Extreme E: RXR Champions In Chile

Image courtesy of Extreme E

RXR have won their second Extreme E title in three years at the Copper XPrix.

In a chaotic Final, they narrowly held off Acciona Sainz. Here’s how a thrilling day panned out:

Qualifying One:

Championship leaders RXR had the opportunity to put the pressure on rivals Acciona Sainz, as they went in the first heat in Qualifying One.

McLaren got the best getaway off the line and took an early lead. RXR dropped to the back of the field, but that didn’t worry experienced driver Johan Kristofferson.

Kristofferson swiftly overtook the JBXE machine for fourth position, before pushing the limits of the switch zone braking point to take second place.

With the women now in the cars, McLaren’s Hedda Hosas put in an excellent performance to hold off Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky to win the heat. RXR finished in second, ahead of Chip Ganassi, and X44.

The second heat in Qualifying One was a little quieter than usual, as Andretti United could not repair yesterday’s damage in time for the race.

The quieter start played nicely into Acciona Sainz’s hands as the team took a lead they would not lose.

Behind them Carl Cox Motorsport and Veloce gave the fans some brilliant wheel-to-wheel racing. Ultimately, Veloce would come out on top, taking second place behind Acciona Sainz. Carl Cox Motorsport finished in a respectable third place, with ABT Cupra bringing up the rear in fourth.

Qualifying Two:

Qualifying Two Heat One was a very sedate affair.

Veloce took the lead off of the line, ahead of Chip Ganassi, and McLaren. ABT Cupra and JBXE dropped to the back of the pack.

And that is how the teams crossed the line. Veloce took 10 classification points, guaranteeing them a spot in the final, whilst JBXE were left disappointed after another poor qualifying.

Acciona Sainz and RXR faced off in the final qualifying race of the season in Heat Two.

Acciona Sainz got away well and lead into the first corner, ahead of X44, RXR, and Carl Cox Motorsport.

There was little to separate the teams, until the switch zone, where a conservative Laia Sanz for Acciona Sainz allowed X44 to draw level. On exit the X44 machine used its Hyperdrive to get ahead.

The grid order remained unchanged after that, meaning the two title rivals, RXR and Acciona Sainz, both progressed to the final.

Overall Qualifying Classification:

  1. Acciona Sainz – 18 Points
  2. Veloce – 18 Points
  3. McLaren – 16 Points 
  4. RXR – 14 Points 
  5. X44 – 14 Points
  6. Chip Ganassi – 14 Points 
  7. Carl Cox – 10 Points 
  8. ABT Cupra – 8 Points
  9. JBXE – 4 Points
  10. Andretti United – 0 Points

Redemption Race:

The penultimate race of the season saw the bottom five qualifiers (excluding Andretti United) try to salvage some points for their teams in the championship.

Chip Ganassi had the lead into the first turn, but Carl Cox Motorsport were determined to take it off of them. After some gentle nudges Chip Ganassi remained ahead and Carl Cox Motorsport dropped a few seconds back. They retired from the race not long after.

After the switch zone, the ABT Cupra car looked to close in on JBXE to avoid picking up the wooden spoon. A dive up the inside of the JBXE machine and ABT Cupra were through into second.

Chip Ganassi won the race, ahead of ABT Cupra and JBXE rounding out the finishers. Carl Cox finish the season with a 9th placed finish in Round 10 after their early retirement from the redemption race.

Final:

The championship decider turned out to be one of the craziest races in Extreme E history, with both Acciona Sainz and RXR looking like they would comfortably take the title.

Acciona Sainz got just the start they needed, taking first place off the line, ahead of Veloce in second. RXR’s Johan Kristofferson tried to gain positions around the outside of the first turn but got onto the banking and narrowly avoided rolling the car. The landing, however, caused the team to suffer a puncture and they dropped into fifth and a lap down.

Leading the race coming into the switch zone and rivals seemingly out of contention, Acciona Sainz just needed to keep things steady for the second half of the race and the title would’ve been theirs.

However, further behind them, the McLaren driver broke too late, and collided with the back of the X44 machine. The damage the McLaren sustained was too great, and they were the first team to retire from the race.

On the switch zone exit, Veloce took the lead off of Acciona Sainz, but it would still have been enough to see the latter win the championship.

Sanz, however, was determined to regain the place, but pushed the car too hard over a bump. She span, then soon span again and rolled the car. Acciona Sainz were out of the race.

RXR now had the title but with X44 also suffering damage, they had sealed the title. Veloce won the race, but RXR completed a victory lap to regain the lap they lost due to the puncture.

Overall Round 10 Classification:

  1. Veloce – 25 Points
  2. RXR – 18 Points
  3. X44 – 15 Points 
  4. Acciona Sainz – 12 Points
  5. McLaren – 10 Points
  6. Chip Ganassi – 8 Points
  7. ABT Cupra – 6 Points
  8. JBXE – 4 Points
  9. Carl Cox Motorsport – 2 Points
  10. Andretti United – 0 Points (DNS)

Championship Standings:

  1. RXR – 182 Points
  2. Acciona Sainz – 171 Points
  3. Veloce – 155 Points
  4. X44 – 121 Points
  5. Chip Ganassi – 113 Points 
  6. ABT Cupra – 81 Points
  7. Andretti United – 71 Points
  8. McLaren – 68 Points
  9. Carl Cox Motorsport – 50 Points
  10. JBXE – 50 Points

RXR claimed their second Extreme E title, 11 points ahead of Acciona Sainz in second.

Veloce had their best ever season, finishing on the podium, whilst newcomers Carl Cox Motorsport narrowly avoided the wooden spoon.

That’s all for Extreme E for another year, but the off-road electric championship returns in just a couple of months time in Saudi Arabia. You won’t want to miss it.

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