Natalie Barratt becomes the world’s first all-electric Projekt E rallycross champion
Natalie Barratt has been crowned the inaugural Projekt E International Series champion.
Having finished on the podium at the opening round in Sweden, the 45-year old Cumbria-based driver took the lead of the series after another strong points-scoring finish in Latvia.
Driving a Ford Fiesta ERX – run by the multiple Polish rally championship winning Rallytechnology team and supported by Trashstock and Tien – Natalie was due to contest the final round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship support series in Germany (12-13 December). But when that race meeting was cancelled, Natalie was confirmed as Projekt E champion.
Natalie wins the Projekt E title in her first season in rallycross and, having previously contested 44 rounds of the FIA World Rally Championship, on her return to motorsport competition after a 13 year break.
Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, Projekt E launched as planned this year, with drivers battling for honours in 613bhp four-wheel drive cars designed, developed and built by Stohl Advanced Research and Development (STARD).
Powered by three electric motors producing 1002Nm of instant torque, the cars can accelerate from 0-60mph (0-96.5km/h) in 1.8 seconds- which is faster than a Formula 1 car – and reach a top speed of 150mph (240km/h).
“I’m very proud and delighted to become the inaugural Projekt E champion,” said Natalie.
“Although coronavirus travel restrictions made it a much shorter championship than anticipated, the two race meetings in Sweden and Latvia were ground-breaking events, and it was an honour to race in the world’s first all-electric rallycross series.
“I’m passionate about both the environment and motorsport, so it needed something very special to tempt me back into competition after a thirteen year break – and Projekt E was it.
“I have to say a massive thank you to everyone – including Ford, Rallytechnology, Trashstock and Tien – who have helped me this year, and in particular STARD. It has done a fantastic job to develop the Projekt E formula and they are always striving for innovation. Without them and their support, none of this would have been possible.
“The automotive industry is accelerating ever faster towards a greener future, and the technology developed in motorsport will once again play a vital role in the cars we’ll soon see on the roads. I’m very proud to be a part of that pioneering motorsports history.
“It was great to race against the likes of Ken Block, Cyril Raymond and Janis Baumanis, and my only disappointment is that I won’t get the chance to race against Marcus Grönholm in Germany. Maybe next year!
“I’m also extremely proud to have won this title on behalf of all women in motorsport. It would have been very difficult for a woman to contest a high-profile series like this twenty years ago, so it’s another indication of how things have changed for the better in recent years.
“I’m a little in shock, I won’t lie! It’s a surprise to become Projekt E champion and it’s been a very strange and challenging return to motorsport, with many new experiences and challenges – the biggest of which was throwing myself in at the deep end, especially at my age!”
For more information, please contact: