X44 set the pace in practice ahead of the Enel Island X Prix
(Motorsports news) The action got underway in Sardinia today as 18 drivers had their first taste of the 7-kilometre Enel X Island X Prix course, it was the most anticipated and challenging experience so far this season.
Solid rock bases and water splashes were the new challenges in the Extreme E field, and being able to master these difficult conditions quickly ensures there is a lot of scope to improve in the series’ inaugural European round.
Alejandro Agag, Founder and CEO of Extreme E, said: “We love this location and it’s great also to see St. Helena from the course. It’s really great to be in Europe and the response we have had to the race has been fantastic.
“I would like to thank our hosts, the Italian Army, and the region of Sardinia which is truly an amazing place. It is also great to have the Island X Prix’s title sponsor, Enel X, here this weekend. We have a very long relationship with Enel X, first from Formula E and now with Extreme E.
“Sardinia has proven to be a very different setting to our last race in the Arctic in Greenland. It’s been great watching the cars out on the course, especially as it’s really tough here. We will have to see how it is with the dust and if we have rain over the weekend. We have many things in motion, and so we will have to see how it is tomorrow and during the racing on Sunday.”
Michele Cecchini, Head of E Motorsport at Enel X, said: “We at Enel X are very proud to be here as part of this championship. It’s extremely fascinating in terms of sustainability and how we can improve motorsport, and we are super excited to be a part of that.
“We want to develop technologies, we want to develop effective solutions and we believe that in motorsport we can really define what the real requirements are. We like the idea of accelerating what we are doing with motorsport, particularly in Sardinia.
“It has been hard to see what has happened here in Sardinia, and so alongside developing sustainable solutions we are very pleased that we have been able to be part of the recovery programme here.”
A brief Shakedown session was followed by Free Practice, seeing the cars back on the course for the first time since August certainly set the tone for tomorrow’s qualifying runs and Sunday’s all-important Finals.
Championship challenger X44 was the fastest out of the blocks in the Free Practice session, posting a total time of 11:53:421 to lead the field. SEGI TV Chip Ganassi Racing were second quickest, just under 20 seconds off X44’s pace. Behind them were the early Free Practice pace-setters Veloce Racing, who ensured they finished third fastest. XITE ENERGY RACING enjoyed a solid start to the weekend and ended the session in fourth ahead of Championship leaders Rosberg X Racing who completed the top five in the practice session.
The top-two last time out in Greenland endured a troubled start to the Enel X Island X Prix. Both Andretti United Extreme E and JBXE suffered significant damage in Free Practice which meant they were unable to complete their respective runs, with both squads in a race against time to get their cars fixed ahead of tomorrow’s qualifying sessions.
Sébastien Loeb, X44, said: “I have some good memories from Sardinia in WRC, so I like this surface to drive on. It is a bit different from what we had in the other events with a lot of sand and big ruts, so you know it is hard. It is a bit more like a rallying style of driving, with more routes and some tight corners.
“Hopefully it will be fine for us and hopefully the other teams will find the solutions to the different problems they had so we will have a good fight this weekend.”
Sara Price, SEGI TV Chip Ganassi Racing, said: “I like this kind of terrain – it reminds me of home and also the Baja. It is going well so far and we just want to keep it that way, so we’re going to go out there and do the best we possibly can.”
Carlos Sainz Snr., ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team said: “In terms of driving I really like the course. It is very complete – you have low, medium and high-speed elements and I would say it is a complete course. It is challenging and that’s good.
“We are hoping for a good weekend, but we have unfortunately not started well. We had an issue in practice which meant we couldn’t complete the run – we lost our power steering which meant that I nearly lost the car on the course. It is a pity, especially for Laia [Sanz] being unable to get a true feel for the car. It means we go into qualifying with a lot of unknowns, but hopefully we can prepare well and have a good run tomorrow."
