Extreme E reveals plans for 2022 season

Extreme E reveals plans for 2022 season

by Arthurchike
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The all-electric SUV off-road racing championship did issue a provisional schedule back in September, which featured no fewer than 12 countries to fill the five-round campaign.

But Motorsport.com understands this oversubscription was a deliberate move to encourage host venues to compete against one another to wheedle out the highest bidder.

Now, it has been whittled back to six locations with only one round that is ‘to be confirmed’.

The campaign will kick off on 19-20 February in Neom, Saudi Arabia.

While this retains Saudi as the first round, as per the inaugural 2021 calendar, the location has moved from the AlUla desert to the Neom – famous for the straight-line city project.

As previously reported by Motorsport.com, there has been a push to promote the $500 billion Neom project with it hosting a leg of the 2021 Dakar Rally and holding talks with Formula E.
There is also less of a desire to return to AlUla following complaints of the limited visibility created by the desert dust that negatively impacted overtaking.

Motorsport.com understands that Extreme E co-founder Alejandro Agag was in Saudi last weekend, flying back for the final day of the Jurassic X-Prix, to negotiate alternative dates should further travel restrictions come into place.

A return to Sardinia on 7-8 May makes up round two, with series officials keen to retain a European round following the media interest and greater capacity for guests when the Italian island was drafted in to replace a Brazilian round cancelled by COVID in October.

There is currently no final location for round three, 9-10 July, with both Scotland and Senegal listed.

The Dakar beach in Senegal hosted the second-ever Extreme E event in May but Scotland has been thrust into contention following a £1 million grant from UK chancellor Rishi Sunak in his most recent budget.

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While the proposed location in the Outer Hebrides could offer a solution to further travel restrictions, Autosport understands that limited hotel capacity and other infrastructure headaches stand as the biggest detractor at present.

The calendar then concludes with a mini-South American leg as Chile has been added to the billing across 10-11 September.

Antofagasta is down as the host venue, with the London Stock Exchange-listed Antofagasta Minerals having been a backer of the Santiago E-Prix Formula E round since February 2018.

The season finale is set to be held in Punta del Este, Uruguay over 26-27 November – which again has ties to effective sister series Formula E.

It hosted the third-ever race of the single-seater championship and continued on the calendar in 2015-16 and 2017-18.

Agag said: “After a spectacular opening season, we are thrilled to be in a place where we can announce our season two calendar.

“All of us here at Extreme E are looking forward to revisiting some of the amazing race locations from the 2021 season to see for ourselves the positive impact our electric series has had and to see what more we can bring to the communities there.

“We also very much hope to add South America to our list of continents, and with visits to both Chile and Uruguay planned, it is shaping up to be another exciting season.”

From the original list of 12, Egypt, Tanzania, Greenland, Iceland, Brazil, Argentina and Costa Rica have been dropped.

2022 Extreme E calendar
19-20 February Neom, Saudi Arabia
7-8 May Sardinia, Italy
9-10 July Scotland or Senegal
10-11 September Antofagasta, Chile
26-27 November Punta del Este, Uruguay

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