Extreme E: RXR Pick Up Where They Left Off With Round 1 Win

Image courtesy of Extreme E
FEBRUARY 17: Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky (SWE) / Johan Kristoffersson (SWE), Rosberg X Racing celebrate , 1st position during the Saudi Arabia on February 17, 2024. (Photo by Andrew Ferraro / LAT Images)

Two-time Extreme E champions, Rosberg X Racing (RXR), got their title defence off to a flying start today, as they won the opening round of the Desert XPrix.

The former F1 world champion’s team saw off close challengers McLaren to take almost maximum points from the round.

In an entertaining first day, here’s how the day’s action unfolded.

Qualifying 1 Heat 1:

McLaren, Veloce, SUN Minimeal, and JBXE got the first competitive session of the new season underway, with Veloce starting the better of the four teams to take the lead.

Though the pack stayed close together, there was little in the way of overtaking in the first qualifying heat.

It wasn’t all plain-sailing for Veloce, however. The team were initially awarded a time penalty for a switch zone infringement. The penalty was later revoked.

Veloce won the heat, taking ten classification points and setting themselves up nicely to make the final. McLaren finished second, closely followed by debutants SUN Minimeal. JBXE rounded up the grid.

Qualifying 1 Heat 2:

The remaining four teams – Legacy Motor Club, Andretti, Acciona Sainz, and RXR – competed in the second heat of qualifying one.

As the lights went out it was Andretti who got off the line quickest.

Their lead wouldn’t last long, however, as Johan Kristofferson pulled off a trademark move around the outside to put RXR into first place.

After that initial excitement, the cars started to spread out as they attempted to negotiate the ruts in the sand left by the previous heat.

RXR won the heat, with Andretti not too far behind in second. Last season’s runners-up, Acciona Sainz, finished third and Legacy Motor Club rounded out the heat.

Qualifying 2 Heat 1:

The second qualifying session started with Legacy Motor Club, Veloce, Acciona Sainz, and JBXE all looking to seal their place in the final.

Acciona Sainz got the best start and took an early lead, but not before Legacy Motor Club had attempted an unsuccessful move up the inside.

Not wanting to miss out on all the action, Veloce went side-by-side with Legacy Motor Club for second place. An initial move around the outside couldn’t quite get the job done, but a lunge up the inside into the next turn saw Veloce move into second.

Acciona Sainz won the first heat in Qualifying 2, with Veloce coming in second. Legacy finished third and JBXE once more rounded out the grid.

Qualifying 2 Heat 2:

The final qualifying race of the round was contested between SUN Minimeal, RXR, Andretti, and McLaren.

SUN Minimeal took an early lead, and looked good out front as the other three teams scrapped it out behind them.

After a lap of chasing down the lead, Andretti were close enough to force their way up the inside of SUN Minimeal and move into first place.

But it was in the switch zone that this heat was won. RXR were quicker on release than SUN Minimeal and were able jump up into second place, just behind leaders Andretti.

RXR then used their hyperdrive on the pit exit to leapfrog into first – a lead they would not relinquish.

Behind them, though, the battle for second was still well and truly on. McLaren chased down Andretti, and were eventually able to wrestle second place off of the American team.

RXR won the race, comfortably securing their spot in the final, alongside McLaren. Andretti finishing third meant they dropped down into the redemption race.

Overall Qualifying Classification Points:

  1. RXR – 20 Points
  2. Veloce – 18 Points
  3. McLaren – 16 Points
  4. Acciona Sainz – 16 Points
  5. Andretti – 14 Points
  6. SUN Minimeal – 10 Points
  7. Legacy Motor Club – 10 Points 
  8. JBXE – 8 Points

Redemption Race:

The bottom four qualifiers – JBXE Legacy Motor Club, SUN Minimeal, and Andretti – all looked to rescue some championship points in the redemption race.

As the lights went green, Andretti got the best getaway and sailed into an early lead.

Behind them, Andreas Bakkerud in the JBXE machine made an audacious move around the outside to go from the back of the pack into second.

As the teams entered the switch zone, Andretti had pulled out a comfortable gap to JBXE, who remained ahead of SUN Minimeal and Legacy Motor Club.

An mechanical issue on the third lap for SUN Minimeal meant they would, unfortunately, not get to complete their first ever round. As they went past, fellow debutants Legacy Motor Club gave the stricken car a wave.

Not content with third place, Legacy Motor Club pushed hard to close the gap to JBXE. When they were close enough, a smart move around the outside saw the team jump into second.

Andretti cruised to victory in the redemption race, taking 12 crucial championship points. Legacy Motor Club gave a good account of themselves on debut, finishing second in the race (6th overall). Last to finish were JBXE, still ahead of SUN Minimeal who recorded a DNF.

Final:

The final race of the round proved to be the best race of the round – as the top four qualifiers did battle.

RXR got the best getaway and took an early lead, but Mattias Ekstrom in the McLaren car refused to be outwitted. Taking a very wide line, Ekstrom was able to put their power down much earlier than his competitors and he sailed by into first position.

RXR were not to be beaten, however. On the second lap, Nico Rosberg’s team went down the inside of the McLaren and made the move stick.

The teams entered the switch zone neck and neck – RXR just edging out McLaren, Veloce, and Acciona Sainz.

The McLaren-RXR battle continued as their female drivers took the wheel, with several points of contact causing minor bodywork damage to both cars.

Then, on the final lap of the race, McLaren regained the lead. Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky in the RXR machine kept the pressure on the McLaren, though, and managed to force the Gutierrez to go deep. Ahlin-Kottulinsky took the opportunity to sweep back into the lead to win the race by just one tenth of a second.

RXR completed an almost perfect first round, just missing out on the points for the Continental Traction Challenge. McLaren finished second, with Veloce rounding out the podium.

Acciona Sainz recorded a DNF as the car rolled on its side on the final lap. McConnell was able to get out of the car okay.

