Extreme E's arctic monkeys: electric racing in Greenland

Lining up in some of the most inhospitable locations on the planet, Extreme E is motor sport with an environmental message. Adam Hay-Nicholls travelled to the frozen wilderness of Greenland to find out what all the noise (or lack of it) is about

Extreme E cars during Arctic X Prix in Greenland
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Mountains soar above the green and reddish-brown tundra and crystal-clear lakes, similar to the landscape of the Peak District, the Highlands, or the west coast of Ireland. Pan around, though, and you’re suddenly confronted by a gigantic and sheer wall of ice that looks like it’s been plonked there via a movie director’s CGI.

This is the scene for Extreme E’s Arctic X Prix. The nearest settlement is Kangerlussuaq, towards the bottom of this vast country’s west coast. A colourful jumble of low-rises with a population of just 508, built around an airport, this is, in fact, the main transport hub for the whole of Greenland. Between World War II and the end of the Cold War, this was a US Air Force base. Beside the road out of town is the wreckage of a Lockheed T-33 jet which crashed in 1968 and has never been cleared away.

Extreme E’s drivers spent the August race week aboard the championship’s passenger- cargo-research vessel, the St Helena, which was floating on the Kangerlussuaq Fjord, while the mechanics and media stayed in former USAF barracks. That is except for the first night, when a group of us joined Chip Ganassi’s Kyle LeDuc and Sara Price camping on the Russell Glacier.