Extreme E’s Season 4 line-up has been completed with the addition of the Legacy Motor Club team, bringing an all-America team to the 2024 championship.
Promising young driver Gray Leadbetter will join the US team for the entire season, with two motorsport superstars sharing the other driving slot.
Seven-time Nascar Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson will lead the team but is unable to compete in the opening two rounds of the championship, due to a clash with the Daytona 500. Filling in for him in Saudi Arabia will be motocross, X Games and racing icon Travis Pastrana.
Johnson, who co-owns the team, said: “The opportunity for Legacy MC to field an off-road vehicle in the Extreme E championship is exciting in many ways. We are essentially representing America in this unique and very competitive series and we are committed to the challenge. I’m excited to watch our Legacy Motor Club colours race on foreign soil for the first time while I’m in Daytona for the Great American race. I know Travis and Gray will represent us well and I can’t wait to see what they accomplish.”
Leadbetter, 19 from Morganton, NC, has been racing since she was five years old and started driving in the Championship Off-Road series in 2019. She was the first woman to win a US Pro Class Championship in the Championship Off-Road closed-course series, winning four races overall to take the crown. In December 2020, she was the first woman and youngest competitor to win a Sportsman SXS race.
She commented: ““I’ve always been interested in Extreme E, but just never found the right opportunity to step foot in it. When Travis texted me last week that there might be a chance to race with Jimmie Johnson and Legacy MC, I couldn’t have been more thrilled. I’ve never driven these cars so it’s sure to be an adventure, but I will be in great company. This is a dream come true.”
Pastrana, from Annapolis, MD, is a three-time motocross champion and a multi-disciplinary X Games gold medalist, who has also secured rally titles and even raced against Johnson in the 2023 Daytona 500. Ahead of his Extreme E debut, he said: “This all came together pretty quick, but I’m really excited.
“I have quite a bit of experience in electric vehicles, although I’ve never been in an Extreme E Odyssey 21 before. I compete in a lot of off-road events and some desert stuff – mostly on two wheels – but this should be really fun for us. I believe in Jimmie Johnson and in Legacy MC and all he is doing with the club, so when he asked me it was a no-brainer.
“I’ve worked with Gray before and she is a huge talent, so overall it is just a great opportunity for both of us to compete in this championship series together.”
Alejandro Agag, founder and CEO of Extreme E, said: “It is fantastic for Extreme E to welcome Jimmie Johnson and Legacy MC. to the championship. Jimmie’s credentials speak for themselves, and we cannot wait to see him behind the wheel of the Odyssey 21.
“Jimmie is a proven winner and adds to our already healthy list of champions competing in the series. Racing in Extreme E with his own team is something which excited him, and it is great that Jimmie is also looking towards the future and our transition to Extreme H – the world’s first off-road hydrogen-powered racing series – next year.
“It is great to have further US involvement in the championship, especially with our first-ever North American event to end the season in Phoenix, Arizona.”