Extreme E to return to Italy for penultimate round

Off-road electric SUV series fails to secure agreements to race in either Brazil or US.

Extreme E has confirmed a return to Sardinia, Italy for its penultimate round from 16th to 17th September.

Confirmed:

  • Sardinia, Italy to host consecutive Extreme E rounds
  • Original schedule planned to visit either Brazil or the US
  • Agreements with either country failed to be reached

Context:

When the calendar was announced, the penultimate slot was reserved for either Brazil or the US. A race in the Amazon has long been mooted but hasn’t come to fruition due to the country’s Covid-19 restrictions. The series has also had a long-standing desire to race in North America, something managing director Ali Russell told BlackBook Motorsport previously. Despite the lack of on-track action in the countries, Extreme E has a focused media rights strategy in Brazil and the US, with multi-year agreements in place with Globo and Fox Sports, respectively.

Comment:

Alejandro Agag, founder and chief executive of Extreme E, said: “As a global championship, it remains our ambition to host a race in the USA in the future, as well as in other regions across South America, such is the passion for motorsport there. Nevertheless our return to Chile, which was a hugely successful event for Extreme E in 2022, will go ahead in December as our Season 3 Finale.

“I must pay tribute to the support of the Automobile Club d'Italia, the Italian military, and Regione Sardegna who have been integral in enabling us to go racing in Sardinia. They have been such accommodating partners and hugely flexible to allow us the opportunity to return. We are grateful for such a trusted long-term partnership and we are delighted to return to Sardinia for more spectacular racing in September.”

Consequence:

This decision is both a positive and a negative for Extreme E. With the opportunity to use existing infrastructure and the elimination of any travel between races, this further reduces emissions for the series. However, in order for the series to grow, it needs to travel to new markets. Spending 40 per cent of its season in Italy is not an ideal growth strategy for the sport for purpose championship.

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