The tracks at Bovington run over several different surfaces, and certain parts of the course have more traction than others, but it’s definitely going to reward drivers who have experience of such surfaces.
“It’s actually a lot of fun,” said Rosberg Xtreme Racing’s Molly Taylor, who has experience of rallying in Britain. “There’s a lot of sliding around, which makes it very challenging. The big challenge will be visibility: it was hard to see through the mud at times when we were running alone in practice.”
The title is up for grabs
Taylor and team-mate Johan Kristoffersson lead the points heading into the event and so are the firm title favourites this weekend. The pair have won three of the four event finals, including the most recent in Sardinia, and have a 21-point title lead.
But X44 duo Cristina Gutiérrez and Sébastien Loeb have used strong form in qualifying to keep in contention, while the Andretti United Extreme E and JBXE squads are both in with a chance, on 93 and 92 points respectively.
A new challenge for the buggy
This will be the first time Extreme E’s 550bhp electric Spark Odyssey 21 racer has competed in such heavy mud, but organisers aren’t anticipating any issues. With the series travelling between events on its own ship (which is docked in Poole Harbour for the weekend), the 4×4 was designed to run across a variety of surfaces with few changes.
Perhaps the biggest challenge that racing in Dorset in December has presented is generating the energy to charge the cars. They’re all charged on site using electricity generated from a hydrogen-fuelled generator run by AFC Energy.
At most events, that hydrogen is created from energy captured from an array of solar panels laid out in the weeks before the event – but with sunlight hard to come by in the UK in December, the firm has brought a supply of green hydrogen that was sustainably generated in Scotland.