Pioneering racing series Extreme E is thrilled to welcome LEGACY MOTOR CLUB (LEGACY M.C.) IN ASSOCIATION WITH JIMMIE JOHNSON to its championship line-up for Season 4. The American outfit completes the grid for the 2024 campaign, which begins this weekend in Saudi Arabia (17-18 February).
Led by seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, LEGACY M.C. will make its Extreme E debut boasting an all-US line-up and plenty of off-road racing pedigree.
With Johnson unable to contest the opening two rounds of the campaign at the first event due to a clash with the Daytona 500, US compatriots Travis Pastrana and Gray Leadbetter will be behind the wheel in the LEGACY M.C. ODYSSEY 21 for the upcoming Desert X Prix.
Jimmie Johnson, LEGACY M.C. co-owner who will compete in the series after the Desert X Prix, said: “The opportunity for LEGACY M.C. to field an off-road vehicle in the Extreme E championship is exciting in many ways. We are essentially representing America in this unique and very competitive series and we are committed to the challenge. I‘m excited to watch our LEGACY MOTOR CLUB colors race on foreign soil for the first time while I‘m in Daytona for the Great American race. I know Travis and Gray will represent us well and I can‘t wait to see what they accomplish.”
“Our goal is to learn as much as we can and see what the future might bring. The fact this series competes globally and focuses on sustainably, inclusion, and equality really piques our interest. From a technical standpoint, the changeover to hydrogen in 2025 is really intriguing and the entire motorsports community is watching closely. Personally for me as a driver, going back to my off-road roots and to the type of racing I started my career with is going to be a blast.”
Alejandro Agag, Founder and CEO of Extreme E, said: “It is fantastic for Extreme E to welcome Jimmie Johnson and LEGACY M.C. to the championship. Jimmie‘s credentials speak for themselves, and we cannot wait to see him behind the wheel of the ODYSSEY 21.
“Jimmie is a proven winner and adds to our already healthy list of champions competing in the series. Racing in Extreme E with his own team is something which excited him, and it is great that Jimmie is also looking towards the future and our transition to Extreme H — the world‘s first off-road hydrogen-powered racing series — next year.”
“We are sure that for the Desert X Prix that Travis Pastrana and Gray Leadbetter will be competing up at the front of the field, demonstrating the US‘ prowess for exciting off-road racing. It is great to have further US involvement in the championship, especially with our first-ever North American event to end the season in Phoenix, Arizona.”
Ali Russell, Managing Director of Extreme E, said: “Welcoming Jimmie Johnson and LEGACY MOTOR CLUB into our championship for Season 4 is a huge coup. We are thrilled that the LEGACY MOTOR CLUB has joined Extreme E and we wish them the very best for the campaign ahead.
“Jimmie knows what it takes to win and he has done it all throughout his career, so we look forward to seeing him and his team mix it with the very best in Extreme E. Travis Pastrana and Gray Leadbetter make an exciting combination for the first event in Saudi Arabia before Jimmie gets behind the wheel as they fly the flag for the United States.
“North America is such a key market for our championship, so to make our debut in the US later this year in Phoenix for the 2024 finale, with LEGACY MOTOR CLUB on the grid, will be extra special.”
For the Desert X Prix, both Pastrana and Leadbetter will make their Extreme E debuts.
Leadbetter, 19 from Morganton, NC, started driving in the Championship Off-Road series in 2019 and was the first woman to win a US Pro Class Championship in the Championship Off-Road closed-course series, winning four races overall to take the crown.
In December 2020, she was the first woman and youngest competitor to win a Sportsman SXS race. She started competing in arenacross when she was five years old.
On joining LEGACY M.C. for the 2024 season, Leadbetter said: “I‘m super excited and thankful for this opportunity.
“I‘ve always been interested in Extreme E, but just never found the right opportunity to step foot in it. When Travis texted me last week that there might be a chance to race with Jimmie Johnson and LEGACY M.C., I couldn‘t have been more thrilled. I‘ve never driven these cars so it‘s sure to be an adventure, but I will be in great company. This is a dream come true.”
Pastrana, from Annapolis, MD, is a true motorsports legend. He combines the accolades of a three-time motocross champion and a multi-disciplinary X Games gold medalist with a versatile and high-profile racing career, including a standout performance against Johnson in the thrilling 2023 DAYTONA 500. Throughout his remarkable career, he has claimed victory at the highest levels of competition. Pastrana has clinched seven championships across supercross, motocross, and rally racing, showcasing his exceptional talent and versatility in the world of motorsports.
Ahead of his Extreme E and LEGACY M.C. debut, Pastrana said: “This all came together pretty quick, but I‘m really excited!”
“I have quite a bit of experience in electric vehicles, although I’ve never been in an Extreme E ODYSSEY 21 before. I compete in a lot of off-road events and some desert stuff — mostly on two wheels — but this should be really fun for us. I believe in Jimmie Johnson and in LEGACY M.C. and all he is doing with the Club, so when he asked me it was a no-brainer.
“I‘ve worked with Gray before and she is a huge talent, so overall it is just a great opportunity for both of us to compete in this championship series together. She’s the top female young up-and-coming talent in Nitro Cross and has the speed.
“So hopefully as Americans, we will do our country proud and return home with a win and some smiles on our faces.”
And Pastrana has eyes on a rival already in the series who he is excited to do battle without on track once again.
Pastrana added in jest: “I‘ve never beaten Mattias [Ekström] at anything, and before he retires I want to beat him at something! With that in mind, I guess my two biggest reasons for participating in this event is to help out my friend Jimmie, and, for the first time in my life, beat Mattias.”
You can find out how LEGACY M.C. fare in their Extreme E debut when the 2024 campaign gets underway in Saudi Arabia next weekend (17-18 February).