XE to use slower Senegal circuit to boost overtaking

Extreme E will use a slower speed circuit for the next round in Senegal this weekend in response to criticism over a lack of overtaking on its debut event.

XE to use slower Senegal circuit to boost overtaking

Excessive dust for the maiden round of the all-electric SUV off-road racing series in AlUla, Saudi Arabia in April led to qualifying heats being replaced with one-car time trials.

The grids for the Sunday races were also capped as three entries, rather than the planned four cars, with the poor visibility contributing to all overtakes coming at the first corner.

But Extreme E will now use a more technical layout for its five-mile course in Lac Rose, Dakar this weekend in a bid to boost opportunities for passing.

The more stable beach sand has also paved the way for a four-car battles to return.

The championship’s circuit design consultant and official reserve driver, two-time DTM champion Timo Scheider said: “After Saudi Arabia, which was a pretty quick track, the aim was to have a more technical track with more line possibilities and average to low-speed areas.

“This is what we achieved. After having a first lap out there, I’m quite happy that we succeeded.

“We have exactly what we wanted. We have some tricky areas but no dangerous areas.

“For sure, you have to manage your speed, you have to manage your driving because we still have areas where you have to pay attention.

“If you are too quick on some stages, for sure you can damage your car or spin or even roll off - which we don’t hope so.

“At the end of the day, they will face a completely different track layout compared to Saudi Arabia.

“The racing will be much better in terms of having the possibility for racing. This is what I like. This is pure racing.

“They will stay together close for the rest of the lap."

Should overtaking still prove difficult, championship co-founder Alejandro Agag has introduced an idea conceived in Saudi Arabia to employ a ‘Super Sector’ shootout.

Five points will be awarded to the team whose driver runs through the designated loop fastest in a measure designed to ensure there is “always an incentive to push to the limit”.

Fellow reserve driver Jutta Kleinschmidt, who won the Dakar Rally aboard a Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution in 2001, added: “We love [the new circuit].

“It’s very technical; it’s completely different to what we faced in Saudi Arabia.

“Here it’s slower, we will have less dust, overtaking will be easier, especially for Sunday.

“You can find many lines to go through. It’s very challenging.

“We have to adapt to the race track. We have.”

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