Overall Round Classification:

  1. RXR
  2. McLaren
  3. Veloce
  4. Acciona Sainz
  5. Andretti
  6. Legacy Motor Club
  7. JBXE
  8. SUN Minimeal

Championship Standings:

  1. RXR – 27 Points
  2. McLaren – 18 Points
  3. Veloce – 18 Points
  4. Acciona Sainz – 13 Points
  5. Andretti – 12 Points
  6. Legacy – 8 Points
  7. JBXE – 6 Points
  8. SUN Minimeal – 4 Points

The season kicked off with an exciting day of action. The series returns tomorrow for what is sure to be another entertaining couple of races.

Extreme E: New Teams, New Drivers, New Season

Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky (SWE) / Johan Kristoffersson (SWE), Rosberg X Racing 
Copyright
Sam Bagnall
Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky (SWE) / Johan Kristoffersson (SWE), Rosberg X Racing

The start of the fourth (and final) Extreme E season is just days away, and there have been a number of changes to the series in the off-season.

Old teams have left, new teams have joined, and several drivers will make their Extreme E debut this weekend. It can be a lot to take in, so here’s a handy guide to take you through all the major changes.

Teams:

Following the announcement that Extreme E will transition from an all-electric off-road series to a hydrogen powered series in 2025, four teams have (at least temporarily) withdrawn from the grid.

Three founding members – ABT Cupra, Chip Ganassi, and X44 – will not participate in Extreme E this year, with Carl Cox Motorsport also announcing their withdrawal.

However, all four teams expressed an interest in Extreme H, leaving the door open to a 2025 return.

It’s not all doom and gloom for the Extreme E roster this year though, with two new teams set to make their debut.

Swiss food producers SUN AG have entered the fray, with former Carl Cox Motorsport driver Timo Scheider acting as driver and team principal for the SUN Minimeal Team.

On joining the series, SUN AG CEO, Wolfgang Grabher said: “Our involvement in Extreme E will help us to globally present our innovation for healthy nutrition and our mission to reduce nutritional resources by 90 per cent and reach up to 2.1 billion households.”

But perhaps the biggest coup for the series is the entry of Legacy Motor Club, co-owned by NASCAR legend Jimmie Johnson. The team currently compete in the NASCAR Cup Series and will be a huge boost for Extreme E in the US.

Returning to the series for season 4 are Veloce, Rosberg X Racing (RXR), JBXE, Andretti, Acciona Sainz, and McLaren.

New Driver Line-ups:

The upcoming season will see many old faces return, though some in different colours, as well as a few new drivers joining the grid.

At SUN Minimeal, Timo Scheider will be joined by exciting young Swede Klara Andersson. Andersson’s only win to date was in her second ever Extreme E race at the Season 2 finale.

Fellow newcomers Legacy Motor Club will be represented by Gray Leadbetter and Travis Pastrana in the opening round. Jimmie Johnson has, however, announced his intention to join the grid later in the season.

Three teams remain unchanged heading into the new campaign. Molly Taylor and Kevin Hansen will continue with Veloce, Johan Kristofferson and Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky with RXR, and Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen with Andretti.

JBXE will introduce a new driver to the series, as Saudi Arabian driver Dania Akeel partners Andreas Bakkerud. Bakkerud joined the team in Season 3, but finished joint last.

Last season’s championship runners-up, Acciona Sainz, have stuck by Laia Sanz for the coming year, despite her mistake costing the team the title. Replacing Mattias Ekstrom at the Spanish team will be former X44 driver Fraser McConnell.

Finally, McLaren have an all new driver pairing. Mattias Ekstrom has made the jump to the iconic team, where he will be partnered by Cristina Gutierrez.

Rules:

With the grid shrinking from ten teams to eight, there have been a few minor tweaks to the rule book.

Qualifying heats will now consist of four cars each, and the grid for Q2 will no longer be determined by the results of Q1. Both the redemption race and the grand final will also have four cars each.

Teams must also ensure that both their male and female drivers start an equal number of races across the season. This will add a new tactical element, as teams decide which tracks to start each driver.

Calendar:

The season once again starts with the Desert XPrix in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on the 17th and 18th February.

There will then be a five month gap before a European race – yet to be confirmed – on the 13th and 14th July.

The Island XPrix returns to Sardinia, Italy, with four rounds hosted over two weekends in September. The first two rounds at the island XPrix will take place on the 14th and 15th September, with the other two rounds a week later on the 21st and 22nd September.

The USA will host the Extreme E finale, with the Valley XPrix taking place in Phoenix, Arizona on the 23rd and 24th November. It will be the first time Extreme E has visited the United States.

Desert XPrix:

Extreme E’s swan song will look to get off to a flyer at the Desert XPrix this weekend. With new teams and new drivers to look out for, it’s sure to be packed full of action.

Extreme E: RXR Win First Copper XPrix to Take Championship Lead

RXR have taken victory in the first Copper XPrix of 2023 as they move to the top of the championship standings with just one round remaining.image courtesy of ExtremeE

An exciting day of action in which the main championship protagonists finished first and second, means the title race is still all to play for.

Here’s how the day unfolded in Round 9.

Qualifying One:

Acciona Sainz’s title challenge suffered a setback in the first qualifying session of the weekend, when their car ground to a halt on the first lap of heat one.

Fellow championship protagonists RXR. who were also in heat one. couldn’t capitalise on Acciona Sainz’s misfortune, however. Whilst jostling for position with the McLaren, the RXR car picked up a rear left puncture. Once the tyre had been changed, all they had to play for was the Continental Traction Challenge.

Veloce won the first heat, taking ten classification points into the second phase of qualifying. Not far behind, JBXE picked up second, with McLaren dropping to third after a penalty for the incident with RXR.

The second heat in Qualifying One was  a much more tightly contested affair. Carl Cox Motorsport took an early lead, but there wasn’t much to separate the drivers after the first lap.

