Extreme E confirms new entrant: HISPANO SUIZA XITE ENERGY TEAM

Extreme E confirms new entrant: HISPANO SUIZA XITE ENERGY TEAM

15 December 2020, London: Extreme E, the innovative electric off-road racing series, today welcomes a new team to the championship: HISPANO SUIZA XITE ENERGY TEAM.

This entry marks the return of HISPANO SUIZA to racing in 2021, with a team formed in association with the energy drink brand XITE ENERGY. The HISPANO SUIZA XITE ENERGY TEAM was presented today at the Castle of Peralada, in Girona (Spain) and will race in next year’s Extreme E Championship. Oliver Bennett and Christine Giampaoli Zonca will be the team’s drivers in the inaugural season of this new and revolutionary championship, which promotes values ​​such as equality, sustainable mobility and the fight against climate change. It promises to be the ideal technological laboratory for the development of vehicles of the future.

The HISPANO SUIZA brand has resurfaced with vehicles such as the Carmen and the Carmen Boulogne, instant icons of present and future. They pay tribute to the marque’s legendary past and integrate the most innovative technology in the automotive industry, while offering unmatched performance, created as true works of art to thrill their exclusive owners. At the beginning of the 20th century, HISPANO SUIZA turned its racing debut into a legend, with three consecutive victories in the George Boillot Cup, an endurance race. The first one, with André Dubonnet at the wheel of the HISPANO SUIZA H6 Coupé, took place in 1921.

A century later, HISPANO SUIZA maintains its competitive spirit intact, and announces that it will participate in Extreme E with the HISPANO SUIZA XITE ENERGY TEAM. Oliver Bennett and Christine GZ, the team’s two drivers, have been in charge of unveiling the HS Extreme E car, the spectacular 550 hp electric off-road vehicle with which both will compete in the 2021 season of the electric contest.

Oliver Bennett is a 28-year-old British driver with experience in rallycross competitions. In 2016 he made his debut in the British Rallycross Championship and the following season he fought for the title. He also made his debut in the FIA World Rallycross Championship, where he has competed in recent seasons. Bennett has also participated in a number of Americas Rallycross events and the Gymkhana GRID in Cape Town in 2018, where he put on a great performance.

Christine Giampaoli Zonca, better known as Christine GZ, is a 27-year-old Italian-Canary driver. In 2014, in her full-time debut in competition, she achieved her first victory in a gravel rally, and that same year she was proclaimed regional champion of the Canary Islands in front-wheel drive vehicles, as well as in group B4. In 2016 she made her debut in the World Rally Championship (WRC) at Rally de Catalunya, as a member of the first all-female rally team, and won the women’s category of the Spanish Gravel Rally Championship. Since 2017, Giampaoli’s career has been focused on participating in off-road races, in the United States and Mexico, where she achieved seventh place in the famous Baja 1000, within the Pro UTV Turbo category. In 2020 she became the main driver of Avatel Racing Team, achieving 3rd place in the T2 category in the Andalucía Road to Dakar Rally.

The HISPANO SUIZA XITE ENERGY TEAM will be led by Team Manager Juli Mundet Caballero. This renowned Spanish engineer has worked in different areas within the automotive industry, both in the product and R&D and competition departments. He began his professional career at the Nissan Technical Centre in the gearbox and transmission departments, and in recent years has worked at the High Energy Physics Institute in Barcelona, as chief engineer. Since 2010 he has served as a race engineer in various competitions, including the FIA ​​World Rallycross Championship.

For this adventure, HISPANO SUIZA has an exceptional partner in XITE ENERGY, a growing British company producing healthy energy drinks. Its product is created using a formula based on natural caffeine, ginseng and vitamin B, without sugar, and all this without compromising the taste of a refreshing drink or the energy supply.

The HISPANO SUIZA XITE ENERGY TEAM is also supported by Avatel, the sixth national fibre optic operator in Spain. This Spanish company specialises in bringing broadband internet connection to rural areas with low population density, and generates technology-related employment in the towns where it is located, helping to activate the local economy.

Miguel Suqué Mateu, Chairman of HISPANO SUIZA said: “HISPANO SUIZA has always integrated values ​​such as sportsmanship and competition into its DNA: both of vital importance for this project. Being able to take our brand to the desert, the Polar Arctic Circle or the Amazon, and also do it in a competitive, sustainable way whilst taking care of our planet, is something magnificent that we will achieve in a competition as revolutionary as Extreme E. I wish to thank our partners and our technical team for their trust and our racing drivers, Oliver and Christine, since they are the ones who will allow us to continue fighting for victories and good results, just as we did 100 years ago.”

