Chip Ganassi Racing and Extreme E will usher in new, innovative rescue vehicles at the Energy X Prix in Punta del Este, Uruguay, this week. Chip Ganassi Racing and Extreme E have worked together over the past 10 months to put this plan into place after jointly recognizing an opportunity to enhance driver safety and on-track emergency protocols.
Extreme E Team Manager and retired US Special Operations Mobility Specialist Dave Berkenfield leveraged his military background to identify a vehicle that would match the series’ needs.
“We recognized the remote and extreme locations that would require a purpose-built medical response vehicle that would be able to quickly access a crashed or damaged Extreme E race vehicle in challenging environments,” said Berkenfield. “There is nothing more important to Chip Ganassi Racing, Extreme E and all the teams in the paddock than driver safety, especially when you factor in how extreme and remote some of these events are.”
Berkenfield placed a call to Brandon Johnson of BC Customs in Utah who originally designed the ‘Storm SRTV’ vehicle, a highly mobile and lightweight tactical vehicle that was designed for austere rescue missions abroad.
An agreement was reached that allowed for two inactive vehicles to be sent to Chip Ganassi Racing’s facility in Indianapolis. There, with tremendous support and contributions from Whelen Engineering, Chip Ganassi Racing and Whelen crew members would spend over 100 hours outfitting the vehicles for a newfound purpose in the Extreme E series.
“Driver safety is a critical issue at Extreme E and we are committed to having the absolute best equipment and solutions at our disposal,” James Taylor, Chief Championships Officer at Extreme E, said. “Extreme E has a world-class network of teams and personnel so when Dave Berkenfield and the Chip Ganassi Racing team came to us with this idea, we were all ears.”
“These purpose-built medical response vehicles are the result of top military operators drawing on their experiences on the front lines and transferring their skills and knowledge to the remote, extreme nature of our championship. Of course, we hope that the use of medical response vehicles is limited, but we feel confident knowing we have such innovative equipment available and look forward to seeing their capabilities here in Uruguay.”
In addition to the wide range of inherent all-terrain features that these newly-branded MDD-1 and MDD-2 rescue vehicles boast, it also includes state-of-the-art networks for communication, live video feeds of the track and all necessary extraction systems.
“These amazing vehicles allow us to mobilize our extraction and medical teams, all together in one vehicle, with upgraded extraction gear and the highest level of mobile medical equipment,” said Mark Lait of MDD Europe. “This combined ability allows us to manage multiple simultaneous incidents and ensure we can deliver the highest level of care for the drivers, and transport them quickly to the medical center, even with the most challenging of terrain.“
Chip Ganassi Racing and Extreme E’s 2022 season has finished up but these vehicles will be ready to go in 2023.