Extreme E teams to field male and female drivers in gender equality push

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The electric SUV racing series Extreme E has made male/female driver pairings mandatory for its 2021 launch

Extreme E SUV in 2020

DPPI

Extreme E is set to be the first series in motor sport to make a mixed male and female driver line-up mandatory, as it looks to help promote gender equality in the racing world.

It has proposed a new race structure that will require both members to drive a lap during any event, with a changeover taking place during each race.

Teams will be required to field one male and one female driver as part of their line-ups, and will be able to choose the driver and co-driver  order to best aid its chances of winning the two-lap race format.

Drivers will pilot the same single electric-SUV per team in a number of heats and elimination rounds before a final race is set up to decide the winner of the event.

“This is a great opportunity for women and men to team up, compete together and against each other with the same material,” FIA president of the Woman in Motorsport commission, Michèle Mouton said.

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“Alejandro [Agag, the series’ founder] and his team continue to really support gender equality in our sport with concrete actions that help highlight the ability of female racers and give them a chance. It will be interesting to see the team line-ups as they are announced and I look forward to following Season One when it starts early next year.”

The off-road SUV is targeting its launch in February of 2021. It aims to raise awareness of environmental issues and to do so by racing in locations most affected by climate change.

Agag said the initiative was a great step for equality, and that the format would promote the top drivers and teams to the top of the series regardless of gender.

“This is a first in motor racing. We are ensuring with our sporting format that drivers of all backgrounds will be able to compete with the same tools at their disposal at every event on the calendar.

“We are striving for equality, and this sporting format is the truest reflection of that goal. Everybody will race together and the most effective combination of drivers, team, engineer and car will rise to the top.”

Rounds in Senegal, Saudi Arabia, Nepal, Brazil and Greenland have been chosen to provide five unique racing environments, ranging from desert to glaciers.

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