W Series champion Jamie Chadwick is the first driver announced by Veloce Racing for the inaugural Extreme E season, which will mark her competitive off-road racing debut.
Chadwick was already enrolled in the XE drivers’ programme along with Formula E title winners Nelson Piquet Jr, Lucas di Grassi and Antonio Felix da Costa.
The drivers’ programme permits XE organisers to recommend prospective drivers to the nine teams signed up for the maiden five-round season that kicks off with an event in Saudi Arabia in March.
Williams Formula 1 team development driver Chadwick has existing ties with Veloce as a brand ambassador and is the first of the team’s male-female driver pairing to be announced.
She said: “I am proud to be driving for Veloce Racing in such a revolutionary championship as Extreme E.
“I have been involved with Veloce for a very long time and they are like a family to me, so I am incredibly honoured to be their female driver for what is such an exciting and important race series.”
Chadwick has some experience of all-electric motorsport, having tested for both the NIO 333 and Jaguar Racing FE teams.
This season, with W Series taking a hiatus owing to the global health crisis, Chadwick contested the Formula Regional European Championship for Prema Powerteam.
She ended the campaign in 10th, scoring a best result of third on her debut in the first race at Misano.
The 2015 British GT4 and 2018 MRF Challenge champion added: “Climate change is something that affects us all, so I’m really keen to start doing my part to fight it.
“I can safely say that testing the car was one of the best and most fun experiences I have had in my career so far.”
Chadwick tested the 550bhp ODYSSEY 21 car in Fontjoncouse in southern France last week and is set for further seat time at Motorland Aragon in Spain next month.
Veloce Racing team manager Ian Davis added: “Having won titles in both sportscars and single-seaters, there is no reason at all why she shouldn’t transfer those skills and win in Extreme E, in what promises to be a very high-calibre field.
“Her first test in the ODYSSEY 21 during our shakedown in France last week was a very positive and encouraging start.
“Her experience from single-seater and GT competition was invaluable to the early development of our car – from quick driver changes to initial and mid-corner turn-in – and she had significant input into our engineering refinements.
“Jamie would be the first to acknowledge that off-road driving is completely new to her, but she is a fast learner and she listened carefully to everything we had to say, worked well with the engineers, took it all on-board and – most importantly – got quicker and quicker with every run.”
Two-time FE champion Jean-Eric Vergne is also part of Veloce’s management structure, while Red Bull F1 chief technical officer Adrian Newey is listed as the team’s ‘lead visionary’.
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