Acciona Extreme E Racing Team
In a bold new era for motorsport, Extreme E is breaching into the unknown in many ways. First of all: electrification. The very existence of the landmark racing championship is a result of the need for emissions’ reduction. The second is the landscape. Despite the track laid out in front of them, Extreme E drivers never know what might be hidden under bumps in the track or waiting for them over the crest of the world’s largest dunes.
Laia Sanz and Carlos Sanz, both Extreme E drivers, have an immense desire for overcoming the largest hurdles and leading change, and are here to share their experiences with Extreme E. Here is what was discussed with Laia Sanz for the Extreme E feature in the December issue of EV Magazine.
What goes through your mind as you step into the car?
“When I step into the car, the only thing that comes to my mind is to try to be as fast as possible and to avoid any problems or destroy the car, or something like that. I just want to do a good job for the team and be as fast as possible, that’s my mentality.”
What’s the scariest moment you’ve had racing in Extreme E?
“The scariest moment was when Carlos had an accident, when he was hit by another car in Sardinia. I was scared because we were in the Command Centre and we couldn’t hear him, I didn’t know if Carlos was fine or not as we didn’t know what was happening.”
What is it about Extreme E that influenced your decision to participate?
“When I had the chance to come to Extreme E, it was something amazing. Carlos called me and asked me if I wanted to join and of course I did, because it was an amazing opportunity for me. This series is really interesting and to race with a legend like Carlos is something great. Also, because I was just starting my career on four wheels, and it was an amazing opportunity to learn and to grow as a driver.
“One thing that is really nice about Extreme E is that it’s full of champions of different racing backgrounds and it’s great to be with the best drivers, to compete with them and learn from them. The message of the Championship is also really interesting, its fight against climate change is unique, so all these things make me really happy to be in Extreme E.”
What sustainability commitments have you made in your daily life?
“I always loved nature and tried to take care before joining Extreme E, because I always spend so much time on the mountains in my day-to-day life just training with my bike.
“I already did quite a few things, like turning off the lights or wearing a jersey at home instead of a short-sleeved t-shirt in winter to save some energy. When I find bottles or trash in the mountains, I always clean up. Of course, after being in Extreme E and taking part in the activities of the Legacy Programmes, you realise the importance of these little things. But before Extreme E, I wasn’t really aware of the importance that Posidonia has, for example, and now I try to be more careful whenever I am at the sea.
“It was a big impact for me to be in Greenland and realise the scale of the issue, it changed our mentalities. I was already a nature lover and I’ve always tried to have respect for nature, but now I’ve learnt more things and I try to be more careful.”
Tell me about your teammate. What’s it like racing with them?
“I feel really lucky with Carlos by my side. He is such a legend. I followed rallying when I was a kid and he was one of my idols growing up, and also in the Dakar. I feel really proud and for me racing with him is an honour. He is helping me a lot to learn and to understand the car, the technical aspects, and I am growing a lot thanks to him. Of course, he is really professional and a great example.
“I think we work well together, and I feel just lucky to have this opportunity. I feel a lot of respect for him, even more than before. He has won everything and he is still hungry. He is still like a young driver, always looking for victories and for improvement. He is always working. We are always one of the teams that leave the track later in the evening and arrive earlier in the morning. I like his work ethic and I feel really comfortable.
“Especially in the beginning there was a bit of pressure, because I know how he wants to win and I didn’t want to make mistakes, I wanted to help the team as much as possible, but now I am getting used to that and I feel much more comfortable and faster. I am helping the team more and it is a nice thing for me.”
There is nothing more sustainable than a saved kWh.I use digitalisation in all our strategies, because dematerialising and smart devices with digitised instruction mean the use of less resources and so efficiency.