Molly Taylor, Rosberg X Racing, said: “You have to take every corner as it comes. It is interesting because you can see that there is a lot of attrition and typically on a course like this it is more of an endurance course, but then you only have 7-kilometre of it so it is also a sprint. Managing that is certainly a challenge here. We just need to take every corner as it comes and see where we’re at and put our best foot forward.”
Catie Munnings, Andretti United Extreme E, said: “When I did the course walk, I was really nervous about it as it’s really rough and bumpy. I would say it’s one of the hardest courses we’ve had in the championship, especially after coming off smooth Greenland - but I’ve actually really enjoyed it. I thought it would be one of those things where you are trying to survive, but I managed to get in the flow with it.
“Timmy [Hansen] touched a rock on his run and that broke a rear damper. It wasn’t a perfect run for me either, but the sectors were fast and we’ll look to build on that tomorrow.”
Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky, JBXE: “We had a rough start. Neither Kevin nor I managed to do a lap in free practice so it is going to be tough for sure for tomorrow. But we had a good weekend in Greenland, we showed good pace, and we just want to keep going that way.
“We have been watching the others, though, so we will try to figure out what are the best lines and then just drive after what we see. It is a challenging course, so I think it is about pushing where you can push and keeping it safe where you have to keep it safe.”
Qualifying for the Enel X Island X Prix gets underway tomorrow and will be shown across a number of broadcasters including Mediaset in Italy, Fox Sports in the USA, ITV, Sky Sports, BBC digital channels and BT Sport in the UK, Teledeporte in Spain, Prosieben MAXX in Germany, as well as Eurosport across most European Markets.
All times CEST
Saturday 23 October
1100 – 1300 CEST Qualifying Round 1
1600 - 1800 CEST Qualifying Round 2
Sunday 24 October
1200 – 1330 CEST Semi Finals
1600 – 1800 CEST Final
Extreme E expands audience reach with National Geographic in Latin America
London: In the latest motorsports news, Extreme E, the electric motorsport series has announced today that National Geographic will broadcast its magazine programmes - ‘How to Build a Race Car’, ‘The Electric Dream´and ‘Climate Changers’ - along with all of its debut season X Prixs on a delayed basis in its region of Latin America. The programmes will be televised in both Spanish and Portuguese.
In its debut season, this very entertaining ‘sport for purpose’ series has already got off to a rocking start with two amazing events – the first in AlUla, Saudi Arabia, in April followed by the most recent in Dakar, Senegal.
Millions of fans around the globe sat glued to their screens as motorsporting stars like Sara Price, Kyle LeDuc, Jamie Chadwick, Mattias Ekström, Molly Taylor and Johan Kristoffersson, took on the championship in their monster ODYSSEY 21 race cars on gravel, rocks and stunning sand dunes – not only with the objective of taking home the prestigious Extreme E trophies, but also with the goal to create awareness regarding the adverse effects of climate change on these fragile locations.
Alongwith the racing, the Extreme E team also implements Legacy Programmes within the areas it visits with a view to bring about positive change.
Ali Russell, Chief Marketing Officer at Extreme E said: “Extreme E is delighted to have secured National Geographic as a broadcaster. The channel is famed for its brilliant and fascinating documentaries on science, adventure, nature and environmental topics, all of which are subjects close to the heart of our championship.
“As well as our great racing, Extreme E is in essence, a ground-breaking adventure for all of us. I believe that the stories behind the series, the people involved, our legacy projects and even the history of our floating centrepiece, the St. Helena, will delight and inspire National Geographic’s audiences. Coupled with our on-going scientific research into the effects of climate change and what can be done to lessen the terrible damage that its causing, makes for a broadcast that is as captivating as it is eye-opening and we want to share this with as many people as possible.”
Following the first two X Prixs in Saudi Arabia (3-4 April) and Senegal (29-30 May), Extreme E now moves on to Greenland (28-29 August) with the last two race venues to be confirmed. By holding races in locations that are suffering due to the environmental crisis, such as deserts and the Arctic, the objective is to increase viewers' interest and awareness in environmental issues.
