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Extreme E and the FIA announce plans for first-ever off-road hydrogen racing world championship

Extreme H, the newly branded hydrogen-powered off-road SUV championship, to commence from 2025.

The Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) and Extreme E have signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding setting out a framework to create the first-ever hydrogen off-road racing world championship.

This document is the first step in establishing a pathway for the hydrogen series, Extreme H, to become an FIA Championship from its inaugural season in 2025, with the intention that it will become an FIA World Championship from 2026, should the requisite criteria be met.  

In addition, the pathway outlines that in 2024 Extreme E, currently an FIA International Series, would be recognised as an FIA Championship.

Extreme H would join the company of just seven other official FIA World Championships, which includes ABB FIA Formula E World Championship. This planned pathway to FIA World Championship status demonstrates the series’ progression since its inception in 2021 and a strong statement of intent for its growth towards its hydrogen-powered future. Development of the Extreme H series is underway, with plans advanced to have a prototype launched later this year ahead of the first season in 2025.

Alejandro Agag, Founder and CEO of Extreme E, said: “Establishing alongside the FIA a world-first hydrogen racing world championship will be a momentous milestone for Extreme E and the new Extreme H series. Eventual accreditation as an FIA Championship and then an FIA World Championship means we would be amongst the top tier of global motorsport categories, and Extreme H would be the first-ever world championship racing series of its kind.  What started as a conversation many years ago about racing in extreme environments, showcasing the incredible performance and innovation of E-SUVs, has now demonstrated enormous growth and further pioneering technical advances as we move forward with the transition to hydrogen and Extreme H – a world-first. This announcement is a significant first step in the development of our championship and our ground-breaking transition to hydrogen-powered racing. Sport is the most powerful and effective platform to drive innovation and our commitment to delivering sustainable motorsport championships full of excitement and with a reduced carbon footprint are testament to that. Once it achieves FIA World Championship status, Extreme H will continue what Extreme E started as a pioneering motorsport series and we look forward to delivering another spectacular sporting product. I’d like to thank the President and the FIA for their continued support and recognition of our ambition to create a world-first for motor racing. Expect to see yet more exciting racing out on course, as well as further pushing the boundaries of new technologies in the race to tackle climate issues.”

Mohammed Ben Sulayem, President of the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile, said: “We are excited to continue working with Extreme E on their journey to becoming an FIA World Championship. Using sustainable power sources in motor sport is the key objective of the FIA and part of our long-term strategy, and this series is an ideal showcase for that. Hydrogen is an important part of that mix, and we have developed a set of safety regulations for hydrogen-powered vehicles which is part of the FIA’s International Sporting Code. It is encouraging that such a major motor sport entity as Extreme E with its renowned line-up of teams sees the same potential in hydrogen technology. Their approach to equality and diversity matches ours as we push to make motor sport accessible for all. Motor sport competition serves as an excellent research and development platform and this new series has great potential. Having the technology tested in the harsh environment of off-road racing in all types of conditions should benefit the whole industry, and in the longer term make mobility more environmentally friendly for everyday users of the road. We are looking forward to working with Extreme E, sharing our know-how and expertise.”

Extreme E boasts legendary motorsport names across its championship, from team owners Sir Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg and Jenson Button to motorsport heavyweights McLaren, Andretti and Chip Ganassi – with world champions across multiple disciplines competing in the series since it launched just over two years ago.

The first sport to ever be built out of a social purpose, Extreme E – and Extreme H from 2025 – aims to minimise environmental impact while maximising awareness, racing in places that have already been damaged or affected by climate change or human interference, and taking fans deep into the heart of the most pressing issues facing our planet’s future.


Source: Extreme-E

2024 World Cup Calendar: 4 Continents in season 3

The W2RC has unveiled its 2024 calendar, featuring 5 races held on 4 continents in season 3 of the FIA-FIM World Rally-Raid Championship. The programme for next year shuffles the deck without straying too far from the formula of the two previous seasons. In addition to classics such as the Dakar, the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge and the Rallye du Maroc, the Desafío Ruta 40 is returning for the second year in a row and, as in 2022, there will be a European round, namely, the BP Ultimate Rally-Raid Transibérico through Portugal and Spain. Following the 46th Dakar in Saudi Arabia and the ADDC in the Emirates, the W2RC caravan will leave Asia for Europe before moving on to Latin America. After the summer break, Africa, the cradle of the sport, will crown the victors in the traditional finale in Morocco.

