Greenland is preparing to host its first-ever motorsport event with the Extreme E Arctic X Prix this weekend.
The all-electric, off-road racing series, Extreme E, launches its second round of racing in the series on 28th and 29th August in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland.
After a close-fought weekend of racing in Dakar, Senegal, RXR took victory for a second time following the team’s stand-out performance at the Desert X Prix in Saudi Arabia in April. The driver pairing of Swede Johan Kristoffersson and Australian Molly Taylor are sitting pretty at the top of the table on 71 points. Lewis Hamilton’s X44 is in second spot with 57 points and Jenson Button’s JBXE sits third on 44 points.
The series, which aims to highlight a number of different environmental challenges, is heading to Greenland to highlight its melting ice sheet. Kangerlussuaq is situated in the west of Greenland and is home to the Russell Glacier, which will provide the backdrop to the weekend of wheel-to-wheel racing. This area was chosen as it highlights the climate crisis, and part of the course itself was previously occupied by the glacier, but has melted due to accelerated temperature rise.
Alejandro Agag, founder and CEO of Extreme E, said: “Greenland is an incredible place and I’m delighted to be putting on the first ever motorsport event in the country. Huge credit to the team behind the scenes, it really is testament to the hard work of everyone involved, as putting on an event here, in the remote Arctic, is no easy feat.
“With our updates to the sporting format, we are going to see even more exciting racing and our first five-car Final of the series, offering all teams a chance to make the concluding race of the weekend.
“Although the reason for racing in Greenland is much bigger than putting on a fantastic show, it is about highlighting the issues faced by the island including ice melt leading to global sea level rise. We really are at a tipping point in the climate crisis and I’m looking forward to hearing from members of our esteemed Scientific Committee while in Greenland not only about the issues, but the solutions on offer, including electric vehicles, one of the key parts of Extreme E.”
Nico Rosberg, founder of Rosberg X Racing said: “We have incredible momentum coming into the Arctic X Prix and I couldn’t be prouder of the team’s performance in the first two races. However, we do not take anything for granted and myself and the entire team are motivated to continue the hard work. The race is in a spectacular location and I am as excited as any fan to watch our Odyssey 21 race car compete in such an extraordinary setting as Greenland.”
The Arctic X Prix will also follow a new format this weekend, with an opportunity for all teams to progress to the final making it a five-car battle, as well as new routes to semi-finals and intermediate classification points awarded after qualifying sessions.
Qualifying will take place on Saturday 28th August – one session in the morning and one in the afternoon – with each team completing two laps of the course, one per driver with a driver Switch. The times recorded across the morning session will equate to classification points meaning first place receives 9, second place 8, third place 7 points and so on. The same then happens in the afternoon with classification points awarded on the same scale.
The combined total of these classification points provides the intermediate standings, which is based on points instead of times as seen in Saudi Arabia and Senegal, meaning a fairer opportunity for all teams to progress, particularly if a poor time or DNF for example is recorded in one session. These points do not equate to championship points – they are awarded in the same way as previous rounds.
Shakedown and qualifications will be aired through Extreme E’s official website, with qualifying and finals being broadcast in more than 180 countries by 75 broadcasters. Shakedown will air on Friday 27th August from 8pm, with qualifying starting at 12:30pm on the Saturday.