Earth Day: How Extreme E is changing the game both for women and the planet

Jamie Chadwick

As we celebrate Earth Day, GiveMeSport Women takes the time to appreciate those who are making important changes in the world.

The Extreme E project, led by Formula E, is a racing series designed to raise awareness of climate change. The SUVs used to race are spec electric types, catered specifically to help lower carbon dioxide emissions. Formula E leads the way in the world of motoring in terms of being the greenest sport on the track.

The inaugural season of Extreme E took place earlier this month in the Saudi Arabia Desert X-Prix. There are nine teams in the series, each made up of one male and one female driver. W Series champion Jamie Chadwick partners Stephane Sarrazin for Veloce Racing, while fellow Brit Catie Munnings makes up half of the Andretti United Extreme E team.

The opening race in the Saudi desert saw Australia's Molly Taylor and former supercar racer Johan Kristoffersson top the standings with their win for Rosberg.

Each Grand Prix is tailored to shedding light on the impacts of climate change around the world. The Desert Prix is just one of five races scheduled this year in the Extreme E tournament. The aim is to race off-road in the most remote corners of the earth – next up is the Ocean Prix, which will take place in Senegal, followed by the Arctic Prix, Amazon Prix and Glacier Prix.

Not only does the Extreme E series promote green living, but it is the world's first gender equal motorsport in history. Announcing their debut season on International Women's Day, Extreme E made their stance on equality very clear. The races ensure a complete level playing field and require one female and one male driver per team at all times.

With huge names like Chadwick and Taylor – as well as men's Formula 1 legend Jensen Button and World Rally Champion Carlos Sainz Sr – all the pieces are in place for Extreme E to set the tone for motorsport moving forward.

Stefano Domenicali, CEO of Formula 1, recently admitted that there's big hope for women to return to the world's highest level of single seater racing. There hasn't been a single female driver on the F1 grid for more than 40 years, so with the likes of Extreme E making easy work of showcasing gender equality, a large ripple effect is surely on the horizon.

The Extreme E Ocean Prix will take place over the 29th and 30th May and will be available to watch across a number of channels including Sky Sports, BT Sport and on BBC iPlayer.

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