David Castera, Motor Sports Director at Amaury Sport Organisation (A.S.O., the promoter of the FIA-FIM World Rally-Raid Championship), said: "Season 3 of the W2RC is already starting to take shape on the January 2024 horizon. The constant growth of the field this year shows just how successful this format has become. The 2024 calendar will follow the same recipe, which blends tradition, continuity and innovation. Apart from the three major events of the sport, the theme of the current season has been the exploration of the Americas. This will continue next season, when the Desafío Ruta 40 in Argentina, which is coming back from its hiatus this year, returns for a new edition. Mirroring its inaugural campaign, the W2RC will head to Europe, this time for the BP Ultimate Rally-Raid Transibérico, a geographically closer and less expensive gateway to the sport for competitors, teams and fans from this continent, which remains the leading incubator of rally raids. This new event will make an impact in more ways than one because it runs through Portugal and Spain, two countries that stand out for their motor sports know-how and tradition. This time more than ever, the calendar will be a hit with rookies and veterans alike.”

Mohammed Ben Sulayem, FIA President, stated: “The A.S.O. and the FIA have been working hard behind the scenes to continue to improve the appeal of the FIA World Rally-Raid Championship. Cross-country rallying is one of the fastest growing sporting disciplines under the FIA umbrella and we are delighted to see how the W2RC has attained a global reach in such a short space of time. As the founder of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge in 1991, I am delighted that it is an integral part of the W2RC, having been an ever present in the FIA cross-country calendar since 1993. It’s also pleasing to see a new event introduced into the calendar. Portugal and Spain have a strong culture and extended practice of cross-country rallying and the new event will enable spectators in this region to see the best in the world in action on their doorstep.”

Jorge Viegas, FIM President, added: “The growing popularity of the W2RC is reflected by this great calendar for 2024, with next year’s championship spread across four continents including a return to Europe and an important stop in Argentina. This is a country that has hosted the Dakar and FIM World Championship events in the past and will provide stability for the series in Latin America. Together with championship promoter A.S.O. we are continuing to work closely to improve safety in what is an extremely demanding discipline. I am also proud of the continued collaboration between the FIM and FIA on various shared matters, which will bring ongoing benefits to all concerned. On behalf of the FIM I would like to thank A.S.O. along with all the other parties involved in preparing the 2024 schedule of events.”

Source FIA / W2RC / ASO

Nasser and Mathieu to complete the entire 2023 season with TOYOTA GAZOO Racing

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing’s Nasser Al-Attiyah and co-driver, Mathieu Baumel, will compete with their Dakar-winning GR DKR Hilux T1+ in the final two rounds of the 2023 World Rally-Raid Championship.

Round 4 – the Desafio Ruta 40 – will take place in Argentina next week
Round 5 – the Rally of Morocco – will take place around the middle of October

Nasser Al-Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel currently lead the W2RC standings after winning the Sonora Rally in Mexico earlier this season. They are currently 30 points ahead of their nearest competitor in the W2RC standings – and second place is also occupied by a Toyota Hilux T1+ driver, in the form of privateer, Yazeed Al Rajhi (Saudi Arabia). At the same time, Toyota GAZOO Racing leads the Manufacturer’s Championship by 63 points.

The Desafio Ruta 40 is the penultimate event in the 2023 W2RC, and this is the first time the race is featured on the W2RC calendar. However, the areas in which the race takes place – La Rioja, Belén and Salta – are somewhat familiar to the crews who competed in the South American Dakar Rallies. With that said, the mix of terrain types, including rocky traverses and massive dunes, is sure to test all the crews equally. The race will take place from 26 August to 1 September and consists of five stages.

The next engagement for Nasser, Mathieu and the Toyota GAZOO Racing team after the Desafio Ruta 40 Rally will the fifth and last round of the 2023 W2RC season, the Rally of Morocco, taking place on 12-18 October.

