Extreme E News

Extreme E season opener 2024: Preview of the Desert X Prix in Jeddah

Svenja König

Svenja König

Rosberg-X-Racing-dunes-NEOM-2023

Episode 1 of the final season: Extreme E opens its 2024 season with another race weekend in Saudi Arabia - the last in its current form. After four years, the electric series will be replaced by a hydrogen version from 2025 - Extreme H. Already before the last "battery season", several teams - ABT Cupra, X44, Chip Ganassi Racing and Carl Cox Motorsport - dropped out. However, two new teams have also joined. You can find all the information about the first X Prix 2024 in our preview.

Where will the Extreme E race take place?

After Al-'Uhla and Neom, Extreme E has found a new race venue in Saudi Arabia for its fourth season: Jeddah. A metropolis that is probably best known to motorsport fans for the Formula 1 race that has been taking place since 2021. Jeddah is located just under 900 kilometres south of Neom, also on the Red Sea coast.

The city is historically important due to its port, which is still the most important in the country today, and its proximity to Mecca, the religious centre of Islam. The place of pilgrimage is only 70 kilometres away, which is why Jeddah is often referred to as the "Gateway to Mecca". The old town of the city with four million inhabitants is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Veloce-vs-Carl-Cox-2023-finale

What has happened since the last race in Calama

In the almost two-month break between seasons, not much happened in Extreme E at first. Recently, however, the news has picked up again. A total of four teams withdrew before the fourth season: ABT, X44, Carl Cox and Chip Ganassi. "Legacy Motor Club" and "Sun Minimeals" are two new teams, which means that a total of eight teams will be competing. Timo Scheider and Klara Andersson will line up for Sun Minimeals. The new American team LMC will compete in the Desert X Prix with freerider and motocrosser Travis Pastrana and youngster Gray Leadbetter. Team boss Jimmie Johnson will take over as a driver from the European races onwards.

Rosberg X Racing, Veloce and Andretti will compete with the same line-up as in 2023. In contrast, the former X44 team with Cristina Gutierrez and Fraser McConnell has split up: The Spaniard was signed by McLaren, as was DTM champion Mattias Ekström. The South African, on the other hand, switched to runner-up Acciona | Sainz and supports Laia Sanz. JBXE has signed Saudi racing driver Dania Akeel, who will gain her first extreme experience alongside Euro RX1 champion Andreas Bakkerud.

Team Female Driver Male Driver
Rosberg X Racing Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky Johan Kristoffersson
EON Veloce Racing Molly Taylor Kevin Hansen
Andretti Altawkilat Extreme E Catie Munnings Timmy Hansen
NEOM McLaren XE Cristina Gutierrez Mattias Ekström
Acciona | Sainz XE Team Laia Sanz Fraser McConnell
JBXE Dania Akeel Andreas Bakkerud
Sun Minimeals XE Klara Andersson Timo Scheider
Legacy Motor Club Gray Leadbetter Travis Pastrana
Championship Driver Christine Giampaoli Zonca Patrick O'Donovan

 

Who broadcasts Extreme E on TV & livestream?

The qualifying sessions take place at 6 am CET. The final will be broadcast from 1 pm. You can follow the races in English via the Extreme E website and social networks such as YouTube and Facebook.

Day Date Session Time (CET) Stream
Saturday 17.02.2024 Qualifying 06:00-07:30 YouTube
Saturday 17.02.2024 Race 13:00-15:00 YouTube
Sunday 18.02.2024 Qualifying 06:00-07:30 YouTube
Sunday 18.02.2024 Race 13:00-15:00 YouTube

What characterises the race track in Jeddah?

At the time of publication of this article, Extreme E has not yet published the official route. From the coordinates in the official documents, it can be concluded that, unlike the Formula 1 race, the race will take place in the dunes and not on the coastline. As in previous races in Saudi Arabia, the drivers can therefore expect a sandy surface and possibly a lot of dust, which could influence the battles for position.

What is the legacy project of Extreme E in Jeddah?

This year, Extreme E is focussing on a legacy project that deals with the conservation of coral reefs. It is not yet known exactly how the series intends to proceed.

What will the weather be like in Jeddah?

It doesn't normally rain at all in Jeddah in February, which is why no precipitation is expected this weekend either. Instead, the local drivers can expect 25 to 28 degrees Celsius with eight hours of sunshine.

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