Extreme E: Rosberg X Racing wins two out of two after dramatic conclusion of Ocean X Prix
London: Rosberg X Racing drivers Johan Kristoffersson and Molly Taylor emerged victorious yet again at Extreme E’s second X Prix in Lac Rose, Dakar, Senegal (29/30 May) with the brilliant duo overcoming high pressure from their adversaries to be crowned Champions of Extreme's first-ever Ocean X prix.
The pioneering off road racing event featured high drama in the grand final as two of the four cars retired at the first corner, leaving Rosberg X Racing to extend their championship lead and Veloce Racing to notch up a surprise result, bouncing from their nightmare Desert X Prix.
The all-star field of Extreme E drivers took on the tight and technical Ocean X Prix course and yielded close racing and several options for alternate routes which were deployed throughout the two days of the X Prix.
Segi TV Chip Ganassi Racing’s Kyle LeDuc took the Super Sector title, bagging an extra five points for his side, setting the fastest time of 1m50.891s - 1.289 seconds ahead of X44’s Sébastien Loeb.
Nico Rosberg, Founder and CEO of Rosberg X Racing, said: “I’m so happy for us as a team to have won in Extreme E for the second time. Two out of two – wow!!
The second event of Extreme E saw drama unfold before the first corner in the grand Final as GridPlay winners Veloce Racing chose to start on the third grid slot, but the benefit was quickly lost as Stéphane Sarrazin was squeezed out at the first gate which dropped him back to last position.
Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky of JBXE endured rear-wheel damage before she even reached the first corner and was forced to retire the car, as was Cristina Gutiérrez in the X44 car who came to blows with the Rosberg X Racing ODYSSEY 21.
Molly Taylor and Sarrazin were hence left to duke it out for the lead, with the French closing the gap throughout the lap and finishing his stint hot on the heels of the 2016 Australian Rally Champion.
To make sure that the officials could safely clear the stricken X44 and JBXE cars, a brief red flag was put into place, as the high voltage battle for the lead was put on hold while the drivers made their way into the switch zone.
A standing start restart was initiated with Jamie Chadwick and Johan Kristoffersson were all set for an all or nothing, one-lap showdown.
A hard-fought drag race down to the first gate concluded with light contact between the two ODYSSEY 21s giving Kristoffersson the advantage. Once he had arrived at the technical section of the course, the three-time FIA World Rallycross Champion started to stretch his legs opening up a 15-second advantage to clinch Rosberg X Racing’s second Extreme E X race on the trot.
Molly Taylor, Rosberg X Racing driver, said: “It’s so fantastic to have won today! Coming here, it felt like we had a lot of work to do over the weekend, and it certainly didn’t come easy, but with every session we just kept our heads down and just saw where we needed to improve, and everything totally paid off in the end."
Johan Kristoffersson, Rosberg X Racing driver, said: “I’m super happy to be Extreme E winners for the second time! Molly executed everything perfectly, she did an amazing job taking care of the traffic in her lap - I was really impressed with that. The team also did a fantastic job, I have to say a big thanks to them for bringing me and Molly up to speed over the weekend, as we really weren’t the fastest coming into this event but in the end, we were quick where we needed to be and got good starts, so we couldn’t wish for more than that."
Rosberg X Racing (Johan Kristoffersson / Molly Taylor) 2 laps
Veloce Racing (Stéphane Sarrazin / Jamie Chadwick) +14.676s
JBXE (Kevin Hansen / Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky) DNF
X44 (Sébastien Loeb / Cristina Gutiérrez) DNF
Rosberg X Racing(Johan Kristoffersson / Molly Taylor) 71 points
X44(Sébastien Loeb / Cristina Gutiérrez) 57 points
JBXE(Jenson Button / Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky) 44 points
Andretti United Extreme E(Timmy Hansen / Catie Munnings) 37 points
XITE ENERGY RACING(Oliver Bennett / Christine GZ) 37 points
ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team(Carlos Sainz / Laia Sanz) 36 points
ABT Cupra XE(Mattias Ekström / Claudia Hürtgen) 35 points
Veloce Racing(Stéphane Sarrazin / Jamie Chadwick) 31 points
Segi TV Chip Ganassi Racing(Kyle LeDuc / Sara Price) 30 points
Everything you need to know about Extreme E's Ocean X Prix in Senegal
London: The innovative off road racing series Extreme E is all set to stage it's second X Prix , the Ocean X Prix this weekend (29-30 May) in Lac Rose, Dakar on the West African Senegalese coast.
