(Motorsport) Rosberg X Racing have been crowned champions of the inaugural Extreme E season after securing the title in the season ending Jurassic X Prix in Dorset, United Kingdom where they finished fourth. Despite the fact that Rosberg X Racing finished with 155 points, equal to X44 who won the Jurassic X Prix, Johan Kristoffersson and Molly Taylor were crowned champions because they won more X Prix’s over the course of the season with three wins from five events.
For X44, Sébastien Loeb and Cristina Gutiérrez finally achieved their first Extreme E win at the Jurassic X Prix and won five extra points for being the fastest through the Continental Traction Challenge but fell short of winning the title. Jenson Button’s JBXE and Andretti United Extreme E reached the podium places in the final race of the season, finishing second and third respectively while ACCIONA | Sainz finished fifth, behind the new champions Rosberg X Racing.
Johan Kristoffersson, RXR: “It’s fantastic; this has been a new racing series, new team, and new locations but we’ve worked so hard to get here, and to be champions really feels amazing. Molly [Taylor] drove excellently today, managing the challenging conditions and I knew that all that remained for me was to not make any mistakes and bring the car home safely. We’re delighted to be champions and look forward to celebrating with the team.”
Molly Taylor, RXR: “It feels amazing to be the first-ever championship winner of Extreme E. This season has been brutal, racing in some of the most remote parts of the world in truly extreme conditions but we’ve worked together as a team and we’re delighted with this result. The nerves were definitely there today but Johan [Kristoffersson] and I kept our eyes on the final prize, and the whole team effort across many months has brought us to this point today.”
Nico Rosberg, RXR Founder and CEO, said: “We are so delighted to be crowned the inaugural Extreme E Champions and I am really proud of the entire RXR team. The team has worked so hard all season and performed consistently, racing in some of the world’s most remote locations. To be Champions is such an honour.
“A massive congratulations to our drivers, Molly Taylor and Johan Kristoffersson, who have been excellent all season. We came into Extreme E to raise awareness of climate change, and promote sustainability, but also as a racing team, we want to win and so we will remember this feeling forever.”
Alejandro Agag, Founder and CEO of Extreme E, said: “We are really happy with the first Extreme E season. It has not been easy in the middle of a pandemic, but we have delivered five X Prix events, and the Finale in Dorset produced some spectacular racing. Since our first event in Saudi Arabia we have had a lot of eventful and incredible moments ending in a brilliant title decider today.
“I must say congratulations to RXR – they did a great job in winning the first ever Extreme E Championship. I must also say well done to X44 who were the victors at the Jurassic X Prix today and really deserved the win after being the fastest qualifiers at every X Prix this season. We are now looking forward to what we hope will be a fantastic Season 2.”
Also read: ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team quickest ahead of Extreme E Season Finale
The Jurassic X Prix started off with X44 getting the perfect start ahead of Molly Taylor from RXR while JBXE’s Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky, Andretti United Extreme E’s Catie Munnings and ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team’s Laia Sanz fighting for position behind. X44’s Gutiérrez managed to pull away from the pack while Molly Taylor lost places from Åhlin-Kottulinsky and Munnings, slipping into fourth position. It was a risky situation for Rosberg X Racing who could only win the title if they finished above fourth position in the final race.
The third place battle was equally fierce as JBXE and Andretti United Extreme E fought a heated battle and there was drama involved during the driver switch as the cars collided, sending Munnings into a spin. However, she could manage to get her car in control and retained third place, ahead of RXR and ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team. Sebastian Loeb maintained X44’s lead over JBXE’s Kevin Hansen after the driver switch while Andretti United Extreme E’s Timmy Hansen was third.
Carlos Sainz Sr. and Johan Kristoffersson fought hard for the fourth position but the Rosberg X Racing team gained an advantage during the driver switch when ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team encountered some problems. This proved to be the turning point in Rosberg X Racing finishing in fourth position and guaranteeing themselves of the title as celebrations began when Kristoffersson crossed the finish line.
Sébastien Loeb, X44: “This has been a challenging championship for us, but this weekend was the best so far. We came first in Qualifying in every X Prix, but we kept having bad luck in the Finals so to end on equal points with RXR after the season they’ve had is incredible and shows what we can do.
“I’m confident we will do even better next year, but for now we will be celebrating with the team!”
Cristina Gutiérrez, X44: “I am so happy – finally we have won an X Prix! I’m very proud of Seb [Loeb] and everyone in the team. It has been a tough year, but they all worked really hard and today it paid off.
“A first place race finish and second in the championship is amazing, and of course congratulations to RXR for such a great season. I can’t wait to come back next year and see what else we can do!”
Kevin Hansen, JBXE: “As soon as I stepped into the team Mikaela [Åhlin-Kottulinsky] and I have done everything we can to be as fast as possible because with all the cars being the same the driving is the biggest part. To be competitive on four very different courses as part of such a young team that joined late to the series, means that I am super proud of our performance.”
Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky, JBXE: “It is incredible that we have been on the podium in the last four rounds. I want to say thank you to the team because we have been making a step forward at each round and that has brought us here. I did teach Kevin [Hansen] to drift on ice when he was about 13 and that was key to this year!
“It is all about details when it comes to performance and since we speak the same language we can get those nailed and we work together really well.”
Timmy Hansen, Andretti United Extreme E: “It was actually one of the more simpler weekends of the season and it was straightforward where the line would be. Of course there was the mud, but it was more about being in the right place on the track. I enjoyed that and the level of the drivers around this paddock, male and female, has been really high. We pushed each other hard. I went over the limit in Qualifying 2 yesterday, so it has been challenging but enjoyable.
“It has been very exciting and it looks like in the world of motorsport it is going more and more electric.”
Catie Munnings, Andretti United Extreme E: “It was a crazy Final! The visibility was quite poor on the course. I got pushed a couple of times, and coming into the Switch Zone I kind of had the line and was then pushed into the ditch, which was really disappointing when we were fighting for third in the Championship.
“But it was always going to be a crazy race with the amount of water and mud here, and actually following one of those cars you realise how fast it is and how on the limit we all are.”
1. X44 (Sébastien Loeb / Cristina Gutiérrez) 3 laps (9:20:609)
2. JBXE (Kevin Hansen / Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky) (+3.613)
3. Andretti United Extreme E (Timmy Hansen / Catie Munnings) (+9.735)
4. Rosberg X Racing (Johan Kristoffersson / Molly Taylor) (+15.798)
5. ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team (Carlos Sainz Snr. / Laia Sanz) (+31.101)