X44 Vida Carbon Reveals New Extreme E Season 3 Racers & Strategy
As a Black-owned team, X44 Vida Carbon Racing understands that motorsport has traditionally been dominated by a narrow demographic, and Sir Lewis Hamilton has long been committed to addressing this issue through his research project, The Hamilton Commission, in partnership with the Royal Academy of Engineering, and his charitable foundation, Mission44.
The X44 Vida Carbon Racing team recently won the Extreme ESeason 2 Championship, and they are now heading into Season 3 with a renewed focus on breaking down barriers and creating a more diverse and inclusive environment within the sport.
Their ultimate goal is to inspire a new generation of drivers and fans to become involved in motorsport and push the industry forward, ensuring it is more reflective of the world we live in. The team believes that better diversity and inclusion is the only path towards the long-term success of the sport, with the most talented people chosen for the job, regardless of their background.
To achieve these goals, X44 Vida Carbon Racing is taking a holistic look at how the team can create a more diverse and inclusive environment in motorsport by placing opportunity as its top priority.
The team has partnered with Rodin Carlin to ensure that X44 Vida Carbon Racing is made up of a diverse group of talented executives, mechanics, and engineers, and to build a team structure that places developing the next generation of motorsport talent front and centre.
The new team structure will be led by:
-Team Principal Stephanie Carlin, a long-time Carlin executive and Team Principal of Carlin’s team in the upcoming F1 Academy.
-Deputy Team Principal Stephanie Travers, an experienced engineer and motorsport executive known for breaking barriers in Formula 1, including being the first Black woman on a Formula 1 race podium.
-Race Engineer George Imafidon, a member of The Hamilton Commission who has worked within X44 Vida Carbon across the inaugural two seasons. Additionally, the team will include members from a range of backgrounds.
X44 Vida Carbon Racing will also continue to support Extreme E’s Racing for All initiative, founded in line with The Hamilton Commission findings, which allows each team in the series an additional team member, who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity, to get a first step on the career ladder. For Season 3, X44 Vida Carbon Racing will be introducing Calvin Langat, who will take on the role of junior engineer.
In addition, X44 Vida Carbon Racing will be using their platform to champion underrepresented voices and ensure the world hears diverse perspectives on climate issues. They will be working alongside team partners to ensure all activity is inclusive, from working with diverse content creators to tell sustainability stories from around the world, including the global south, to providing storytelling opportunities for the next generation of aspiring social media producers.
Sir Lewis Hamilton, X44 Vida Carbon Racing owner and seven-time Formula 1 World Champion, expressed his pride in the work that his team has undertaken so far in Extreme E and his excitement for what is to come. He believes that X44 Vida Carbon Racing can be a powerful platform to provide opportunities to the next generation, and he is committed to making genuine change in the industry.
Stephanie Carlin, the Principal of the X44 Vida Carbon Racing Team, expressed her excitement at joining forces with Rodin Carlin for Season 3 of the racing series. “At Rodin Carlin, we are so excited to join forces with X44 Vida Carbon Racing and I am proud to be leading such an inclusive and diverse team into Season 3 of the series. As fits with our ethos at Rodin Carlin, it is a privilege to be able to provide opportunities for up-and-coming engineers, mechanics and technicians, who we believe are truly the next generation of promising talent in our industry.”
X44 Vida Carbon Racing has also announced a new driver for their refreshed line-up – Jamaican driver Fraser McConnell. Fraser is a talented driver who has achieved remarkable success in international rallycross racing, winning the 2019 American Rallycross Championship (ARX2.) In 2021, Fraser McConnell became the first and only Jamaican to claim a supercar victory in the Rally X Nordic Championship, and he also debuted in the Nitro Rallycross Series that year.
Fraser will be racing alongside current X44 Vida Carbon Racing driver and reigning Extreme E champion Cristina Gutiérrez in the 2023 season. Cristina is a gifted Spanish driver who is rewriting the rulebook for female drivers. She has made history as the first woman to win the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies, the second to win a stage in the Dakar Rally (2021) and the third to stand on a podium in the Dakar Rally (2022).
Fraser McConnell, X44 Vida Carbon Racing, said: “I am delighted to join X44 Vida Carbon Racing, and to be part of a Championship-winning team. I am so impressed with Cristina’s performances in the first two seasons of Extreme E and I can’t wait to drive alongside her; I am sure that we will work well together and I hope to learn a lot from her prior experience. It’s never a bad thing to race alongside a World Champion!
“I’m also looking forward to being part of a team that uses its platform to make the world a better place. I have always admired Lewis’s dedication to making our sport more inclusive and opening up opportunities for young talent, and I’m honoured to be part of that journey with him.”
Cristina Gutiérrez, X44 Vida Carbon Racing, said: “Following last season’s win, I am so excited to get back on track and give it my all again for the team. Fraser is an exciting young talent and I am looking forward to racing with him this year. I’m also looking forward to meeting the new team, and I feel privileged to be part of the journey towards a fairer, more inclusive industry. I can’t wait to see what we can achieve together.”
The Season 3 of the racing series will continue to take place at some of the most remote corners of the planet to highlight the range of climate issues faced by different ecosystems. The sport for purpose championship is set to kick off on March 11-12 at the Desert X Prix.
Levelz Media covers next generation sports like Formula E, Extreme E, Women’s Motorsports, and more.