Rosberg X Racing (RXR) emerged victorious in the debut X Prix last month in the deserts of Saudi Arabia, but with the top three ranked sides within seven points of each other, the Ocean X Prix guarantees to offer exciting motorsporting action in a location brimming with its heritage.
Alejandro Agag, Founder and CEO or Extreme E said: “I am delighted to be back in Dakar, a place with a vast motorsport heritage, and I can’t wait to see our world-class line-up of drivers compete on this latest course we have devised. The Desert X Prix delivered some truly thrilling racing with a stunning backdrop and I’m sure Senegal will provide the same.
“But in Lac Rose we find an area suffering at the hands of the climate crisis, which is the true reason we are here. It doesn’t take long upon arrival to see one of the biggest issues, plastic pollution, which is affecting the local community and its marine life. Through our Legacy Programmes, we are supporting the local community to make change, and I can’t wait to see it for myself and help where I can.”
Nico Rosberg, RXR Founder said: “The team did an incredible job in Saudi Arabia to get the win and we’re very proud to be the first X Prix winners in Extreme E history, but we know we need to stay focused if we are to remain at the front. The series is already so competitive, but this team loves a challenge, and we can’t wait to go racing again in Senegal.”
Dakar, situated 37km from the capital, it's shores of Lac Rose was the host for the finish of the world’s most famous cross-country rally – the Paris-Dakar - on several occasions between 1979 and 2007. It will now serve as host to the Extreme E's second race, the Ocean X Prix this weekend.
Once again, nine teams and 18 drivers will be seen competing, but in a slight amendment to the Saudi Arabia race format, the Final will be a four-car contest, with two sides from each of the two Semi-Finals advancing to the summit race of the weekend.
Saturday 29 May
Qualifying, just like the Desert X Prix, will consist of 2 rounds of time trials. The starting order of the team will be decided by a draw for Qualifying 1 and Qualifying 2. All races have two laps with the incorporated feature of driver ‘Switch’
Sunday 30 May
Three races are scheduled as follows:
The teams will be listed 1st to 9th place based on the total combined time of each team’s two Qualifying runs.
The top three teams go into the Semi-Final 1, where the top two finishers claim spots in the Ocean X Prix Final.
The middle three teams (4th, 5th, 6th) go through to Semi-Final 2, where again the top two progress to the Ocean X Prix Final.
The bottom three teams (7th, 8th and 9th) head to the Shoot Out.
Four cars will feature in The Ocean X Prix Final - The top two finishers from each Semi-Final.
Teams can also take advantage of a HyperDrive boost, which will be available to each driver on each lap of the race. They will enjoy an extra push of continuous power for a few seconds that will be activated after the driver presses a button on the steering wheel.
New in the Ocean X Prix is the ‘Super Sector’ – a section of the course where the fastest driver in that section over the weekend will bag five points for their side. This will ensure that whatever position the sides find themselves in there will always be an incentive to push to the limit to gain more points.
The teams and driver line-up will take charge of the wheel of the ODYSSEY 21 – a 550 bhp all-electric SUV charged with zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell technology.
ABT CUPRA XE - #125 – Mattias Ekström / Claudia Hürtgen
ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team - #55 – Carlos Sainz / Laia Sanz
Andretti United - #23 – Timmy Hansen / Catie Munnings
Segi TV Chip Ganassi Racing - #99 – Kyle LeDuc / Sara Price
XITE ENERGY RACING powered by myenergi - #42 – Oliver Bennett / Christine GZ
JBXE - #22 – Kevin Hansen / Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky
Rosberg X Racing - #6 – Johan Kristoffersson / Molly Taylor
Veloce Racing - #5 – Stéphane Sarrazin / Jamie Chadwick
X44 - #44 – Sébastien Loeb / Cristina Gutiérrez
For each race, teams can decide as to which driver goes first, and decisions are kept secret until the last minute.
