Extreme E’s unique paddock with Airshelta
Extreme E is an innovative race series in so many ways, from electric SUVs to zero emission car charging, but potentially the most unique, and somewhat challenging element is the remote locations in which it races.
The series has recently completed its first X Prix in AlUla located in the Saudi Arabian desert. Unlike other championships where catering, paddocks, even toilets are all readily available, these facilities are ones Extreme E had to bring in.
To create the all-important paddock – an area where teams can work on their all-electric ODYSSEY 21s – Extreme E enlisted the support of Airshelta, a world leader in the design, manufacture and supply of specialised inflatable shelters. It provided a full, modular working village, that included team garages, storage units, canteen structures, the media centre, medical structures and the forward-thinking Command Centre with blackout screening – the hub of activity during the racing.
Utilising an inflatable shelter carries many benefits including a reduction in weight, complicated pole systems as well as easy and speedy assembly providing an innovative and sustainable product.
James Taylor, Chief Championship Officer at Extreme E, said: “Creating a motorsport event in the middle of the desert required a very specialist set of suppliers and I’m delighted with how our paddock looked using Airshelta’s innovative structures, which were not only quick to erect, but a sustainable alternative to permanent structures allowing Extreme E to race without a trace.”
Richard Smith, Director of Airshelta Products said: “I am both delighted and proud that Extreme E has selected Airshelta as the official provider of all the onsite, race team and support function facilities, through our inflatable structures. All our products are manufactured in the UK to the highest standards and we are thrilled to be sharing this exciting journey with Extreme E and supporting them through the race series.”
For more than 25 years, Airshelta has been supplying structures to a wide variety of emergency response organisations, armed forces, motorsport teams and events globally.
Extreme E used Airshelta’s sealed beam construction made from a continuous tube of PVC material, which are inflated from either a 110v or 240v inflation blower in a matter of minutes. The inflation valve automatically closes therefore allowing the Sealed Beam Airshelta to remain inflated without the need for constant air refill. Once inflated the sealed beam gives the shelters the robustness required to withstand the weather conditions which will be encountered over the race series. Like all temporary structures the Airshelta’s are securely anchored using heavy duty metal stakes or water filled bunds specifically designed with the Extreme E locations in mind.
The Airsheltas, along with the rest of the championship’s freight, have been loaded onto its floating centrepiece – the St. Helena – and will head to Senegal for the Ocean X Prix which takes place from 29-30 May.