But, this is Extreme E, and disaster is never far away. Whilst going down the drop, the Chip Ganassi machine dug into the banking and rolled over onto it’s roof. Fortunately, RJ Anderson was able to walk away.

The rest of the heat remained tight between the remaining drivers, but a last lap overtake saw X44 take the top spot. Andretti United were just over a second behind, with Carl Cox and ABT Cupra just 14 seconds back.

Qualifying Two:

Qualifying Two Heat One was a very hectic affair, with multiple red flags during the race.

Acciona Sainz, ABT Cupra, Veloce, Andretti United, and McLaren all got away well from the start line, making turn one very congested.

With all the cars neck and neck into the first turn, there was no room for error. Unfortunately for ABT Cupra, Hosas in the McLaren did make an error, braking too late and sending the ABT car rolling onto its side. A red flag was called but ABT were out of the race.

The restart was fairly quiet, until halfway around the lap when the Veloce car suffered a mechanical failure. Catie Munnings in the Andretti United car was unable to see the slowing Veloce and ran up and over the car. Munnings was able to get out of her car, but was taken to hospital for precautionary checks.

The final restart offered a lifeline to Acciona Sainz, as just they and McLaren took the start. In the end it was a fairly comfortable victory for the Spanish team, as they secured they spot in the final after setting a fast super sector time.

The final heat was fairly calm by Extreme E’s standards. X44 got the best getaway but RXR were not far behind.

After the switch zone, Fraser McConnell of X44 went into a corner too deep, and the RXR car was able to take a lead they would not lose.

RXR won the heat, with X44 not far behind in P2. Carl Cox finished in a respectable third, with JBXE and Chip Ganassi bringing up the rear.

Qualifying Classification:

  1. X44 18 Points
  2. Veloce 16 Points
  3. RXR 14 Points
  4. McLaren 14 Points
  5. Acciona Sainz 12 Points
  6. Carl Cox 12 Points
  7. JBXE 12 Points 
  8. Andretti United 12 Points 
  9. ABT Cupra 6 Points
  10. Chip Ganassi 4 Points

X44 topped the qualifying session with 18 classification points. Championship rivals Veloce, RXR, and Acciona Sainz all also made it through, though the latter had to rely on their Continental Traction Challenge time.

Redemption Race:

Just three cars made the start of the redemption race, as ABT Cupra had too much damage to repair and Andretti United’s Munnings was still being assessed at the hospital.

The reduced grid made for a much calmer race than Extreme E is used to. Timo Scheider for Carl Cox Motorsport got the best start, and gave the team a lead they would not lose.

JBXE had initially taken second place, but suffered a mechanical issue which saw them drop to the back and ultimately grind to a halt just before the end.

Carl Cox won the redemption race, scoring 8 points in the championship. Championship contenders Chip Ganassi had a day to forget, picking up just 6 points.

Final:

The penultimate final of the season was a thrilling battle between the two main championship challengers: Acciona Sainz and RXR.

The lights went out and Acciona Sainz took an early lead, ahead of RXR and X44. Veloce didn’t get off the line and retired from the start.

The cars were all neck and neck around the first two laps, before RXR just pulled alongside the Acciona Sainz car as they entered the switch zone.

Mattias Ekstrom in the Acciona Sainz spotted a gap in the rules and cut the corner in the switch zone to put his car ahead of the RXR machine.

However, disaster struck for Acciona Sainz, as dust blew across the front of their car just as Laia Sanz was waiting to see when she could leave. She was held up for just a few seconds too long and RXR took the lead of the race.

Some excellent defensive driving from Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky kept the RXR ahead as the teams crossed the line separated by just three tenths of a second.

RXR, Acciona Sainz, and X44 completed the podium, with McLaren coming in fourth place for the round.

Round 9 Classification:

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

Championship Standings:

  1. RXR – 164 Points
  2. Acciona Sainz – 158 Points
  3. Veloce – 129 Points
  4. Chip Ganassi – 105 Points
  5. X44 – 103 Points
  6. ABT Cupra – 75 Points
  7. Andretti United – 71 Points
  8. McLaren – 57 Points
  9. Carl Cox Motorsport – 48 Points
  10. JBXE – 46 Points 

RXR take the lead of the championship by just six points heading into the final round of the weekend. Veloce, Chip Ganassi, and X44 have all fallen out of championship contention, meaning the fight for the title will feature just the top two teams. It’s sure to be a enthralling end to the season tomorrow.

Extreme E: Championship Fight Comes to a Head in Chile Finale

  • Image courtesy of Extreme EThe third season of Extreme E will reach its conclusion in Antofagasta, Chile this weekend (2nd-3rd December) with five teams still in title contention.

Current championship leaders, Acciona Sainz, hold a narrow three point gap over Season 1 winners, Rosberg X Racing (RXR). The two teams have been the most consistent on the grid, scoring an impressive five podiums (two wins) each.

Also still in the championship battle are Veloce, Chip Ganassi, and X44, who currently lie 21, 40, and 52 points off the top respectively. It would take a bizarre set of circumstances for X44 to retain their crown come the end of the season, but anything can (and usually does) happen in Extreme E.

Driver Changes

Aside from the championship battle, we also have some new (and old) faces returning to the Extreme E grid.

McLaren driver Emma Gilmour is still recovering from her injury from last time out in Sardinia and is replaced by JBXE’s Hedda Hosas. Hosas and JBXE have struggled to find form so far this year, making the Grand Final just twice in eight races.

Tamara Molinaro, who had previously stood in for Gilmour as the championship driver, will fill Hosas’ seat at JBXE.

Image courtesy of Extreme E

Over at ABT Cupra, Adrien Tambay will make his Extreme E debut, taking over from fellow Frenchman Sebastian Loeb. Tambay has little to no off-road racing experience, but he did win the eTouring Car World Cup in 2022 with the Cupra team.

Standing in as reserves for this weekend are Patrick O’Donovan, and the loveable Christine GZ.