Sergio Martínez, CEO HISPANO SUIZA: “Today we must think about electromobility and sustainability. We have to be very aware that the world is changing and we must all fight to reduce our carbon footprint before it’s too late. Today we announce that HISPANO SUIZA will have its own team competing in the Extreme E Championship. It is an ambitious competition, which will be held in five natural paradises in 2021, and the Hispano Suiza stork will be in all of them, represented by a team full of talent.”

Alejandro Agag, CEO and Founder, Extreme E: “I welcome the legendary Spanish brand HISPANO SUIZA, founded in 1904 by the Suqué Mateu family, to the Extreme E Championship. True to its tradition and racing history, this time, it returns to motorsport looking to the future, to the electrification of mobility. I am convinced that the HISPANO SUIZA team will honour the great tradition of their name, and will be a formidable competitor in our championship, the most remote sporting event on the planet”.

Oliver Bennett, HISPANO SUIZA XITE ENERGY TEAM driver commented: “This is one of the most special days of my life, and I am extremely proud to be part of the HISPANO SUIZA XITE ENERGY TEAM. Driving a HISPANO SUIZA is within the reach of very few people around the world, and I am delighted to be able to drive the most extreme of all, the HS Extreme E. This is a Championship in which we will be required to push to show our full potential at every race, but at the same time we will be able to fight to make our planet a better place. I am sure that this is just the beginning of a great adventure for all of us.”

Christine GZ HISPANO SUIZA XITE ENERGY TEAM DRIVER added: ” I am very excited to be part of the HISPANO SUIZA XITE ENERGY TEAM. We are going to compete with a very powerful vehicle that represents the future of the automotive industry, 100% electric. We also have the opportunity to raise awareness about climate change by showing that you can race in some of the most remote places in the world without polluting the planet. I am very proud to work for such an innovative company as HISPANO SUIZA and I greatly appreciate the trust placed in me by Avatel. I think that having mixed teams will be a great opportunity to give female drivers more visibility and will contribute to have a stronger female presence in motorsport in the future. I am extremely happy to share a car with Oliver: he is a great driver; I have followed his career for a while now and I am sure that we are going to complement each other perfectly. Now I’m just looking forward to racing and doing my best for our team.”

In total, nine teams will race in Extreme E in 2021 as follows: ABT CUPRA XE, ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team,  Andretti United, Chip Ganassi Racing, HISPANO SUIZA XITE ENERGY TEAM, Rosberg Xtreme Racing, Team TECHEETAH, Veloce Racing and X44.

HWA has taken the difficult decision to postpone its entry in Extreme E for economic and strategic reasons. For HWA Extreme E is still a very promising and interesting project, but uncertainty, mainly driven by the global Corona Pandemic in the global economic situation, leads to a focused company strategy based on committed projects.

The HWA team remain convinced about the mission of Extreme E and its message for sustainable motorsport, and will stay in close discussions with Alejandro Agag and the whole Extreme E team, with the goal of becoming a competitor once again in the near future.

To learn more about Extreme E, visit – www.Extreme-E.com

About Extreme E:

Please visit the Extreme E media centre to access images, videos and press releases: https://www.extreme-e.com/en/mediacentre

Extreme E is a radical new racing series, which will see electric SUVs competing in extreme environments around the world which have already been damaged or affected by climate and environmental issues. The five-race global voyage highlights the impact of climate change and human interference in some of the world’s most remote locations and promotes the adoption of electric vehicles in the quest for a lower carbon future for the planet.  

To minimise local impact, Extreme E races will not be open to spectators, with fans instead invited to follow the action through live TV broadcast, and on social media. 

The St. Helena, a former passenger cargo ship, has undergone a multi-million Euro refit to minimise emissions and transform her into Extreme E’s operations hub. The ship will be used to transport the championship’s freight and infrastructure, including vehicles, to the nearest port, minimising Extreme E’s footprint, as well as being used to facilitate scientific research through its on-board laboratory.

Extreme E is also pioneering hydrogen fuel cell technology which will enable its race fleet to be charged using zero emission energy. This innovative solution from AFC Energy uses water and sun to generate hydrogen power. Not only will this process emit no greenhouse emissions, its only by-product will be water, which will be utilised elsewhere on-site. 

