Sebastien Ogier, Andre Lotterer and Jamie Chadwick are among the first 11 drivers to have joined the new Extreme E series' roster ahead of its inaugural season in 2021.

A sister series to Formula E, Extreme E aims to put manufacturers up against each other with all-electric SUVs in some of the world's toughest terrains, with a view to highlighting the impact climate change is currently having on the planet.

The Extreme E car was unveiled at the Goodwood Festival of Speed over the summer, with Venturi, ABT and HWA becoming the first three teams to sign up for the first season that will start in Greenland in February 2021.

Six-time FIA World Rally Championship winner Ogier, three-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Lotterer and recently-crowned W Series title-winner Chadwick were announced as part of the Extreme E driver programme on Thursday.

The trio is joined by 2015-16 Formula E champion Lucas di Grassi; rallycross father-and-son duo Kevin and Timmy Hansen; WRX front-runner Andreas Bakkerud; two-time DTM champion Timo Scheider; top female racers Katherine Legge and Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky; and Sacha Prost, the son of four-time Formula 1 world champion Alain Prost.

"The Drivers’ Programme is designed to promote professional drivers and assist teams and prospective entries, with Venturi, ABT and HWA already signed up to the championship for the inaugural campaign, which gets underway in February 2021," a statement from Extreme E reads.

"Series organisers will recommend prospective competitors from its Drivers’ Programme to teams, however, if teams prefer, they will have the autonomy to select their own drivers from outside the pool."

"Extreme E is unlike anything else we have in motorsport, so it is incredibly appealing to me," said Ogier. "The short stages, the power and performance of the ODYSSEY 21 car, the head-to-head format and of course the spectacular, unique locations, will make the racing extremely intense and very exciting for drivers and the fans watching from home.

“I’m in love with nature and the planet, and also being a father makes the future protection of our planet a very important fight to me personally. I want us to try and change our habits, and Extreme E’s mission to promote electric future is crucial to that goal.” 

Alejandro Agag, Founder of Extreme E, said: “We have revealed the car, and our first race location, but any good championship needs top driver talent in order to be truly successful.

“This world-class list of drivers, representing the very best male and female talent from multiple disciplines across top-tier motorsport, illustrates Extreme E’s serious sporting credentials. It certainly marks another very important step as we continue the development of our exciting new series."

Group testing for Extreme E is due to begin in mid-2020.

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