Format

The format for the weekend remains unchanged from the rest of the season.

Teams will take part in two qualifying races, earning classification points depending on their finishing positions. The points will be added up, and the five teams with the most points will progress to the final. The remaining five teams will compete in the redemption race.

Bonus championship points will be awarded for the fastest Continental Traction Challenge time for each round of the double-header.

Championship Standings:

  1. Acciona Sainz – 139 Points
  2. Rosberg X Racing – 136 Points
  3. Veloce Racing – 118 Points
  4. Chip Ganassi – 99 Points
  5. X44 – 87 Points
  6. ABT Cupra – 75 Points
  7. Andretti – 71 Points
  8. McLaren – 45 Points
  9. JBXE – 42 Points
  10. Carl Cox Motorsport – 40 Points

Extreme E: RXR Double at Island XPrix

Imagine courtesy of Extreme ENico Rosberg’s team, RXR, won both races at this weekend’s Island XPrix, putting them right back into championship contention.

Meanwhile Acciona Sainz took advantage of Veloce’s poor weekend, going into the lead of the championship with two second place finishes.

Round 5 Redemption Race:

A bad qualifying from the championship leaders saw Veloce compete in the redemption race against McLaren, X44, Carl Cox Motorsport, and JBXE.

Contact off the start line with McLaren caused Bakkerud in the JBXE machine to spin out. The McLaren would lose its door.

But with all the chaos going on behind them. Veloce cruised to a win in the redemption race, securing crucial points in their championship fight.

Round 5 Final:

The top five qualifiers from the round five competed in a thrilling final.

As the cars raced towards the first turn, Johann Kristofferson was forced off into the bushes.

Miraculously, the car was relatively unharmed and the experienced swede quickly got it going again.

Kristofferson made light work of the ABT Cupra car, which had picked up a puncture, before closing down on Acciona Sainz.

After the switch Kristofferson’s teammate, Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky, passed Acciona Sainz and looked to overtake Andretti United.

However, contact between the two cars saw the Andretti United roll onto its side. The driver, Catie Munnings, was unharmed but unable to finish the race.

Chip Ganassi crossed the line first but a penalty for a switch-zone infringement saw them drop down into third, behind RXR and Acciona Sainz.

Round 6 Redemption Race:

If Veloce thought Sunday would allow them to bounce back, they were to be mistaken, as they once again found themselves in the Redemption Race.

ABT Cupra got the best start and led into the first turn, swiftly followed by X44 and Veloce.

It was a relatively uneventful race after the initial start, with ABT Cupra taking the victory. Veloce finished in second, and X44 were just behind in third.

Round 6 Final:

In a move similar to the previous day’s Final, Andretti United’s Timmy Hansen was forced into the bushes off the start line.

Learning from the day before, though, was Kristofferson, who initially slowed to avoid getting squeezed, before storming into the lead in the aftermath of the contact ahead. Acciona Sainz were just behind.

Though the cars ran fairly close to one another for the entire race, there was little action for the remainder of the race, and RXR took their second win of the weekend.

Acciona Sainz finished in second and Andretti United rounded out the podium.

Championship Standings:

  1. Acciona Sainz – 109 Points
  2. RXR – 105 Points
  3. Veloce – 95 Points
  4. Carl Cox Motorsport – 80 Points
  5. X44 – 59 Points
  6. Andretti United – 55 Points
  7. McLaren – 44 Points
  8. ABT Cupra – 40 Points
  9. Carl Cox Motorsports – 26 Points
  10. JBXE – 26 Points

Another fascinating weekend of Extreme E is over and only two rounds remain in the season. The next round location is yet to be confirmed but a trip to the Americas seems likely. You won’t want to miss it!

Extreme E: Veloce Take Title Lead with Win in Scotland

Image courtesy of Extreme EVeloce won Round 4 of the Extreme E championship to take the lead in the title race. Here’s how the day’s action unfolded.

Qualifying 1:

No sign of the fog that cancelled Saturday’s Qualifying 1 session, as the teams looked to start the final day of the Hydro XPrix on the front font.

In the first heat, contested between Chip Ganassi, Carl Cox, ABT Cupra, X44, and RXR, Chip Ganassi took an early lead.

As they entered the switch zone, the front four teams were neck and neck, with Carl Cox some way behind.

After the teams had switched drivers, X44 closed in on the ABT Cupra car. Eventually, the two teams made contact, and X44 went through. Race Control, however, took a dim view of the contact that aided the pass, and swapped the positions back again.

Chip Ganassi crossed the line to win the first heat of the day, with RXR in second. ABT came in third, X44 behind them, and Carl Cox Motorsport propped up the results.

The remaining five cars competed against each other in Qualifying 1 Heat 2.  Acciona Sainz led off the start line, and would not lose the lead for the entirety of the race.

Meanwhile, further behind them, a spin for Timmy Hansen in the Andretti car saw them drop to the back. McLaren also passed Veloce before the switch zone.

The second half of the race was a sedate affair, though Veloce picked up a 10s penalty for downing a flag.

Acciona Sainz win their heat, with McLaren in P2. Veloce finished P3, and JBXE and Andretti rounded off the first part of qualifying.

Qualifying 2:

The Scottish weather Gods, who had been kind enough to allow  Qualifying 1 to go ahead today,  decided they wanted to spice things up between the two sessions.

Heavy rain made for a particularly tricky track, which would cause many problems for the drivers for the rest of the day.

As the drivers hit they hay to get Qualifying 2 Heat 1 underway, three drivers, quite literally, Hit The Hay.

First the McLaren, who had made the best start, spun the car and collided with the hay bales at the side of the track. They were, however, able to continue.

Behind the McLaren, the Carl Cox and ABT Cupra machines weren’t so lucky. Unsighted by the mud on their windscreens, they drove straight into the hay bales and were both forced to retire.

