The new Extreme E series will require all of its participating teams to field both a male and female driver in their two-person line-ups.

The all-electric off-road racing series has claimed a first in world motorsport with the move which promotes gender equality and a level playing field amongst competitors.

Each driver will complete one of the two laps around the 20km courses. Five events are planned for the inaugural Extreme E season, with the series set to begin in January next year.

Extreme E founder and CEO Alejandro Agag said: “This is a first in motor racing.

“We are ensuring with our sporting format that drivers of all backgrounds will be able to compete with the same tools at their disposal at every event on the calendar.

“We are striving for equality, and this sporting format is the truest reflection of that goal.

“Everybody will race together and the most effective combination of drivers, team, engineer and car will rise to the top.”

Three female drivers are already signed up to compete in the championship, including 2019 W Series champion and Williams Formula 1 development driver Jamie Chadwick.

IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar driver Katherine Legge, who was the first woman to compete in Formula E, and Swedish touring car driver Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky are also assigned to the series.

Former rally driver turned president of the FIA women in motorsport commission, Michele Mouton, described the initiative as a “great opportunity for women and men to team up, compete together and against each other with the same material”.

“Alejandro [Agag] and his team continue to really support gender equality in our sport with concrete actions that help highlight the ability of female racers and give them a chance,” Mouton added.

“It will be interesting to see the team line-ups as they are announced and I look forward to following Season One when it starts early next year.”