Ahead of its debut season, the Extreme E off-road electric racing series continues to garner impressive support, the latest development being the addition of GMC Hummer as lead sponsor on the Chip Ganassi Racing entry and the announcement that former F1 World Champion Jenson Button will field a team (taking the tally of F1 champions involved in the series to three).
In the case of the GMC backing for Ganassi, though the Extreme E vehicles will be spec and produced by Spark Racing Technology in France, there is limited scope for manufacturer-specific additions, with the Ganassi-run cars set to sport a front end inspired by GMC’s new Hummer EV.
“I can’t think of a better fit than showcasing the look of GMC’s Hummer EV in Extreme E with Chip Ganassi Racing,” said Jim Campbell, General Motors US vice president, performance and motorsports. “Both GMC Hummer EV and the Extreme E series are designed to be revolutionary – to challenge perceptions of electric vehicles and to showcase their true capability.”
The arrival of Jenson Button’s team, JBXE, is thanks to the former world champion having developed a taste for off-road racing in recent years, after competing in events such as the Mint 400 and Baja 1000. Button commented, “JBXE has been a long time coming and I’m both delighted and proud to announce its formation and entry into the inaugural Extreme E Championship. I caught the off-road bug a few years back [and]it was around the same time I first heard about the plans for Extreme E which I’ve followed with great interest and what Alejandro Agag, Ali Russell and the team have managed to create is nothing short of incredible.”
Button’s entry takes Extreme E’s inaugural field to 10 entries, which alongside F1 champions also includes two WRC champions (Sebastien Loeb and Carlos Sainz) and three World Rallycross champions (Johan Kristoffersson, Timmy Hansen and Mattias Ekström).