Only nine teams will compete in the opening round of the new Extreme E electric SUV racing series on April 3 and 4 in Saudi Arabia. Chinese racing team Techeetah canceled its participation in the first race on Friday. However, there is a possibility that the team will join the season at a later date.
The Indonesian investment company Indover is the owner of the team. However, the Extreme E team is managed by the Chinese SECA Group, which also owns the DS Formula E team.
Techeetah had not yet built a website for the Extreme E team or unveiled drivers for the season, which begins in three weeks. According to the series organization, however, Techeetah is determined to enter Extreme E during the course of the season.
The team’s withdrawal from the season opener is also expected to force Extreme E to adjust its race format, which was previously designed for participation by an even number of starters.
“The team, owned by Indonesia’s Indover Group, has cited the COVID-19 pandemic as a key factor in the decision,” reads an official Extreme E statement. “Global travel restrictions mean they have been unable to come to Europe to test their car and drivers or make the necessary preparations.”