After a brief red flag, the race resumed, though JBXE had issues getting away from the line. A slow-zone had been put in place where the initial carnage occurred and McLaren were caught out, as they over-sped on entry.

Though McLaren would cross the line first, a 30s penalty for that over-speeding dropped them into second, behind Chip Ganassi. JBXE finished third whilst the two retires never resumed after the red flag.

More carnage in the final Qualifying heat as Acciona Sainz and RXR made contact on the run down to the first corner. Acciona Sainz spun out, and the RXR car was sent careering over the crest of the first turn and smashed into X44. Amazingly, only RXR were forced to retire.

Another red flag came and went, though there was some confusion as to whether Acciona Sainz would be allowed to start. Marshals told them they couldn’t as they made their way to the grid, despite a broken suspension.

Veloce took the win, as Andretti passed X44 for second place.

Qualifying Classification:

The win in both heats saw Chip Ganassi top qualifying, with Veloce, McLaren, RXR, and Acciona Sainz making it through to the final with them.

  1. Chip Ganassi – 20 Points
  2. Veloce – 16 Points
  3. McLaren – 16 Points
  4. RXR – 12 Points
  5. Acciona Sainz – 12 Points
  6. X44 – 10 Points
  7. JBXE – 10 Points
  8. Andretti – 10 Points
  9. ABT Cupra – 8 Points
  10. Carl Cox Motorsport – 6 Points

Redemption Race:

Only four of the five cars due to compete in the Redemption Race took the start, as issues for the Carl Cox team compounded a miserable day.

Extreme E’s newest driver, Andreas Bakkerud, took an early lead in the JBXE car, which the team would not lose.

Further behind, X44 were unsighted by the mud and slammed into the back of the ABT Cupra machine. The damage sustained by the X44 was too great to continue.

Apart from that incident, it was a rather sedate affair as teams struggled for visibility in the mud. JBXE won the redemption race and earned some crucial championship points.

Andretti began closing in on JBXE in the final lap, but they would ultimately finish second, ahead of the ABT Cupra.

Final:

The five top qualifiers competed for a spot on the podium in the final race of the weekend.

Veloce led off the start line, though they were side-by-side with another team going into the slow-zone – a legacy of the crash in Qualifying 2 Heat 1.

Veloce would come out of the slow-zone in the lead, though behind them Tanner Foust in the McLaren pulled off a brilliant move around the outside of the Acciona Sainz for P2.

After the switch-zone the drivers’ poor visibility really came to a head. RXR had closed in on the Acciona Sainz car, but as they looked to overtake, the two cars made contact and spun round.

Unsighted, the two teams drove head-on into each other as they looked to get going again. Thankfully, it was a slow-speed collision and both drivers were okay, though the RXR car could not continue the race.

In all of that mayhem, Chip Ganassi snook past the two of them, and would seal a solid 3rd place for the American team.

Veloce went on to win the race, putting the back in charge of the title race. McLaren finished second.

Round 4 Classification:

  1. Veloce
  2. McLaren
  3. Chip Ganassi
  4. Acciona Sainz
  5. RXR
  6. JBXE
  7. Andretti
  8. ABT Cupra
  9. X44
  10. Carl Cox Motorsport

Championship Standings:

Veloce’s win see them move into first in the standings, leapfrogging Acciona Sainz who drop into second.

A close battle for third sees three teams separated by just two points, whilst JBXE continue to prop up the leaderboard.

  1. Veloce – 80 Points
  2. Acciona Sainz – 69 Points
  3. RXR – 52 Points
  4. X44 – 51 Points
  5. Chip Ganassi – 50 Points
  6. McLaren – 36 Points
  7. Andretti – 29 Points
  8. Carl Cox Motorsport – 23 Points
  9. ABT Cupra – 20 Points
  10. JBXE – 15 Points

The fifth and sixth rounds of the championship see us return to an Extreme E favourite – Sardinia, Italy – on the 8th-9th July. With the season now in full swing, you would be a fool to miss it.

Extreme E: All-Electric Off-Road Series Comes to Scotland

Images courtesy of Extreme EExtreme E will take to an old Scottish coal mine for the Hydro XPrix this weekend. This is only the second time the series has raced in the UK, with the UK’s last event coming at the end of the first season in Dorset.

New Driver Line-Up:

With the long gap between rounds, Extreme E is known for its constant adjustments. But with the series now in its third season, it appears that the championship has become more stable – with just one change from the last round in Neom, Saudi Arabia.

It appeared that Jensen Button’s team, JBXE, had pulled off a major coup when they signed former Formula One driver Heikki Kovalainen at the start of this campaign. But, after a less than impressive debut, the team have opted for experienced rally driver Andreas Bakkerud.

Bakkerud has won two Super1600’s and has seven wins in the World Rallycross Championship.

Carlos Sainz Sr remains side-lined by a back injury he sustained at the 2023 Dakar Rally. Mattias Ekstrom will continue to partner Laia Sanz in his stead.

Format:

If you missed the last round, you may not be aware of the new format for this season.

Now, both the Saturday and Sunday are their own separate events with two rounds of qualifying, a redemption race, and a final each.

Timed qualifying has been ditched for this season, with teams now competing in two five-car heats, in which teams are awarded classification points based on finishing position.

After qualifying is completed, the five teams with the most classification points progress to the final. The other five teams compete in the Redemption Race. In the event that multiple teams are tied for classification points, the team that has the fastest combined male-female time in the Continental Traction Challenge will be classified ahead.

Championship Standings:

After a tough first two seasons, the surprise of the last round were Veloce, who currently tied Acciona Sainz for the lead of the championship.

The team has an all new driver-pairing for this year (Kevin Hansen and inaugural Extreme E champion Molly Taylor) which looks to have turned their fortunes around.

A difficult opening weekend for Andretti sees them prop up the table with a 10th and an 8th placed finish.

