LONDON: U.S.-based Andretti Autosport has signed up as the sixth team to race in Extreme E next year, the electric off-road SUV racing series announced on Friday.
The Michael Andretti-led outfit has won the Indianapolis 500 five times and taken four IndyCar series titles. It also runs the BMW i Andretti team in the all-electric Formula E championship.
Extreme E aims to highlight deforestation, rising sea levels, desertification, and plastic pollution with races in harsh and remote environments from the Brazilian rain forest to the glaciers of Greenland and deserts of Saudi Arabia.
"We remain dedicated to expanding and diversifying our team effort, in both traditional motorsport and with new, revolutionary racing concepts," Michael Andretti said in a statement.
"The current COVID-19 crisis is bringing attention to a changing world, and our traditional mindsets have to adapt with that.
"We feel that announcing now can help bring hope for the future of motorsport and a new focus to the sustainability message."
The brainchild of Formula E founder Alejandro Agag and former Indianapolis 500 winner Gil de Ferran, Extreme E is due to start in Senegal in January 2021.
The 7,000 tonne former mail ship 'St Helena', that once served as a link to remote South Atlantic islands, will serve as a floating paddock and transport the series' freight and vehicles from location to location.
Other teams entered are Mercedes-linked HWA, Monaco-based Venturi, Abt Sportsline, Britain's Veloce and Spain's QEV Technologies. There are slots for up to 12 teams.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Jason Neely)