El Desert X Prix, first date of the Extreme E which is done in Al-Ula, Saudi Arabia, had its first day of activity this Friday with the shakedown which allowed the participants to become familiar with their vehicles and the particular Saudi terrain.
El XNUMX-kilometer off-road circuit It has already been passed by the pilots and teams with their respective ODYSSEY 21 to gather information for the activity on Saturday and Sunday.
The male and female competitors - each Extreme E team has a male and female driver duo - were able to feel first-hand the challenges the circuit presents while continuing to adapt to the machine they drive.
“It is very different because this year I have competed in light vehicles, a small buggy, and this is a large 4 × 4 buggy. The subject of the electric motor is quite different, it feels very different from the gasoline car "commented the Spanish Cristina Gutierrez, experienced Dakar racer and team rider X44 de Lewis Hamilton in Extreme E next to Sébastien Loeb.
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“The acceleration is greater, not hearing anything makes you change the way you drive a lot and I didn't know it because many times you don't know that you drive with your ear and now I'm realizing that you use it a lot. The braking is also different, so you have to adapt ”, Agregó.
His compatriot Laia Sanz, meanwhile, also arrives with a lot of experience in the Dakar Rally ... but in his case on motorcycles, and in Extreme E he begins his transition to four wheels.
“The terrain is a bit familiar. Here at the Dakar it is what we see every day but yes, it really is a big change. They are four wheels, it is a totally new world for me, there will be contact too. An electric car is full of novelties ", Dijo.
In the case of Sanz, share the team Acciona Sainz XE Team beside Carlos Sainz, one of the most successful drivers on the World Rally and the Dakar.
"It is an honor that he trusted me to be with him in the team, but it is true that that also adds a lot of pressure because we all know how competitive he is", said the Spanish before adding that, “Luckily (Sainz) knows this world very well, he knows that it takes time to learn and that is what I need now: a little time”.
Another of the women who will compete in Extreme E is the American Sara price, who is part of the Chip Ganassi Racing and has many years of experience in driving off-road vehicles.
“This is the first time for everyone because the series is new, these drivers have never raced each other before and they have never had a lot of the things that this series has, like gender equality. There is a woman and a man in each team and it is going to be exciting ”, he said.
Last Christine Giampaoli Zonca –Or Christine GZ as she introduces herself– was born in India and lived in Italy, but then moved to Spain and competes for that country, thus completing the trio of Spanish riders in Extreme E on behalf of the team. Hispano Suiza Xite Energy.
"It's amazing to be here, it seems like a dream come true", he said. “Now that I have seen the circuit I thought: 'I should have trained dunes'. It's the first time I've done it, so it's going to be a bit of a challenge but I'm really looking forward to getting started ”.
"With all the names here I will try to put my helmet on and not look around and do my job."
Extreme E's strong activity in Al-Ula will take place on Saturday and Sunday, with the qualification, semi-finals and final dispute, where the first winning pair in the history of the series will be crowned.