Shortly after the Rally of Morocco, Toyota GAZOO Racing will announce its global TGR Dakar and W2RC line-up for 2024. The team remains firmly committed to W2RC as part of its roadmap towards Dakar Future 2026.

Alain Dujardyn, TGR W2RC Team Principal: “I am pleased to confirm the continuity of our successful partnership with Nasser and Mathieu for the remainder of the 2023 W2RC season. I’m also pleased to be able to announce our continued TOYOTA GAZOO Racing participation in the next W2RC season. Later this year, after the Rally of Morocco, we’ll confirm further details for 2024 including our driver and vehicle line-up. However, for the moment, our focus is on the Desafio Ruta 40, which is sure to offer a stern test not only to the crew, but also to our GR DKR Hilux T1+.”

Nasser Al-Attiyah: “I am excited to be able to complete the final two rounds of the 2023 World Rally-Raid Championship with TOYOTA GAZOO Racing, and the upcoming races offer fantastic opportunities for us to score valuable points in our quest to win back-to-back W2RC titles. Regarding next week’s Desafio Ruta 40, I know the area where we are going, and especially the dunes of Belén can be tough. But let’s see!”

Mathieu Baumel: “We haven’t raced rally-raid in South America since the Dakar Rally moved to Saudi Arabia, so going back to the areas that we knew well in the past may sound easy. However, we also know from bitter experience that no South American route is easy, and the dunes of Belén has tripped up many competitors in the past. We’ll be aiming to avoid any problems and score maximum points.”


3. BAIC ORV - 100

Source: Toyota

FIM Baja World Cup 2023 Calendar Update

FIM Baja World Cup 2023 Calendar, Updated 19 July

Change of date for the Emirates round. The Dubai International Baja originally scheduled on 9-11 November will now instead take place on 10-12 November.

Date. Venue Country FMNR

  • 2-4 February Saudi Baja Saudi Arabia SAMF
  • 16-18 March Qatar International Baja Qatar QMMF
  • 14-16 April * Baja TT Dehesa Extremadura Spain RFME
  • 21-23 July Baja Aragon Spain RFME
  • 10-12 August Hungarian Baja Hungary MAMS
  • 6-8 October Baja do Oeste Portugal FMP
  • 10-12 November Dubai International Baja United Arab Emirates EMSO
  • 23-25 November. Jordan Baja Jordan JMS
    *Already run

Source FIM

Century Racing CR7 4wd T1+ Emerging

Just over a year after the project was started from a clean sheet, technical details and progress of the building of the CR 7 prototype can now be revealed: although it is a 4wd platform with the engine in the front half of the chassis, it draws massively from the CR 6 technology and know-how. Julien Hardy, chief designer at Century Racing explains: "Since the introduction of the T1+ class, there has been a huge interest in such a product, and despite being 2wd specialists, we have been forced to follow suit and come up with our own interpretation of what such a car should be"

"The aim was clear from the start: keep the look and feel of the CR 6, keep the strong points like the ease of driving and low maintenance, the reliability and of course it has to have the world class performance that has made the CR 6 such a success up until now."

Easier said than done, it has taken a full year and a multitude of engineering concepts to come up with this package. Prior 4wd projects at Century Racing include the CR1 (2008) and the X6 (2012), so there was already some basic knowledge within the team to draw upon.

Although it might look like Century Racing is playing catch-up by being the 7th manufacturer to introduce its T1+, Julien doesn't see it that way: "Most, if not all of the existing cars, are adaptations of the old T1 class and therefore many compromises are necessary to package the bigger tyres, extra width and extra cooling necessary for the turbo engine. We have the advantage of having looked at that process from a distance (and learn about its negative effects) but also have the chance of a no-compromise approach with the clean sheet design. The extra cooling requirements of the turbo engine is also non-negligible ". To that effect the whole front end of the car was designed around the radiator and various coolers, in order to optimize the air flow entering the various ducts and moving right through the car.

