The new EV version of the Hummer may still be a year away but that isn’t stopping GMC from making waves about it with news that it’s sponsoring Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR) for the team’s first electric racing venture in the inaugural 2021 Extreme E season.
In a bit of a plot twist though, the EV itself won’t be part of the season. Despite the sponsorship deal, CGR drivers Sara Price and Kyle Leduc will be driving the Spark Odyssey 21, a purpose-built off-road vehicle specifically designed for Extreme E with 536 horsepower. However, the race car will feature a unique grille, graphics and bodywork, that will be inspired by the as-yet-unreleased road variant electric SUV.
In fairness to the team though, CGR has some form. In 30 years, CGR has claimed eight wins in the Rolex 24 At Daytona, four Indianapolis 500s, the Daytona 500, the Brickyard 400, the 12 Hours of Sebring and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, making Chip Ganassi the only owner in history to score wins in all of those races. In total, CGR has more than 225 race victories. This deal is more of a departure for the Hummer brand. Aside from the high-performance Cyclone and Typhoon models of the early 1990s, GMC has had very limited exposure in motorsport.
General Motors US vice president of performance and motorsports, Jim Campbell, said: “I can’t think of a better fit than showcasing the look of GMC’s Hummer EV in Extreme E with Chip Ganassi Racing.
“Both GMC HUMMER EV and the Extreme E series are designed to be revolutionary – to challenge perceptions of electric vehicles and to showcase their true capability.”
Team owner Chip Ganassi added: “It’s truly an honor to represent GMC, especially during such an exciting time in auto racing. The new GMC Hummer EV is going to be a game changer in terms of how the world views off-road EV capability, and we couldn’t be more proud to represent GMC in such an innovative new series.”
Extreme E founder and chief executive officer Alejandro Agag added: “We feel very proud to welcome GMC and its iconic GMC Hummer EV to the Extreme E family, as it joins forces with our Chip Ganassi Racing team.
“Not only will Extreme E be a thrilling motorsport, it will also showcase the performance and benefits of electric vehicles.”
COVID-19 restrictions permitting the current plan for the Season 1 are as follows:
- Desert X Prix: AlUla, Saudi Arabia: April 3-4, 2021
- Ocean X Prix: Lac Rose, Senegal: May 29-30, 2021
- Arctic X Prix: Kangerlussuaq, Greenland: August 28-29, 2021
- Amazon X Prix: Para, Brazil: October 23-24, 2021
- Glacier X Prix: Patagonia, Argentina: December 11-12, 2021