The first race weekend of the 2022 Extreme E season has finished. The inaugural champion team, Rosberg X Racing (RXR) defended their title as they won the Desert X Prix.
The second season of Extreme E is officially underway with the champions of the first being crowned. After two semi-final rounds and the crazy race, the final began with five teams: X44, RXR, Acciona | Sainz XE Team, Chip Ganassi Racing and McLaren XE.
2022 is McLaren XE’s first season in Extreme E and after a successful race earlier today, they joined their rivals in the final race. Unfortunately, they were out before the driver switch as Tanner Foust crashed into the back of the RXR, with Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinksy driving. The dust obscured Foust’s view and consequently saw the McLaren roll in the sand.
With one team out, the remaining four raced to the switch zone, where it was then announced that the session would be red-flagged. Sebastian Loeb, racing for X44, and Carlos Sainz Senior, racing for Acciona, had a considerable lead over the rest of the pack going into the switch zone.
With the red flag, the track was being cleared of the McLaren as debris went flying. Thankfully, Foust was okay and managed to get out of the car.
The driver’s switched with the second driver’s for the teams taking their place behind the wheel. For X44 it was Christina Gutiérrez, for RXR Johan Kristoffersson took the wheel, Laia Sanz got in the car for Acciona and for Chip Ganassi Racing Kyle Leduc raced for the second half.
It was a standing restart for the final lap of the race. Acciona and X44 were able to maintain the lead they had before the red flag.
But things quickly changed.
With Sanz extending her lead on Gutiérrez to 2.42 seconds, Kristoffersson was closing the gap to his X44 rival. Rosberg X Racing kept closing on the X44 car and Kristoffersson stormed past Gutiérrez as dust kicked up into the air.
With Rosberg X Racing now in second place, the battle was on for them to defend their title.
Kristoffersson raced ahead of Sanz taking the lead, going really wide, but he kept out ahead and crossed the line to take the win.
With the same car but a new teammate, Rosberg X Racing won the Desert X Prix in a one lap dash.
Finishing Order of the Final Race:
P1 – Rosberg X Racing – Johan Kristoffersson and Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulsinky P2 – Acciona | Sainz XE Team – Carlos Sainz and Laia Sanz P3 – X44 – Sebastian Loeb and Christina Gutiérrez P4 – Chips Ganassi Racing – Sara Price and Kyle Leduc DNF – McLaren XE – Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmore
Feature Image Credit: Extreme E Instagram @extremeelive
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