McLaren has announced American rallycross star Tanner Foust as the first driver for its Extreme E team.
The 48-year-old has won four domestic RX titles in the United States as well as taking event victories in European and World RX and four gold medals in car events at the X Games.
Foust was also a presenter on the US version of Top Gear from 2010-16, has stunt driving records and has performed stunt work for films including The Fast and Furious series, The Bourne Ultimatum and The Dukes of Hazzard.
McLaren CEO Zak Brown said Foust’s rallycross pedigree and off-track persona had both been important in the decision to sign him.
“He is a top-class off-road competitor with a wealth of experience and a winning record,” said Brown.
“Alongside his driving prowess he’s a fantastic personality, who will help us connect with new fans around the world and bring the purpose and important messages of Extreme E to the fore.”
Foust called joining McLaren “every driver’s dream” and added “the opportunity to compete for the team in this innovative and imaginative racing series makes it even more special”.
The identity of Foust’s female team-mate is yet to be announced.
McLaren is joining the off-road electric series launched by Formula E creator Alejandro Agag for the 2022 season, in what will be its first project outside circuit racing.
Extreme E has attracted a number of very high-profile participants for its inaugural season, with Formula 1 world champions Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg and Jenson Button all entering teams, and Button contesting the opening round with his squad.
World Rally legends Sebastien Loeb and Carlos Sainz Sr – who is another team co-owner – are among the competitors. American motorsport giants Andretti and Ganassi have also entered teams.
But XE had a fraught launch when dust and a lack of testing time meant last-minute format changes for its opening round in Saudi Arabia, with the limited amount of head-to-head racing that took place proving processional due to severe visibility problems in the dust.
Though its second round in Senegal was smoother, it has also had to cope with a series of calendar changes amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the final shape of its 2021 schedule is not yet clear.
Rosberg X Racing pair Johan Kristoffersson and Molly Taylor have won both events so far and hold a 14-point lead over Loeb and Cristina Gutierrez of Hamilton’s X44 team ahead of round three in Greenland at the end of this month.