28 April 2021
The pioneering electric off-road racing series pulled-off the Desert X Prix (3rd-4th April 2021) at AlUla, KSA, with huge global audiences enjoying the first installment in the Electric Odyssey.
With a focus on the environment, and highlighting the climate crisis by visiting the globe’s most remote landscapes, the Desert X Prix also marked a world first in motorsport, with both male and female team drivers competing on a level playing field.
Famous names including Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button are involved in this innovative racing series; indeed, it was Nico Rosberg’s team, Rosberg X Racing, where duo Johan Kristoffersson and Molly Taylor battled their way to an X Prix victory, and carved themselves out a piece of motorsport history.
At the heart of the Desert X Prix was the Command Centre; a hub for live race broadcast, pit wall style strategy and thrilling drama, that added huge value and insight for remote audiences. This purpose-built studio hosted key team players throughout the race, and despite the remote desert environment, ADI helped Extreme E create a state-of-the-art broadcast space.
Exceptional production values were vital, given the Desert X Prix was available on over 40 different broadcasters, including ITV, BBC, ESPN, FOX Sports and Eurosport.
The Command Centre’s stylish technical design was achieved through fine pitch LED screens and lighting fixtures, set around an arc-shaped desk hosting team representatives, such as Nico Rosberg and Chip Ganassi.
In the planning stages, ADI created a 3D visual design of the Command Centre in Disguise, allowing the team to test and further develop the lay-out through VR.
A dedicated ADI team were on-hand to manage and cue all audio, 4k video and lighting play-out inside the Command Centre, utilising a single software platform to run the show. ADI’s platform brought flexibility to the play-back, capable of supporting multiple layers of digital media across the fine pitch LED screens, and allowed changes to the studio AV and sports pres to be triggered by live action that happened during the high-octane desert racing.
ADI’s Head of Technical Solutions, Dave Crowther, led the project and was on-site for the duration, he commented,
We’ve worked in outdoor locations all over the world, but pitching up in the middle of the AlUla desert was something quite different! While the technical production and presentation needed to be sophisticated and cutting-edge, it also had to be robust and easily deployed across multiple continents.
Delivery of the first X Prix went incredibly well, and the dynamic atmosphere in AlUla translated into compelling TV, with some phenomenal racing across the dunes and a great buzz inside the Command Centre. It’s fantastic to be part of this pioneering new race series that’s pushing the boundaries of motorsport, and we look forward to supporting Extreme E across the diverse X Prix’s that are coming up.
The next installment of Extreme E will be the Ocean X Prix in Dakar, Senegal (29th-30th May 2021)