Season 1 Calendar: 

Desert X Prix: AlUla, Saudi Arabia
20-21 March 2021
Ocean X Prix: Lac Rose, Senegal 
29-30 May 2021
Arctic X Prix: Kangerlussuaq, Greenland 
28-29 August 2021
Amazon X Prix: Para, Brazil 
23-24 October 2021
Glacier X Prix: Patagonia, Argentina  
11-12 December 2021

About HISPANO SUIZA:

HISPANO SUIZA was founded in Barcelona in 1904, by Damián Mateu and Marc Birkigt. Originally, the company was identified by its stork-in-flight emblem, a reference to the company’s prowess in producing aero engines in the early 1900s. Between 1904 and 1946, Hispano Suiza built more than 12,000 luxury cars and 50,000 aeroplane engines.

Now reborn, the company created the Carmen in 2019 and the Carmen Boulogne earlier this year, pioneering the ‘hyperlux’ segment through a unique blend of timeless design, rigorous luxury, painstaking craftsmanship and scrupulous attention to technical and engineering details.

HISPANO SUIZA plans to become one of Europe’s most luxurious and exclusive car manufacturers, producing customisable luxury cars of the highest quality for the world’s most discerning motorists. The brand is proud of its Spanish roots with its headquarters, technical centre, and manufacturing facility all based in Barcelona, and a direct family lineage tracing four generations to the founder Damián Mateu.

About XITE ENERGY:

XITE ENERGY was founded by Oliver Bennett and Megan Jones straight out of university two years ago. XITE brings disruptive innovation within the beverage industry; a new frontier to energy drinks. Designed around functionality but with no limitations on health, XITE ENERGY uses functional ingredients that are fused together to provide a cognitive boost, combining natural flavours, natural caffeine and zero sugar. With the majority of the team joining XITE straight out of university, XITE has a younger-than-usual workforce, but all with very diverse skill sets, amazing drive and an amazing zest-for-life.

About Avatel:

Avatel is a Spanish telecommunications company, specialised in extending the broadband connection to rural areas. It has become the sixth optical fibre operator in Spain.

The company was founded in Costa del Sol (Malaga) in 2011 and since then it has experienced significant growth. It has become a leading organization throughout the Mediterranean. Nowadays, their business faces a new stage of national expansion and consolidation. In 2020 Avatel moved its headquarters to Madrid to pursue their expansion. Avatel offers broadband connection, as well as landline and mobile telephone and TV contents. One of the company key objectives is the connectivity of rural Spain. It will boost its economic system and open the door to new opportunities and developments.

About Continental Tyres: Founding Partner and Official Tyre Partner

Continental develops pioneering technologies and services for sustainable and connected mobility of people and their goods. Founded in 1871, the technology company offers safe, efficient, intelligent, and affordable solutions for vehicles, machines, traffic and transportation. In 2019, Continental generated sales of €44.5 billion and currently employs more than 230,000 people in 59 countries and markets.

The Tyres business area has 24 production and development locations worldwide. Continental is one of the leading tyre manufacturers with more than 56,000 employees and posted sales of €11.7 billion in 2019 in this business area. Continental ranks among the technology leaders in tyre production and offers a broad product range for passenger cars, commercial and special-purpose vehicles as well as two-wheelers. Through continuous investment in research and development, Continental makes a major contribution to safe, cost-effective and ecologically efficient mobility. The portfolio of the Tyres business area includes services for the tyre trade and fleet applications, as well as digital management systems for tyres.

About CBMM: Founding Supplier

CBMM is the world leading supplier of niobium products and technology. Headquartered in Brazil, with offices and subsidiaries in China, Netherlands, Singapore, Switzerland and the United States.

CBMM offers technical innovation to customers around the globe through a team of over 2,000 highly trained, dedicated professionals providing cutting-edge niobium products and technology to over 300 customers in 50 countries.

About LuisaViaRoma:

Established in 1929, LuisaViaRoma has been an online luxury destination since 1999. In 2019, LuisaViaRoma celebrated the company’s 90th anniversary, as well as the 20th anniversary of its online business.

About Neat Burger: Official Plant-based Partner

Neat Burger is the first of its kind – the planet-friendly, plant-based, full-flavoured game-changer the world has been waiting for. The world’s first plant-based sustainable burger chain, Neat Burger offers a menu that appeals to not only those who follow plant-based diets, but any individuals, meat-eaters included, who want to eat delicious meat-free dishes that are more sustainable, healthier and ethical. The brand is backed by seven-time FIA Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton, in collaboration with hospitality organisation The Cream Group and investors, as well as UNICEF Ambassador and early backer of Beyond Meat Tommaso Chiabra. Neat Burger opened its first site in September 2019, just off Regent Street in London, and is set to open its second dine-in outlet at Camden Market in 2020, with plans for global expansion across Europe, the US and Middle East already in place.

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