  1. Veloce – 46 Points
  2. Acciona Sainz – 46 Points
  3. Rosberg X Racing – 31 Points
  4. X44 – 23 Points
  5. Chip Ganassi – 21 Points
  6. ABT Cupra – 15 Points
  7. McLaren – 14 Points
  8. Carl Cox Motorsport – 8 Points
  9. JBXE – 5 Points
  10. Andretti – 5 Points

Legacy Programme:

As viewers of the series will be aware, one of the main aims of Extreme E is to raise awareness of different environmental issues, and leave a positive impact on their race locations.

This weekend, the focus is on energy, with the track being held at a former coal mine. The mine was closed in 2012 but will soon become a Pumped Storage Hydropower plant and wind farm.

For its legacy programme, the series will work with various organisations to help restore and protect salmon stocks on the River Nith.

When and Where to Watch:

UK viewers will be able to watch qualifying on YouTube at 7am, with the race broadcast being  on ITV1 at 1pm both days.

After Veloce’s shock win last round, make sure you tune in this weekend for guaranteed racing excitement!

Extreme E: Veloce take Maiden Win in Opening Race

The opening day of the new Extreme E season was full of action, which ultimately saw Veloce win their first ever Extreme E race. Here’s a roundup of the day’s action.

Image courtesy of Extreme E

Qualifying 1:

The first action of the day, Qualifying 1 Heat 1, saw Extreme E’s newest team, Carl Cox Motorsport, take on ABT Cupra, Andretti United, Acciona Sainz, and Chip Ganassi.

Chip Ganassi were best off the line and took an early lead. Acciona Sainz were right on their tails. Despite being close behind, there was little action before the switch zone, with Chip Ganassi heading out Acciona Sainz, Carl Cox Motorsport, Andretti United, and ABT Cupra.

The pressure eased on Chip Ganassi after the switch zone after Laia Sanz in the Acciona Sainz team got a bit too close to the water’s edge, costing the team a lot of time.

Further behind, ABT Cupra’s Klara Andersson also got too close to the water. All the way to the back.

The biggest drama of the session, however, was when Catie Munnings rolled her Andretti United car whilst attempting an overtake on Carl Cox Motorsport. Thankfully Munnings was okay, but the team would not finish the race.

Chip Ganassi crossed the line first, receiving 10 intermediate points and the first championship point of the season. Acciona Sainz came second with championship new boys, Carl Cox Motorsport, picking up six intermediate points.

Qualifying 1 Heat 1 Classification:

  1. Chip Ganassi 11:32.914 – 10 Intermediate Points
  2. Acciona Sainz +3.384 – 8 Points
  3. Carl Cox Motorsport +18.663 – 6 Points
  4. ABT Cupra +57.726 – 4 Points
  5. Andretti United DNF – 0 Points

Qualifying 1 Heat 2:

The five remaining cars, JBXE, McLaren, X44, RXR, and Veloce, all competed in Heat 2.

Qualifying 1 Heat 2 was a much calmer affair. Whilst the teams were all tightly packed, the only move of note was a lovely move from X44’s Fraser McConnel to take the lead.

X44 crossed the line first, with Veloce just behind, and JBXE in third. Season 1 championship winners, RXR, finished fourth ahead of McLaren.

Qualifying 1 Heat 2 Classification:

  1. X44 12:32.993 – 10 Points
  2. Veloce +8.734 – 8 Points
  3. JBXE +19.100 – 6 Points
  4. RXR +20.980 – 4 Points
  5. McLaren +28.728 – 2 Points

Qualifying 2 Heat 1:

The second part of qualifying saw Chip Ganassi, Carl Cox Motorsport, Andretti United, Veloce, and RXR all compete for more intermediate points in Heat 1.

After a messy start, Veloce took an early lead that they would not relinquish. RXR made some good overtakes on first Carl Cox Motorsport, then Chip Ganassi, but that would be the extent of the action. Carl Cox Motorsport would later grind to a halt after experiencing a technical issue.

Veloce won the heat, securing their place in the final, whilst Andretti United’s fourth place cemented their spot in the redemption race.

Qualifying 2 Heat 1 Classification:

  1. Veloce 11.380 – 10 Points
  2. RXR +8.86 – 8 Points
  3. Chip Ganassi +14.42 – 6 Points
  4. Andretti United +25.39 – 4 Points
  5. Carl Cox Motorsport – 0 Points

Qualifying 2 Heat 2:

The final qualifying race consisted of Acciona Sainz, ABT Cupra, X44, JBXE, and McLaren.

As the lights went out, Laia Sanz for Acciona Sainz got a lightening start, with X44 and JBXE battling ot out for second place behind.

After the start there was little action, and Acciona Sainz topped both their heat and qualifying overall. X44 finished in second place, with McLaren finishing in third.

When all the intermediate points were added up, three teams, Acciona Sainz, RXR, and Veloce, had 18 points, only being separated by times through the Continental Traction Challenge

Qualifying 2 Heat 2 Classification:

  1. Acciona Sainz 11:29 – 10 Points
  2. RXR +5.34 – 8 Points
  3. McLaren +11.34 – 6 Points
  4. ABT Cupra +18.34 – 4 Points
  5. JBXE +25.52 – 2 Points

Overall Qualifying Standings:

  1. Acciona Sainz – 18 Points
  2. X44 – 18 Points
  3. Veloce – 18 Points
  4. Chip Ganassi – 16 Points
  5. RXR – 12 Points
  6. ABT Cupra – 8 Points
  7. JBXE – 8 Points
  8. McLaren – 8 Points
  9. Carl Cox Motorsport – 6 Points
  10. Andretti United – 4 Points

Going through to the final following qualifying were tje top five teams, Acciona Sainz, X44, Veloce, Chip Ganassi, and RXR. The bottom five qualifiers would compete in the redemption race.

Redemption Race:

The redemption race saw the most action of the day, with three cars not seeing its end.

McLaren took an early lead off the start but the main action was happening just behind. Three cars converged through a waypoint with Andretti United coming off worse. Their car rolled over and was unable to continue.

