RXR have won the teams championship in Extreme E’s inaugural season, despite X44 winning the final race on a thrilling last day.
The first race of the weekend was the Crazy Race, where the bottom three qualifiers all competed for a place in the final. Andretti United, Chip Ganassi, and Xite Energy all hoped to improve on a poor Saturday qualifying result.
As the lights went out it was Andretti United’s Timmy Hansen who got the best getaway, leading out Xite Energy’s Oliver Bennett, and Chip Ganassi’s Kyle Leduc going into the first turn.
Whilst Hansen looked to extend his lead, Bennett and Leduc were embroiled in a close wheel to wheel battle, which ended when the latter overtook Bennett around the outside.
After the switch, Sara Price for Chip Ganassi closed up to Katie Munnings’ Andretti car and they were nose to tail for much of the lap. Ultimately, though, it wouldn’t be enough, as Andretti United booked their place in the final.
Crazy Race Classification:
- Andretti United
- Chip Ganassi
- Xite Energy
Championship protagonists X44 hoped to extend their so-far perfect weekend in the first semi-final as they faced off against JBXE and Veloce.
JBXE’s Kevin Hansen had a great start and entered the first turn in first place, just ahead of X44’s Loeb. Behind, Veloce’s debutant Lance Woolridge made a mistake and lost some ground to the two leaders.
In order to claim the title, X44 needed the five extra points for setting the fastest time in the Continental Traction Challenge. Loeb managed to do just that, putting in a blistering sector to catch up to JBXE.
By the time the cars entered the switch zone, you could have put a blanket over JBXE and X44. The latter made better use of the switch, though, and narrowly came out in the lead.
From there, Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky for JBXE pushed Christina Gutierrez for X44 right to the end. It wasn’t enough to take the victory but both teams progressed to the final.
Semi-Final 1 Classification:
Championship leaders RXR looked to reach the final for the fifth race in a row, where they would be able to place one hand on the trophy. First, though, they had to race against Acciona Sainz and ABT Cupra in the second semi-final.
Johan Kristofferson in the RXR machine got off to the perfect start, putting it into first place; whilst Carlos Sainz put his Acciona Sainz car into second with the help of hyperdrive.
Unfortunately for the German team, ABT Cupra sustained damage early on and they dropped off the back of the other two cars.
With ABT Cupra a long way off, all RXR and Acciona Sainz had to do was bring the car home. Molly Taylor and Laia Sanz did just that, securing the final two spots in the final.
Semi-Final 2 Classification:
- Acciona Sainz
- ABT Cupra
This was it then, the championship had come down to this race. RXR just needed to finish fourth or above to claim the very first Extreme E title.
X44 got off to a brilliant start, with Gutierrez using her hyperdrive to great effect to take the lead. RXR were a close second, with JBXE, Andretti United, and Acciona Sainz just behind.
However, after a good start, RXR’s Molly Taylor began to drop to the back of the field, being overtaken by both JBXE and Andretti United. With X44 in the lead, losing fourth place to Acciona Sainz would mean they lost the championship.
Taylor stood strong, however, and she handed over to Johan Kristofferson just ahead of the Acciona Sainz team.
Meanwhile, Katie Munnings for Andretti United attempted an overtake on JBXE’s Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky but spun and lost some ground. Crucially, she kept ahead of Taylor.
The final lap of the season was an uncharacteristically quiet one which saw X44 win their first race of the season, having done everything possible to claim the title. But, with RXR finishing in fourth, the two teams ended level on points, with RXR winning on countback.
- Andretti United
- Acciona Sainz
X44 completed a perfect weekend, having been fastest in both qualifying sessions and both races. In the end it would not be enough but Lewis Hamilton’s team will take a lot of positives into the new season.
Overall Weekend Classification:
- X44 25 Points (+5 for Continental Traction Challenge)
- JBXE 19 Points
- Andretti United 18 Points
- RXR 15 Points
- Acciona Sainz 12 Points
- Veloce 10 Points
- ABT Cupra 8 Points
- Chip Ganassi 6 Points
- Xite Energy 4 Points
In the championship, RXR topped the table, ahead of X44 by virtue of having won more races. Elsewhere, JBXE beat out Andretti United to third place and Acciona Sainz drew level on points with ABT Cupra. ABT Cupra remained ahead on countback.
- RXR 155 Points
- X44 155 Points
- JBXE 119 Points
- Andretti United 117 Points
- ABT Cupra 100 Points
- Acciona Sainz 100 Points
- Veloce 77 Points
- Chip Ganassi 73 Points
- Xite Energy 64 Points
It’s been an incredible first season of Extreme E, with some enthralling racing in the most remote locations, all in the name of raising awareness of Climate issues. With McLaren joining the grid next year, season two is going to be unmissable.
Featured Image courtesy of ExtremeE