Just Electric

Team X44 aiming for wins despite lack of off-roading experience

The Team X44 squad is aiming for victories in the inaugural Extreme E championship, despite a lack of off-roading experience.

Team co-founder Marc Hynes explained how learning is the main goal for Team X44 in the 2021 Extreme E season, but aims to present a team capable of race wins when the championship gets underway in March

“Our ambition certainly is to present a team that is capable of winning, and doing the very best with what we have to be competitive,” he told Just Electric. “We want to win.

“On top of that, we have a lot of ambition to educate ourselves in technology. It’s a journey of learning in lots of different spaces, from EV tech to new fuel cell technology. We’re interested to discover first-hand the issues affecting our planet and the pressures that human beings are pointing on it. Doing something about it is really important.

“We want to try to move forward, with this potential with limited teams on track, the travelling pit lane, and racing around the world. It’s presented us with the opportunity to enter a team in a racing series. I don’t think anything else in the world could have given us this platform.”

While the Extreme E line-up already has big names from across motorsport disciplines, Team X44 made headlines as Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton’s team.

Despite the big name, Hynes doesn’t believe there’s any additional pressure for the team.

“I think the competitors in the series – you just have to look at the line-up – they may not be famous teams but in motor racing circles they certainly are, and formidable opponents,” he explained.

“I think that we’ve got a lot of work to do to learn about off road racing. It’s not something we’re familiar with.

“But team structures and competition is something that we live and breathe every day and have done all our lives, I guess since we were kids. It’s something we thrive on. I think that we will aim to be the very best competitors we can be. We’re hopefully up for the challenge that we’re presented by all the teams on the grid.”

Like most of the field, Team X44 is yet to announce either driver for the upcoming season. In the series’ virtual launch, Hamilton spoke about using the platform to provide opportunities to people from a variety of backgrounds.

As a former driver development coach, Hynes went into further detail about what the team will be looking for in its drivers.

“In my opinion, to be a brilliant racing driver, there are a number of boxes you have to tick,” he explained. “Outside that box is the bit that makes a special world champion or the special driver.

“It’s looking for a combination of professionalism – with all the bits in the box that you have to tick – but then with the flair and the exceptional talent, and the drive and the motivation to take a team and realise their goals and ambitions. Take people on that journey.

“That’s what we’re looking for in a driver – an inspirational hope of the team.

“We have this wonderful opportunity to combine female and male racing drivers which is entirely unique and hugely exciting and inspiring for us because we want a level playing field for females to compete against males and we can have a female that comes and blows the competition away. It’s a hugely positive part of this series that we’re really excited about.”

Image courtesy Extreme E

Bethonie Waring

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