Extreme E reveals weekend format changes with double-header switch
The electric off-road series will now hold ten races across its five meetings in 2023, after staging its first double-header round in Sardinia last season.
In a series of format tweaks designed to prioritise racing, single-car qualifying time trials will be replaced with two rounds of two five-car qualifying heats. This follows the championship introducing a single round of heats last year.
The top five progress directly to the grand final, with the semi-final stage dropped, while the slowest five enter a redemption race. This replaces the ‘crazy race’, from which the winner would progress to the final to join the two fastest semi-finalists.
The Ganassi team became the first team to clinch victory after progressing from the crazy race when Sara Price and Kyle LeDuc inherited the first Island X-Prix in Sardinia following a penalty issued to Rosberg X Racing for Johan Kristoffersson’s clash with Carlos Sainz Sr.
If two teams are tied on points after the qualifying heats, then the squad with the fastest time in the Continental Traction Challenge – a designated sector on the lap, with the male and female drivers’ times added together – will progress to the final.
Extreme E founder and CEO Alejandro Agag said the new format and increased number of championship rounds would “improve the level of racing out on course” and will “only enhance our series”.
Alejandro Agag, CEO, Extreme E
Photo by: Colin McMaster / Motorsport Images
Chief championship officer James Taylor added: “For Season 3 we wanted to create something spectacular and we feel this new sporting format achieves that.
“At each round, there will be double the opportunity for points and podiums – meaning a lot more to play for at each race weekend, while drivers and teams will have to navigate that racing tightrope of risk and reward to ensure they achieve the maximum result.
“Having a 10 race championship should really close up those standings as the season progresses, meaning a thrilling Extreme E campaign should be in store for 2023 and we cannot wait for it to begin.”
As in 2022, points will be awarded based on the results of the heats, with bonus points on offer to the winner in each heat.
The championship commences in Saudi Arabia next month on 11-12 March before visiting the UK for the first time since its 2021 season decider, heading to Scotland on 13-14 May.
Extreme E will also take in trips to Sardinia on 8-9 July, rounding off the season with the United States or Amazon on 16-17 September and Chile on 2-3 December.