The recent fires in the Amazon rainforest brought extreme damage and devastation just a month ago, and now, one organization plans to use its resources to shine a light on the issue. Extreme E, the new all-electric Dakar style rally series has announced that sections of the area will be used for an event in Santarém, the state park of Pará, which has already been deforested and severely impacted by fire damage.
Alejandro Agag, series co-founder, was quoted in a press release, “Extreme E aims to use its position as a world-class, revolutionary sport as a tool to shine a spotlight on the problems facing our planet and its unique ecosystems – and there are few more relevant locations in that regard than the Amazon. Extreme E will also support the firefighters working in the region to ensure they have the training and equipment necessary.”
Starting in February of 2021 the fledgling series, launched by motorsport legend Gil de Ferran and entrepreneur Alejandro Agag, will feature five events, each located in an environmentally sensitive area of the planet. The Amazon rainforest event is the second confirmed event location. Greenland has already been confirmed as the Arctic location. Three events are being scouted in the Himalayas, desert regions, and a coastal ocean location. The goal is to race in areas that have been or are currently being affected by climate change.
The series will be operated in association with Formula E and will use a traditional round-robin format with two groups of six teams – with the top-four progressing to the knock-out stage and each driver going head-to-head to earn a place in the final. The off-road stages will be around 6-10 kilometers in length with a series of virtual gates to be navigated through by drivers – in a mixture of extreme heat and humidity, high altitude, and sub-zero temperatures.
Race weekends will take place over three days, within an area no larger than 10 square kilometers. Track designers have been tasked with carefully selecting course options, which provide the most challenging, exciting racing action while generating no negative impact. Routes will be designed to incorporate existing obstacles and features with elevation changes and jumps, without the need to adapt the environment.