Extreme E will race in the heart of the Himalayas | Top Gear
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Extreme E will race in the heart of the Himalayas

Fancy seeing an all-electric off-road race at 2,750 metres above sea level?

Published: 12 Nov 2019

Plans for the first season of Extreme E – the off-road sibling of Formula E – are taking shape remarkably quickly, and the all-electric series has now announced the location of its penultimate round. 

The fourth race in the five-event calendar will be held in the heart of the Himalayas, in the Kali Gandaki valley, Nepal.

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The valley is apparently the site of the deepest gorge in the world, although the race will still take place at 2,750 metres above sea level. What this means for the sport’s floating paddock aboard the former Royal Mail ship St Helena, we’re unsure…

Still, logistics aside, it should be an extremely dramatic place to hold a motorsport event. The drivers (a talented pool of whom awaits) will have to contend with coarse gravel, deep ruts and rocky obstacles, as well as the Gandaki river – one of the major tributaries feeding the Ganges – in some form. 

Unsurprisingly, the Extreme E event will be the first motorsport race ever to be staged in the Himalayas, and the purpose of the sport is to ‘shine a spotlight on the environments in which it is set to race’.

Upon the announcement, Extreme E’s founder and CEO Alejandro Agag said: “We will leave a positive legacy behind, working with the government and authorities that will help locals here and provide solutions for the region to make it more sustainable. This is a big step with big meaning – not only for the race, but in everything we will leave in place for the communities here."

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According to the UN, Nepal ranks as the country fourth most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. This is mainly due to the Himalayas featuring the largest concentration of glaciers outside the polar caps.

Extreme E’s other locations so far include Kangerlussuaq in Greenland, the Amazon Rainforest in Brazil and a desert round in Saudi Arabia. The first season is set to get underway in February 2021.

So, Internet, will you be watching?

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