Things calmed down for a couple of minutes after that, but a move from the ABT Cupra car on the McLaren also saw the former end on its side in an incident not dissimilar from Catie Munnings’ in Qualifying One. All drivers were okay but the race was red-flagged.

The race resumed and JBXE reclaimed their lead. However, technical issues for the team saw them slow down and eventually stop, becoming the third retirement of the race.

With three cars out of the race it was a comfortable finish for McLaren, who crossed the line in first, with Carl Cox Motorsport not far behind in second.

Redemption Race Classification:

  1. McLaren 28:55.292
  2. Carl Cox Motorsport +5.552
  3. JBXE DNF
  4. ABT Cupra DNF
  5. Andretti United DNF

Final:

The last race of the day was the final, being fought between the top five qualifiers.

RXR took an early lead with a brilliant move from Johan Kristofferson. All five cars were neck and neck for most of the first lap.

However, Chip Ganassi ran into a technical issue and were forced to retire. A slow zone was put by the stricken car, restricting speeds to the switch zone speed limit. X44 also had an issue and retired not long after.

The remaining teams came into the switch zone with just a few seconds separating them. RXR led, with Veloce in second, and Acciona Sainz in third.

As the cars neared the slow zone, RXR’s Molly Taylor lost track of where she was and failed to slow in time, They were given a post-race penalty of 136 seconds.

There was little going on after that incident, as RXR crossed the line first but Veloce taking the victory. Acciona Sainz came in second and RXR were saved a place on the podium by virtue of the other cars retiring.

Final Classification:

  1. 11:56.291
  2. Acciona Sainz +16.709
  3. RXR + 2:08.041
  4. X44 DNF
  5. Chip Ganassi DNF

Championship Standings:

  1. Veloce – 26 Points
  2. Acciona Sainz – 21 Points
  3. RXR – 15 Points
  4. X44 – 13 Points
  5. Chip Ganassi – 11 Points
  6. McLaren – 8 Points
  7. Carl Cox Motorsport – 6 Points
  8. JBXE – 4 Points
  9. ABT Cupra – 2 Points
  10. Andretti United – 1 Point

So concluded an exciting day’s racing. With the chance to do it all again tomorrow, Veloce will be hoping for a similarly successful day, whilst Andretti United will welcome the chance to immediately get their championship back on track.

Extreme E: What’s new for Season 3?

Images courtesy of Extreme E Extreme E is about to enter its third season and there have been a number of changes over the winter break to get your head around. Luckily, this handy guide breaks it all down for you!

 

Format:

The most noticeable change to Extreme E this year is to the format. Gone are the days of one day for qualifying and one day for races: now each weekend will be a doubleheader! 

Qualifying:

Qualifying remains two separate sessions, but there will be heats in both Qualifying 1 and Qualifying 2. In Qualifying 1, teams will race in one of two five-car heats, with intermediate points being awarded ten through two based on finishing position. 

These heats will also set the grids for Qualifying 2. First, third, and fifth in Qualifying 1 Heat 1 will compete against second and fourth from Qualifying 1 Heat 2 in Qualifying 2 Heat 1. The remaining teams will race each other in Qualifying 2 Heat 2. As with Qualifying 1, intermediate points are awarded ten through two to finishers first through fifth. The teams that win their heat will receive one championship point. 

After both qualifying sessions are complete, intermediate points are added up and the teams are ranked first to tenth from highest points tally to lowest. Any teams that are tied will be separated by their times in the Continental Traction Challenge, which awards the team with the fastest combined time over the course of the day an extra two championship points. Got that? Good! 🙂

Race:

There are no Semi-Finals or Crazy Races this year. Instead, the teams that qualify in the top five positions will go straight through to the Final, whereas the teams that qualify in sixth or lower will face off in the Redemption Race.

Despite its name, the Redemption Race will not provide teams the opportunity to make the final, which remains just five cars. Instead, the teams will attempt to gain as many championship points as they can, with the team finishing first in the Redemption Race receiving eight points. Points awarded for second to fifth in the Redemption Race will be six through one.

The Final remains unchanged from last year and will award 25 points to the winner. Second place will receive 18 points, whilst third, fourth, and fifth will pick up 15, 12, and ten points respectively.

If that doesn’t fill your racing appetite, teams will do it all again the following day! The new double-header race weekend will provide anyone who had a poor Saturday with a great opportunity to immediately bounce back and recover some crucial championship points. So, where are they racing this year?

 

Calendar:

The Season 3 Extreme E calendar will see teams return to some championship favourite locations, as well as some new courses that will provide a fresh challenge.

The season opener is, once again, taking place in Neom, Saudi Arabia this weekend (11th-12th March). Neom hosted the first round of Season 2, which saw the one-time championship winners, Rosberg X Racing, take the victory. Sardinia, Italy; and Antofagasta, Chile also return to this year’s calendar.

There will also be two locations making their Extreme-E-hosting debut. Scotland will run the Hydro XPrix on 13th-14th May, though the exact location is yet to be confirmed. Either the Amazon, or USA will feature a round on 16th-17th September.

The full race calendar is as follows:

11th-12th March – Desert XPrix – Neom, Saudi Arabia

13th-14th May – Hydro XPrix – Scotland

8th-9th July – Island XPrix – Sardinia, Italy

16th-17th September – TBC XPrix – Amazon or USA

2nd-3rd December – Copper XPrix – Antofagasta, Chile

 

Teams and Drivers:

Taking on these challenging courses will be a mixture of new drivers, and old, as well as at least one new team.

The freshest team on the grid, taking the place of Xite Energy, is Carl Cox Motorsport. Racing for British DJ, Carl Cox’s team will be the smiley Spaniard Christine GZ, as well as Timo Scheider. Both GZ and Scheider have a vast amount of experience in the series, which will surely help the team settle in quickly.

