Extreme E

Ocean XPrix guide: (not-so-new) location, new formats and a new challenger to colour up Lac Rose

3 Mins read
(Credits: Sam Bloxham)

Today, we will see nine electric SUV cars racing against each other in a mostly sandy terrain of the Lake Retba shores, otherwise known as Lac Rose, Dakar on the West African Senegalese coast. This race acts as the second event of 2021 Extreme E electric series, with the first one being held in the desert area of Al Ula that saw Johan Kristofferson and Molly Taylor from Rosberg X Racing as the race winner.

Any motorsport fans might have been familiar with the known area due to its role in hosting Paris-Dakar rally finishing point between 1979 and 2007, situated around 37 km (22.99 mi) from the capital Dakar. The lake itself is renowned for its striking pink colour, caused by algae that flourished within its highly-saline waters.

“I am delighted to be back in Dakar with its vast motorsport heritage. The Desert XPrix delivered some truly thrilling racing with a remarkable backdrop and I’m sure Senegal will provide the same.” said founder and CEO of Extreme E Alejandro Agag. In line with the series core program, Agag and his team settled with Lac Rose due to environmental reasons in which he wants to help with the solutions.

“The true reason why we choose Lac Rose is we find an area suffering at the hands of climate change, plastic pollution to be exact, which is affecting the local community and marine life. We aim to support the community to make change through our Legacy Programme and I can’t wait to see it for myself and help where I can.”

Speaking about his team success story back in Desert XPrix, RXR founder Nico Rosberg said the whole teamwork over the weekend is ‘spectacular’ but he remains keen to stay at the top of the championship.

“The team did a spectacular job in Saudi Arabia to get our very first victory in the series, which we’re very proud of. But we know we need to stay focused if we want to remain at the front. It is already a very competitive series but we always love a challenge for ourselves. We can’t wait to go racing again in Senegal.”

Nico Rosberg, Molly Taylor and Johan Kristoffersson on their Desert XPrix victory in April (Credits: Extreme E)

Current race format.. with some change

Saturday (29/5)

Two time-trial qualifying sessions on with starting order decided by a draw or each team. All sessions feature two laps with the incorporated driver ‘Switch’ feature. The time from each driver will be combined to determine their position for the next race.

Sébastien Loeb and Cristina Gutiérrez of Team X44 earning their position in Qualifying draw (Credits: Sam Bloxham)

Sunday (30/5)

Teams will be listed on their positions based on the Qualifying runs. The distribution goes by below:

  • Top three teams go into the Semi-Final 1, where the top two finishers claim spots in the Final
  • Middle three teams (4th, 5th, 6th) will compete in Semi-Final 2 (previously went by the name of ‘Crazy Race’) and instead of picking only one fastest team (as in what happened in Desert XPrix), this time the top two will progress to the Final
  • Bottom three teams (7th, 8th, 9th) head into the Shoot Out
  • Final features four cars in total

New for the Ocean XPrix is the ‘Super Sector’: whichever team goes fastest in one certain section over the weekend will earn five points for their team, ensuring ‘an incentive’ to push to the limit whatever position the teams may find themselves.

New line up change

It was announced on Friday (21/5) that Swedish rallycross driver Kevin Hansen is set to drive for JBXE team for Ocean XPrix alongside teammate Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky, with team founder and driver Jenson Button focusing on the role of team principal. Button is expected to return as driver for Arctic XPrix in Greenland this August.

Kevin Hansen, Ocean XPrix driver for JBXE (Credits: FIA World Rallycross Championship)

Driver line up and standings

PosDriversTeamPoints
1Johan Kristofferson/Molly TaylorRosberg X Racing35
2Sébastien Loeb/Cristina GutiérrezX4430
3Timmy Hansen/Catie MunningsAndretti United Extreme E28
4Carlos Sainz/Laia SanzAcciona Sainz XE Team26
5Oliver Bennett/Christine Giampaoli ZoncaXITE Energy Racing 20
6Kevin Hansen/Mikaela Åhlin-KottulinskyJBXE17
7Mattias Ekström/Claudia HürtgenAbt CUPRA XE13
8Kyle LeDuc/Sara PriceSegi TV Chip Ganassi Racing11
9Stéphane Sarrazin/Jamie ChadwickVeloce Racing4

GridPlay

GridPlay enables audience to vote for their favorite team and influence the starting line-up for the Final. Teams that don’t make the Final can gift votes to their preferred competitors. The vote will open at 09.00 GMT on this Wednesday (26/5) and close 30 minutes into Semi-Final 2 on Sunday (30/5).

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