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GCK Working on Electric Dakar Entry, Extreme E for 2021

Guerlain Chicherit building electric car for Dakar 2021, planning Extreme E team…

Photo: GC Kompetition

Guerlain Chicherit has revealed ambitious electric racing plans for next year and could compete at the Dakar Rally with an electric car he’s currently building, along with a possible Extreme E program.

Chicherit drove the Extreme E demonstration car during the Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia earlier this month before Ken Block completed the final stage in the electric SUV.

The Frenchman, a former professional skier, has now revealed to e-racing365 that his GC Kompetition company is building an electric car that could complete the full Dakar Rally next year along with plans to form a team for Extreme E’s inaugural season.

Both programs are yet to be finalized, with Extreme E plans dependent on funding and the Dakar project subject to testing in the spring.

“The plan is to race the Dakar next year with an electric car,” Chicherit said. “This is a super big challenge because in the Dakar, the stages are quite long, so we need to work on the [range].

“You can do it if you just want to finish the race, you can just drive slow, if the target is just distance.

“It is possible but to race the Dakar with the ambition to be competitive and fight for the top position is a completely different story.

“That is what we’re working on at the moment. The car will be ready for its first test at the end of February, so pretty soon.

“We will do two months of testing, and then we will decide if we are ready or not for Dakar in 2021.

“We have three cars already built but we don’t know yet if we can go with the three cars in 2021 because we need to make sure the technology is fine to go to Dakar.”

As for Extreme E, Chicherit says he’s aiming to finalize his plans soon.

“I really want to be part of this project so I’m working with GCK to build a team to be part of the 2021 championship,” he said.

“This is not easy because it’s a large investment and we want to be part of this project but before we commit we just want to be sure we can.

“I really like the program and the idea of the championship. It’s more or less [a case of] finishing convincing our partners. That’s the situation at the moment.

“We’re trying really hard to make it happen because that is the future of motorsport.”

Extreme E currently has four committed teams with Venturi, Abt Sportsline, HWA and Veloce Racing.

GC Kompetition’s other racing ventures include a large FIA World Rallycross Championship program with Renault Clio and Megane machinery.

Its subsidiary GCK Energy has been appointed as official energy supplier for electric cars in World RX in 2021, and Chicherit says all of his electric racing programs will be powered by renewable sources through GCK Energy.

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist who is e-racing365's Managing Editor and also European Editor for Sportscar365. He is a student of Politics and International Relations at the University of Birmingham. Contact Jake

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