The inaugural Extreme E event; the Desert X-Prix (3-4 April) in Al-Ula Saudi Arabia has seen its first race winner as Team Rosberg X Racing took victory in the Semi-Final.
The Semi-Final grid was made up of the three fastest qualifiers from Saturday’s action. Veloce Racing did not feature following Stephane Sarrazin’s crash during Qualifying. Claudia Hürtgen also suffered a huge incident in Qualifying, but Team ABT Cupra managed to make it to Sunday’s racing.
The race saw teams and drivers take to the 8.8km course in the Arabian Desert over two laps, with a driver switch taking place at the end of lap one. The goal; finish in the top two to advance to the Desert X-Prix Final. Lining up on Pole Position for X-44 was Sebastian Loeb, Second on the Grid was Carlos Sainz for Acciona/Sainz and the final spot on the Semi-Final Grid was taken by Johan Kristoffersson for Rosberg X Racing.
Kristofferson got the best traction at the start but Sainz took the holeshot, despite this, side by side action amidst the sand and dust saw positions swap in quick time and after an initial fray between all three drivers it was Kristofferson who makes it the big 45-degree drop first.
Due to visibility a sizeable gap formed between all of the cars as Loeb took the drop second some ten seconds behind, and Sainz took the drop third. Visibility played its part and it took a matter of minutes for the field to be separated by half a minute.
Kristofferson was first to the pit lane, Molly Taylor jumping into the Rosberg X Racing vehicle to take on the final lap. Loeb switched out for Gutierrez and Sainz gave over to Sanz. After the switches, Taylor took an 11 second lead over Gutierrez, and Sanz a further 20 seconds back.
Taylor extended Rosberg X Racing’s lead over the first half of the final lap, with the order behind remaining the same, each driver taking to the course smoothly.
And that is how it would finish, Molly Taylor, bringing it home to claim the inaugural Desert X-Prix race win to book a place in Sunday’s Final. Gutierrez came home second to book X44’s place in the final. Sanz came home third, thus seeing an end to Team Acciona/Sanz’s Racing Action.
The final Race Classification was as follows:
|1||Kristofferson/Taylor||Swedish/Australian||Rosberg X Racing|