Chip Ganassi Racing team principal Dave Berkenfield asked Extreme E organizers after the Ocean X-Prix not to make “knee-jerk” changes to the race format, and instead wait for three new team to join.
For Berkenfield, the electric series with the format changes could alter the “stories” of struggling teams.
“This is a whole new sport. This isn’t necessarily racing. It is not circuit racing. It is not off-road racing. It is not rallycross. This is new. We require a male and female driver. It is all electric. We are dealing with really emergent technologies. Stuff’s going to fail, and we’re just going to really have to be focused as a whole series on equality here,” he said.
The director expresses that the mid-season changes do not favor all teams since you should not take cars that came out at the beginning of the season and mix everything.
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Berkenfield refers to Ganassi’s poor start after failing qualifying and the last chance race in Saudi Arabia. Additionally, team driver Kyle LeDuc, who earned five points for his best weekend time in the designated ‘Super Sector’, then stopped qualifying in Senegal after a tree got stuck on a circuit.
He also added that performance ups and downs should be allowed naturally for squads to develop fully.
Berkenfield thinks that the spectacle of the races should be improved to grow the audience, however he dismissed the decisions of the format and considers that it should wait for more teams to enter the competition.
“We need to make sure that doesn’t affect the race craft. The opportunity is going to be once the field stabilises. If we can get to 12 cars and when we know how many events are going to happen, then we can really have a great conversation about what we have learned.”
Written by | Gabriel Sayago