Technically speaking, the CR 7 will not share many identical parts with its CR 6 sister car, but a lot of technology is being reused, like its unique 2-element double wishbone rear suspension. The Audi twin turbo V6 remains too and development on the engine response, cooling and reliability is ongoing on the CR 6 test mule used since last year. “Cooling and engine response are key with turbo engines, and this year our focus is on the anti-lag system as we were short on time prior to Dakar to fully develop it. The aim is to have the engine fully sorted in the next few weeks, to be able to hit the ground running with the CR7” explains Donovan Fick, head of engine management and electronics systems. In 2022, understanding the Audi engine before the Dakar start line was by far the biggest task the team was ever faced with, but somehow it all came together in the first stages of the race. “The easy thing to do is fit a regular normally aspirated engine into the T1+, however the FIA rules favour newer technologies and we are able to get more power running a turbo engine. Hence we started developing the new engine last year already and at Dakar 2023 in the CR6-T…”

For Brian Baragwanath, one of the engineers on the project and test driver for Century Racing, it is critical that a customer switching from the CR 6 to this car feels at home immediately: "Although the CR 6 is one of the top rally raid car in the world, it is also extremely easy to handle and is very forgiving. Time and again we have seen new customers posting impressive results from the word go, and my job is to make sure that the CR 7 replicates that. We are already working with our suspension partners at R53 and the dampers are already being developed for this project. They have amazing simulation tools, and we are confident that the base settings will allow us to immediately push the car hard."

Besides losing some wheel travel (440mm vs 350mm, by rule), the CR 7 rear suspension is almost a direct transplant from the CR 6. On the front end, the CR 7 features a very novel and unique suspension arrangement, which took months to package correctly. Brian explains: " We wanted to have a very low center of gravity like the CR 6 which is exceptionally stable, and when we started looking at the architecture of the car, it became clear that the front suspension layout dictated pretty much how high everything else would be in the car: chassis damper mounts, bonnet, windscreen, driver's head and roof. This novel front suspension became the obvious choice, and it will have the other benefit of decreasing the maintenance as well"

Another trait shared between the two cars is the footprint. They are the same length, same width and same wheel base, although the CR 7 has a slightly higher roof. This tried and tested formula should give the team a head start in terms of general set-up when testing will start.

Century Racing has never been scared to go their own way on the technical front and some novelties are also found in the transmission system but this will be kept under cover for as long as possible. A lot of care was taken with the choice of components but only the thousands of testing kilometers coming will prove if the reliability is there. “We have components coming from the USA, Germany and France, some off the shelf and some custom designed for this project, and we’re hoping that we made the right choices. The drivetrain is by far the hardest working system on this type of cars and we made it our no. 1 priority in terms of reliability” explains Julien Hardy.

Last but not least, the CR7 isn't only required to be fast, easy to drive and reliable but also needs to turn heads. Century Racing called on the expertise of Dubai-based car designer Eben Meyburgh (who was originally involved in the CR 6 project 7 years ago) to help recreate the magic: "When Julien approached me recently about working on the new Century car, I didn't even have to think twice before signing up. The CR 6 is a tough act to follow in terms of looks but it's this kind of challenges that I relish. We have used the CR 6 as a reference but adapting to the new proportions has required a lot of sketches and mock-ups. The brief was that a Century customer had to instantly identify this car as a close relative to the CR 6, but at the same time we had to give it its own identity. Time will tell if we have succeeded". While the final detailing is still a work in progress, the team is hoping to start manufacturing the bodywork in the next few weeks.

In terms of schedule, the first prototype chassis is already in production and the target is to start testing in July. The CR 7 will certainly be present at races this year, primarily focusing on testing reliability and performance. We know what it takes to bring a clean sheet design to life, and we do realize that time is always against us in this game, so we have to stay grounded and prepared to react if things don’t work as planned. We need to go through the process and not skip important steps" concluded Hardy.

Mark Corbett, CEO of the Century Property group and owner of the team, is eagerly awaiting the first test drive as: “I’ve been following the design process from the beginning and it’s nice to see that I can still contribute with ideas from my long career in off-road racing. The team has upped their game once again, and I have no doubt this CR 7 will be a world class product, I can’t wait to get my turn behind the wheel”


Press Release by Century Racing

As a service to the sport we all love and follow, Rally-Raid Network posts numerous media releases from a wide variety of sources on our website. Due to the large number, and some times short time available, it is nearly impossible to review each public release. These articles are written by reporters or press officers who work for various organizers, teams, drivers, riders, and other parties, and they do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Rally-Raid Network.