Just Electric

Chip Ganassi Racing announce first driver

X Games medalist Sara Price is the first driver to be confirmed for the inaugural Extreme E season.

Price will race for Chip Ganassi Racing, who announced their entry into the electric off-road championship last month.

The 27-year-old has experience in both two- and four-wheel racing, having competed in dirt bike racing from the age of eight.

In 2010 she became Kawasaki’s first female factory supported motocross racer, as well as finishing third in the Women’s Super X at the 2010 X Games.

In 2012 she made the switch to four-wheel racing, and currently competes in the Stadium Super Trucks series, a desert off-roading championship.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for me and something I’ve been working my whole career for,” she said.

“When you think of the name Chip Ganassi, you immediately think about winning. It’s a team I’ve long admired whether it be Indycar, NASCAR, sports cars or rallycross. Chip’s teams define winner. As a racer, that’s the type of owner you want to race for. He’s a former driver and I’m honoured to represent the team while also becoming the first female driver for CGR and Extreme E.

“The 2021 season seems far away but there is much to be done to get ready in a new form of racing and for the challenges the series presents. It’s a very exciting time not only for myself but for this championship and the climate and environmental issues it intends to bring attention to.”

The announcement comes after Extreme E revealed all teams will consist of a male and female driver working together as driver and co-driver in an effort to promote gender equality. Each driver will complete one lap behind the wheel before switching roles for the second lap.

“Today’s announcement of Sara Price as a Chip Ganassi Racing driver is significant,” said Chip Ganassi managing director Mike Hull. “Yes she is a female, but first Sara is an accomplished race driver.

“She has proven herself in the all-terrain arena on two and four wheels from a young age. Her next step represents her craft lobally with several firsts. She makes Chip Ganassi Racing the first to unveil an Extreme E driver; the first female driver in the series; and the first female driver in our team’s 30-year history.

“The series promotes the world’s first gender equality platform. The teams will each have a male driver counterpart who swaps the driving chore in the same race car ‘at the turn’ by driving head-to-head in multiple heat races to get into the final. Our drivers will unselfishly share in support of each other to get it done on-track and off-track.

“Equal team-mates have always defined Chip Ganassi Racing’s culture. Extreme E is about innovation through engagement. Its message to preserve the environment and protect the planet will create social awareness. To be a part of what the future holds in partnership is a very positive step.

“Our entire team is excited to have such a quality person in Sara to help stimulate team growth.”

Many drivers have already shown interest in joining the electric racing series, which is set to get underway in January 2021. World Rally Champion Sebastien Ogier and Formula E champion Lucas Di Grassi are among those to have joined the Driver Programme. The Programme is designed to assisst teams and promote drivers, but none have confirmed a seat for 2021 so far.

Image courtesy of Extreme E

Bethonie Waring

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