ACCIONA confirms its commitment to a pioneering competition in the motorsport world, which has no carbon footprint and promotes equality between men and women
Carlos Sainz, who is still recovering from a Dakar Rally accident, will be with the team, but will be replaced at the wheel by Mattias Ekström in the inaugural Desert X Prix round
The first of the five rounds of the series will be held on March 11th-12th in the desert near NEOM, in Saudi Arabia, with a new format that doubles the points at stake
NEOM (SAUDI ARABIA), MARCH 2nd, 2023. The ACCIONA | SAINZ XE Team faces the third season of Extreme E with the aim of winning the title of a sustainable motor racing championship that promotes the fight against climate change, the transition to electric vehicles and equality in the teams’ composition.
The ACCIONA team will be looking for its first victory after the boost in competitiveness it showed in the 2022 season, when it finished third in the Teams and Drivers’ standings.
Laia Sanz will once again defend the ACCIONA | SAINZ XE Team colors, well established as one of the best drivers in the off-road racing world and in the Extreme E championship, in what will be her third season as a member of the team.
She will start the series alongside Mattias Ekström, ACCIONA | SAINZ XE Team’s new signing for the first round of the season, as Carlos Sainz is recovering from the accident he suffered in the last Dakar Rally edition. Sainz will travel to NEOM and participate in team decisions there.
Ekström will offer the experience from his prolific career in the FIA World Rallycross Championship, a competition he won in 2016, and the DTM championship, which he won twice. He has already participated in the inaugural 2021 season and is currently Carlos Sainz’s teammate in the Dakar Rally.
With this new foray into top-level motor racing, ACCIONA will seek to reinforce its social commitment to the fight against climate change and the need to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy through mass sport events.
The 2023 Extreme E season will consist of five X Prix spread from March 10th to December 3rd, in locations that will highlight the impact of climate change.
The series retains Saudi Arabia as its inaugural country. The location of the first championship round will be the desert area near the NEOM project, the first 100% technological and emission-free city that will use desalinated water as well as solar and wind power.
This first Desert X Prix will bring spectators closer to the effects of desertification, the loss of biodiversity and the incidence of extreme temperatures in one of the most water-stressed areas of the world.
From there, the championship will travel for the first time to Scotland (Hydro X Prix) and then to Sardinia (Island X Prix), which will be on the itinerary once again. For the fourth round, the Extreme E expedition will cross the Atlantic ocean to Brazil or the US –pending official confirmation– to then end with a new Copper X Prix in Chile, in the Antofagasta desert.
The biggest rulebook novelty of this Extreme E season is the format of weekend races. Instead of having only one race for championship points per weekend, from now on there will be two, so there will be a total of ten races for points, exactly twice as many as in the first two seasons.
Each round will start with two qualifying races with five cars each, which will be used to determine the starting grids for the Final. A consolation race will complete the event, with championship points at stake too.