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Bird joins Extreme E Driver Programme

 Formula E race winner Sam Bird has joined the Extreme E drivers' programme.

The drivers' programme is a pool of drivers who are looking to compete in the first season of the electric off roading championship.

Bird joins fellow Formula E drivers Lucas Di Grassi and Antonio Felix Da Costa, as well as talented drivers from other series such as World Rally Champion Sebastien Ogier in expressing interest in joining the series.

“The Odyssey 21 looks like a bit of a monster,” he said. “I’m expecting top-level performance given the numbers, and having seen footage from Dakar earlier this year, it looks like that’s what we’ll get.

“I’ve spent a lot of time in Formula E so I’m not new to EVs in motorsport, but this E-SUV will be a different kettle of fish.

“It’s a unique car and a unique series, so naturally there’ll be a period of adaptation and a learning curve, especially as I’ve very much been a circuit racer through my career to-date. It’ll be exciting to get to grips with and I’m a fast learner!

“There’s nothing quite like Extreme E out there at the moment. The opportunity to be a part of a pioneering new championship is an exciting prospect and is the series’ major attraction for me. It’s relevancy, in terms of raising awareness of the issues the planet faces and driving solutions to those problems is also incredibly important.

“Climate change is the largest threat we face and if we don’t act now, the Earth will be a very different place for our kids and grandchildren. As it stands, future generations may not have the chance to see and experience the world as we have, which is a difficult sentiment to come to terms with – and that’s something we can help change with positive action.”

Including Bird, 25 drivers from a variety of championships have joined the Drivers' Programme, which is designed to promote professional drivers to teams joining the championship.

The series is set to get underway in January 2021, with the first of five rounds taking place in Senegal.

Bethonie Waring

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