Continental is to sponsor the Extreme E off-road electric racing series, the latest idea from the founder of Formula E, Alejandro Agag.
The new series, set to start in January 2021, will have 12 teams that race electric SUVs in off-road events in locations around the world threatened by climate change, such as the Himalayas, the coast of the Indian Ocean or in the Arctic. The one-car teams will race head-to-head over stages around five miles long in a round-robin group format before a knockout tournament is held to decide the winner.
Prototype testing of the cars is scheduled to start in April 2019. Continental is initially a Founding Partner of Extreme E, becoming a Premium Partner in 2021. Extreme E is targeting the manufacturers of electric SUV as entrants to the series.
Tire supplier Continental announced last week that it will equip all of the cars in the races with suitable tyres for the respective terrain, as details of Extreme E were publicized at a launch event in London.
Nikolai Setzer, member of the executive board of Continental AG responsible for the tire division and corporate purchasing, said, “This new format of racing sports offers the opportunity to demonstrate how our tires succeed in extreme conditions.
“An important factor of this series will be to heighten the audience awareness toward current and future challenges such as climate change, the responsible interaction with our environment and the protection of important ecosystems. Sustainability is high on our company’s agenda and this aligns perfectly with the targets of Extreme E, too.”
Alejandro Agag, founder and CEO of Formula E, said, “I strongly believe that Extreme E can help make the world more sustainable faster, and we have a dream team to make this ambition a reality.
“Gil de Ferran is a leader in the world of motorsport, and in David de Rothschild and Fisher Stevens we have attracted two of the best in their respective fields. Likewise, welcoming Continental Tyres as a founding partner – and CBMM as niobium supplier – is a huge boost to Extreme E and shows the strong commercial appetite for this sustainable sport and entertainment concept.”
Former driver Gil de Ferran is chairman of Extreme E and is also McLaren’s sporting director. David de Rothschild is a British explorer and environmentalist and Fisher Stevens is an Academy Award-winning documentary winner.
Brazilian company CBMM’s Niobium will be used in the chassis of the all-electric SUVs.