Shakedown and qualifications will be aired via Extreme E’s official website – www.extreme-e.com and social channels (@extremeelive on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Twitch).
The Finals will be aired in over 180 nations by 75 broadcasters including Fox Sports in the USA, ITV, Sky Sports, BBC and BT Sport in the UK, Teledeporte in Spain, Proseiben MAXX in Germany, Mediaset in Italy as well as Eurosport across most European Markets and SuperSport in Africa.
Off the course story of Extreme E, the innovative racing championship with a purpose
According to a press release by Extreme E, the brand new electric racing series finished its debut X Prix last weekend at AlUla in Saudi Arabia with Rosberg X Racing as the winners. However, the series believes the real win was what Extreme E did off the course regarding climate change – one of the key drivers behind this one of its kind sport for purpose.
Extreme E is a Championship with a mission, to throw light at the destructive effects of the climate crisis and demonstrate positive measures that can be taken to safeguard the planet. The series has picked five remote locations for its X Prixs, with the first concluded in AlUla, Saudi Arabia, which was selected to highlight desertification, leading to a loss of biological productivity.
Alejandro Agag, Founder and CEO of Extreme E, said: “It has been two years in the making, but I’m thrilled that Extreme E’s first X Prix – the Desert X Prix – is complete.
“The weekend delivered on its promise of exciting racing, but more importantly our mission to race without a trace and leave a long-lasting positive impact. I’m very proud of what we have achieved in Saudi Arabia, from our talks on the St. Helena by world-renowned scientists focussing on the global climate crisis and solutions, through to our turtle conservation project with the Ba’a Foundation.
“Extreme E is much, much more than just motorsport and I hope people have taken away from it that the climate crisis is a major issue we are facing right now, and that there are many small actions we can take to save the planet.”
At every racing location, Extreme E will leave a long-lasting positive impact through its Legacy Programmes. In Saudi Arabia, the series collaborated with the Ba’a Foundation to extend its support for turtle conservation along the Red Sea coastline.
The project was disclosed on-board the St. Helena by members from Extreme E’s Scientific Committee, which was then followed by a tour to Ras Baridi - the place where this initiative will be focussed at, where several of the championship’s star drivers including Jenson Button, Sara Price and Jamie Chadwick come together for a beach clean.
Extreme E's floating centrepiece, the wonderful St. Helena, taking a centre stage in the Red Sea, hosted several workshops before the debut X Prix centering not only around the Legacy Programme, but also the broader climate change issue along with the solutions.
Hydrogen Fuel Cell
AFC Energy, that provides the championship with hydrogen fuel cell – facilitating the fleet of ODYSSEY 21s to be charged emission-free – made use of the Desert X Prix to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with Altaaqa, the operator and owner of one of the world’s biggest mobile diesel generator rental fleets. This will back the transition of the area's power generation industry to zero emission solutions making use of AFC Energy’s hydrogen fuel cell technology.
Many measures were taken to ensure Extreme E would remain the most sustainable event possible, right from zero single-use plastic on-site to communal water stations so reusable bottles could be filled along with sustainable and biodegradable food packaging by Polymateria to even feilding the bin police to make sure the people were recycling properly.
Extreme E Count Us In Challenge
Launched last month, The Extreme E Count Us in Challenge enables fans to take practical measures on climate change to bring down their carbon footprint. In the course of just three weeks, around 300 fans have already pledged to take steps that will help them lead a less carbon-intensive life.
However this leaderboard isn’t just a competition for the planet, as the side having the most number of fans committing their support will be given the Extreme E Sustainability Award at the end of this year, presently X44 is at the top of the table.
Extreme E’s next event, the Ocean X Prix, will be held from 29-30 May at Lac Rose, Senegal, Dakar.