Jenson Button’s team, JBXE, will welcome a Finish former Formula 1 driver (no, not THAT one) in Heikki Kovalainen. Compared to much of the grid, Kovalainen has limited rallying experience so he will be hoping that his teammate, Hedda Hosas, can get him up to speed.

Other new additions to the grid include Fraser McConnel, who will drive for X44, and Amanda Sorensen, who will drive the Chip Ganassi car. Mattias Ekstrom will replace Carlos Sainz at Acciona Sainz for the Desert XPrix as the Spaniard is still recovering from an injury.

There was also supposed to be another team joining the grid this year, XE Sports Group. However, they will not race this coming weekend, and it is unconfirmed whether they will join the grid at all this year. Former footballer, Tim Cahill, was set to be one of the team’s backers.

The confirmed driver lineups for the Desert XPrix are as follows:

Veloce Racing – Kevin Hansen and Molly Taylor

Rosberg X Racing – Johan Kristoffersson and Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky

JBXE – Hedda Hosas and Heikki Kovalainen

Andretti Altawkilat Extreme E – Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen

X44 Vida Carbon Racing – Cristina Gutierrez and Fraser McConnell

Acciona Sainz XE Team – Laia Sanz and Mattias Ekstrom

NEOM McLaren Extreme E – Emma Gilmour and Tanner Foust

GMC Hummer EV Chip Ganassi Racing – Amanda Sorensen and RJ Anderson

ABT Cupra XE – Klara Andersson and Nasser Al-Attiyah

Carl Cox Motorsport – Cristine GZ and Timo Scheider

 

The new season is now just days away and there are many questions just waiting to be answered. Will the change in driver lineup put reigning champions X44 on the backfoot? Will Heikki Kovalainen fare any better than his new boss Jensen Button did back in Season 1? How will championship newcomers Carl Cox Motorsport handle the series? And what impact will the change in format have on the series? Tune in on Saturday as we attempt to uncover the answers.

RXR Top Qualifiers Once Again


image courtesy of Extreme E

RXR topped qualifying for the second time in as many rounds in Sardinia today, taking maximum points from the two sessions.

Qualifying 1:

By Extreme E’s standards, Qualifying 1 was a very sedate affair, with all teams able to post a time.

RXR were the first team to do their run, and they set a benchmark time of 9:00.503, some 10 seconds quicker than they set around the same track just a few days earlier.

RXR’s benchmark would not be beaten, with some drivers blaming evolving track conditions for their inability to beat it. Chip Ganassi went closest, with X44 not far behind.

Maximum classification points for Qualifying 1 were awarded to RXR, with Veloce’s continuing run of poor form see them prop up the classification.

Qualifying 1 Classification:

  1. RXR  9:00.503  –  10 Points
  2. Chip Ganassi  +10.741  –  9 Points
  3. X44  +11.374  –  8 Points
  4. McLaren +15.126  –  7 Points
  5. Andretti United  +15.203  –  6 Points
  6. ABT Cupra  +16.919  –  5 Points
  7. JBXE  +21.634  –  4 Points
  8. Acciona Sainz  +21.701  –  3 Points
  9. Xite Energy  +22.917  –  2 points
  10. Veloce  +34.065  –  1 Point

Qualifying 2 Heat 1:

The first heat of Qualifying 1 was contested between Xite Energy, Andretti United, X44, RXR, and JBXE.

RXR got the best start and took the lead of the race. Despite some intense pressure from X44 on the first lap, they would not relinquish the lead of the race.

Further behind, Xite Energy made contact with Andretti United, causing the right rear suspension to break on the Andretti car. Timmy Hansen, who was driving in the Andretti at the time, lost the back end, and spun. They dropped to the back of the field and would not complete their second lap.

After the switching of drivers, Xite Energy’s Tamara Molinaro overtook the less experienced JBXE driver, Hedda Hosas for third place.

X44 received a post heat penalty for leaving the switch zone early, but it was not enough to see them drop any positions.

Qualifying 2 Heat 1 Classification:

  1. RXR  –  10 Points
  2. X44  –  8 Points
  3. Xite  –  6 Points
  4. JBXE  –  4 Points
  5. Andretti  –  0 Points

Qualifying 2 Heat 2:

McLaren, Chip Ganassi, ABT Cupra, Acciona Sainz, and Veloce all competed against one another in the second and final heat in Qualifying 2.

Acciona Sainz got the best start, swiftly taking the lead before the first waypoint. Kyle Leduc in the Chip Ganassi harried the Acciona Sainz car for much of the lap, but was unable to make the move.

Towards the end of the first lap, Leduc made a mistake, seeing him lose control of the car and go the wrong way. The Chip Ganassi team dropped back into fourth place following Leduc’s off-course excursion.

Not much would happen for the remainder of the heat, as Acciona Sainz took a comfortable win ahead of McLaren and ABT Cupra.

Chip Ganassi received a 10 second penalty for dropping a waypoint marker, seeing them fall into last place in the second heat.

Qualifying 2 Heat 2 Classification:

  1. Acciona Sainz  –  10 Points
  2. McLaren  –  8 Points
  3. ABT Cupra  –  6 Points
  4. Veloce  –  4 Points
  5. Chip Ganassi  –  2 Points

Overall Qualifying Classification:

  1. RXR  20 Points
  2. X44   16 Points
  3. McLaren  15 Points
  4. Acciona Sainz  13 Points
  5. Chip Ganassi  11 Points
  6. ABT Cupra  11 Points
  7. JBXE  8 Points
  8. Xite Energy   8 Points
  9. Andretti United   6 Points
  10. Veloce  5 Points

RXR completed another qualifying clean sweep, putting them into Semi Final 1 against Acciona Sainz and Chip Ganassi.

Semi Final 2 will feature X44, McLaren, and ABT Cupra. JBXE, Xite Energy, Andretti United, and Veloce will all face off in the Crazy Race for the fifth and final place in the Final.

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