Thursday, 26 November 2020

Jamie Chadwick joins Extreme E with Veloce Racing




Jamie Chadwick is joining Team Veloce for the inaugural season of Extreme E beginning next March, as one of 20 drivers competing in this brand new off-road all-electric SUV series … yep; you read it right!


Extreme E is a new motorsport series, created with climate awareness and eco principles built-in from the ground-up (no pun intended), and promises to offer something truly unique in the world or motorsport. Founded by Spanish businessman and ex-politician, Alejandro Agag, the series already has some big names on-board; Lucas di Grassi (former Formula E champ), Andre Lotterer (three-times Le Mans champ), and Katherine Legge, (seasoned Formula E, IndyCar/ChampCar, and DTM racer), to name a few. And then there’s team X44, founded by a certain Lewis Hamilton … hmm … name sounds familiar …


Alejandro Agag










Jamie is racing for the Veloce Racing team (fantastic name, but we are biased … and no relation, sadly) which was founded by none-other than Adrian Newey and Jean Eric-Vergne. Currently, two other female racers are confirmed; the UK’s Catie Munnings and Sara Price from the US.



The series aims to provide a fantastic spectacle, and one that could, perhaps, be a little more relatable for many people, than some race series. All-electric SUVs help not only to reduce fossil fuel use, but also create a filter-down effect for technology, much as other formulas have led to improvements in consumer vehicles. Using SUVs presents viewers with a more familiar vehicle than the extreme tech of F1 and Formula E, and could help bring a broader range of viewers to the sport. With SUVs being the biggest selling, and biggest growing auto market, bringing down its eco footprint could have a big effect on reducing fossil fuel use.

NOT your typical SUV.










As well as utilising all-electric SUVs, the series consulted experts in the fields of ecology and environmental science to ensure that it has minimal environmental impact. There will even be a team of scientists travelling with the race teams, investigating the effects of climate change in each location.


Further lessening the eco burden, people and equipment will be ferried to each region in RMS St Helena, an ex-Royal Navy cargo vessel modified to act as a floating paddock. And as if that wasn’t enough, the series is drawing up plans to leave lasting legacies in the areas it visits, with tree-planting, clean-up operations, and renewable energy initiatives.


RMS St Helena, Extreme E transport vessel










Perhaps the most unusual aspect of Extreme E – certainly for traditional motorsports fans – is that there will be no track-side spectators. Instead, the entire series will be broadcast on TV and streamed online, with filming carried out by drones.  For viewers, the spectacle promises to be a feast for the eyes. If the trick shots and flyovers made possible by drone cams aren’t exciting enough, each race location will offer a very different environment for racing – from steamy rainforests, and frozen glaciers, to arid deserts, each being a 'poster child' for the effects of global heating and ecological damage.


Last year, Jamie showed her mettle by taking the championship crown in the female-only W Series. Sadly, the Covid pandemic brought a halt to this year’s W Series action, but it’s due back on track in 2021. Extreme E announced in April that there would be an equal number of male and female drivers, making it a rare opportunity to race against the opposite sex; as Jamie told BBC Sport:


"It's huge. It's amazing what Extreme E have done with the format they have chosen. It’s exciting for me because it gives me this opportunity - it's the same for everyone, 100% fair.

"It's such a male-dominated sport. There are so few females, that you have to take that responsibility [of being a female role model]. But I'm always just focused on doing the best job I can possibly do."


Jamie’s involvement in the sport has also had a knock-on effect on her own awareness of ecological issues, already making a positive impact on her own actions:


"I've definitely been made more aware of climate issues, with a lot of stats and things I wasn't aware of before. I try to do everything I can to help in my own life, such as scootering everywhere."


Jamie’s journey hasn’t always been smooth running, but with a W Series championship under her belt, Extreme E on the horizon, momentum continues to gather for Jamie, and with eight W Series races supporting the 2021 F1 season, the opportunity to add vital points to her Superlicence is just around the corner. Heaven knows it’s about time we saw a female racing driver in F1 again; the last to race was Lella Lombardi, in 1976.


We’d like to wish Jamie – and the brilliantly named Veloce Racing – the best of luck in the inaugural Extreme E season. We’ll be watching and cheering come March 2021 – and as they say on social #VivaVeloce !


Find out more about Extreme E and Jamie’s latest challenge, on the BBC at https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/motorsport/55061262


Visit Jamie’s site http://jamiechadwickracing.com for all the latest news from Jamie, and the Veloce Racing site https://www.veloce-racing.com


Find out the what, when, and how of Extreme E at https://www.extreme-e.com



No comments :

Post a comment