winner Andre Lotterer, World Rallycross frontrunners Andreas Bakkerud and Kevin and Timmy Hansen.

Leading female drivers Katherine Legge and Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky are included, as well as Sacha Prost - ice racer and the youngest son of Formula 1 legend, Alain.

"We have revealed the car, and our first race location, but any good championship needs top driver talent in order to be truly successful," said Extreme E founder Alejandro Agag.

"This world-class list of drivers, representing the very best male and female talent from multiple disciplines across top-tier motorsport, illustrates Extreme E's serious sporting credentials.

"It certainly marks another very important step as we continue the development of our exciting new series."

Ogier, who was already involved in XE through an advisory role, added: "Extreme E is unlike anything else we have in motorsport, so it is incredibly appealing to me.

"The short stages, the power and performance of the ODYSSEY 21, the head-to-head format and of course the spectacular, unique locations, will make the racing extremely intense and very exciting for drivers and the fans watching from home.

"I'm in love with nature and the planet, and also being a father makes the future protection of our planet a very important fight to me personally. I want us to try and change our habits, and Extreme E's mission to promote electric future is crucial to that goal."

All of the Drivers' Programme members will be given the opportunity to drive and test the Extreme E car, which was unveiled at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July.

They will also be entitled to simulator time, as well as a full technical rundown of the nuances of driving the new E-SUV.

Group testing will begin in mid-2020 ahead of its first season and the series recently revealed Greenland as one of the locations for its calendar.

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