Ahead of Extreme E’s debut in Chile, the series has revealed the track layout for its first-ever South American event.
The three-kilometre course, set in the heart of the Atacama Desert – the driest place on the planet – is an inherently remote and extreme setting for teams, with multiple elevation changes, variations in gradient, high-speed corners, and jumps, expected to result in the fastest, most thrilling race course yet for the drivers to navigate.
James Taylor, Chief Championship Officer, said: “This course promises to be one of the best yet seen on the Extreme E calendar – we are all hugely excited about it.
“We have put a lot of emphasis on creating a layout which features plenty of fast, sweeping corners, variations in gradient to put the drivers’ technical skills to the test, alongside jumps which should ensure we see the full potential of the ODYSSEY 21 in Chile.
“Given the width of the course there should also be multiple overtaking opportunities for the drivers throughout the weekend, meaning our first visit to South America promises to be a spectacular one.”
Fraser McConnell, Extreme E’s Championship Driver, said: “It is certainly a very exciting course. The layout allows you to really push and fine-tune those small details out on track, which will deliver a faster lap time. Finding every tenth that you can is going to be pivotal, especially with a shorter layout like this – it is very driver friendly.
“It is like a rollercoaster out there. There are also plenty of blind crests, so you need to pick your spots, be committed, and have a visual line in your mind of what’s ahead, and being level on the jumps with the nose up.
“You are on the throttle 80 per cent of the lap, flicking the ODYSSEY 21 left and right, getting some big air time, too!”
From the start there is plenty of opportunity for overtaking, making the deployment of the ENOWA Hyperdrive crucial as the drivers look to take several alternate lines to get the upper hand. Having plenty of passing room throughout for the drivers is the mantra for this Chilean course. It’s a design characteristic that is always sought in Extreme E – allowing creativity for overtaking right from the start is crucial to that – and the Antofagasta layout is testament to that.
Making use of different levels of banking across the course will also be crucial. The quick change in direction through the use of the banking and gradients means there are also plenty of blind spots, so the drivers really have to be on their game during the course walk and make the most of those areas.
One thing that should create plenty of excitement is the jumps out on course… and there are plenty of them! There is always a fine line between carrying too much speed over them or not enough, so trying to find that sweet spot to make up time and not overextend the ODYSSEY 21s through overdriving is going to be crucial.
The finishing line coincides with one final jump, which is hoped to provide an exciting climax to the course layout. Drivers will be dared into trying one final overtake just before the conclusion of the lap, so be sure to expect plenty of photo finishes as the layout ends with the ODYSSEY 21s getting airborne.