While the 2019 Formula One season might be drawing to a close, a whole new brand of racing is beginning to whet the appetite of the world.
Extreme E racing will see electrically-powered SUVs compete in some of the most remote corners of the planet.
The racing series is set to take place five jaw-dropping categories: Extreme E Arctic, Glacier, Rainforest, Desert and Ocean. This means venturing onto the Arctic ice, heading into the Sahara, and racing in a specialised area of the Amazon rainforest.
Nepal’s Mustang District in the Himalayas mountain range, 2,750m above sea level is the latest location to be revealed, the fourth on the circuit. There is just one place left to be disclosed.
“This is a hugely exciting project," explains Gil de Ferran, the chairman of Extreme E.
"Extreme E offers a unique sport, adventure and entertainment concept that has never been seen or done before.
"Viewers can expect a completely new way of consuming sport, with each episode telling not just the story of a race, but the wider race of awareness and the need to protect these remote and challenging environments being explored by Extreme E.”
All-electric vehicles will be utilised, designed to help elucidate the devastation of air pollution. Businessman Ajejandro Agag, who once monopolised F1 rights in his native Spain, is the founder and chairman, alongside former Indianapolis 500 winner de Ferran. The sport is orchestrated to expose the plight the world’s ecosystems face as a result of climate change.
"We are confident that hosting this international series will serve to further our global appeal whilst being able to also shine an important spotlight on the climate issues which face our region and their solutions,” Agag has stated.
A new 500bph, all-electric racer which will be deployed in the series was unveiled at Goodwood earlier this year. It is capable of hitting 100km/h (62mph) in 4.5 seconds, with the ability to face gradients of up to 130 per cent. In line with the eco-friendly onus integral to this revolutionary project, vehicles will be shipped around the world on what is being dubbed ‘the floating garage’.
One of the familiar faces in line to take part in competition is Britain’s Billy Monger. In April 2017, mere weeks before his 19th birthday, the prodigious ‘Billy Whizz’ had to have a double-leg amputation, one above the knee and one below, after a high-speed crash in a Formula Four Championship race at Donington Park.
Monger is a recipient of a Pride of Sport prize, and was handed the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Helen Rollason Award following his remarkable recovery and display of resilience. Now 20 years old, Monger is still aiming to compete in FIA Formula 3 for the 2020 season but will now also hopefully take centre-stage in Extreme E.
"Fighting climate change is incredibly important," Monger told the BBC. “Everything we do now will affect future generations. It's definitely a responsibility, and one that I can't and won't just ignore."
Monger, who has gained the praise from such luminaries as Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button, re-entered the competitive world of racing earlier this year in a specially-adapted vehicle for the Euroformula series.
It is another positive story to emerge from a racing series designed not only to replicate the thrills and spills of motorsport but also to inspire others, and to have a radical effect of our ever-changing environment.
Are you all set for the Electric Odyssey?