Another victory for the reigning champion as Rosberg X Racing/RXR teammates Johan Kristofersson and Molly Taylor secured their second win in a row in Ocean XPrix, Sunday (30/5). The two comfortably won an unusual head-to-head against Veloce Racing team, with the remaining two X44 and JBXE being forced to withdraw from the rest of the final due to mechanical failures. While Åhlin-Kottulinsky‘s car being evacuated the remaining drivers Taylor and Stéphane Sarrazin were allowed to finish their lap before the final is restarted in the starting grid instead of the driver change area.
The race got restarted with only two surviving teams, RXR and Veloce. Seeing no imminent threat, RXR was able to extend their championship lead with Kristoffersson driving quite far to leave a massive gap between him and Veloce’s Jamie Chadwick. The only disruption to the winning team was an almost close fight between Taylor and Sarrazin, but the former was finally able to move as far as she could.
As the result, RXR finished first, followed by surprising Veloce’s huge turnaround due to Al Ula’s huge setback and JBXE, who couldn’t finish their lap thanks to failures, on third.
“It’s so fantastic to have won today! Coming here, it felt we had a lot of work to do over the weekend, 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.” Molly Taylor explained. “Obviously we didn’t get to choose our grid position for the final, so we were where we were and that for me was on the inside, so it was all about trying to get the track position. I really just tried to get that established as early as I could and then hold onto it.
“It’s very difficult to predict anything in this series even when you have the best laid plan, but I got to say the team was awesome and Johan did a really professional job too.”
Addressing the earlier contact with X44’s Cristina Gutiérrez, Taylor said she didn’t want to stress it too much as it’s considered normal in racing.
“As I went through, I made some contact, but this is close racing and that can happen. A huge thanks to the team who did an incredible job and to Johan, equally incredible.”
Her teammate Kristoffersson felt equally the same, citing Taylor’s brilliant work as the perfect starting to begin their fight with. “Molly executed everything perfectly. She did an amazing job taking care of the traffic in her lap — I was really impressed with that. We were aware of the fact that we’re not the fastest coming onto this main race but in the end, we were quick where we needed to be and we got good starts.”
There was some tiny contact with Chadwick in the straight line once the race is started, but Kristoffersson stated that it was caused by the issue with his Hyperdrive and nothing intentional.
“When I got in the car for the standing start for the final, the steering was a bit off so when I hit the Hyperdrive early on, it was a struggle to hold on to it. Unfortunately, this led to a bit of contact with Jamie which was not intentional at all.”
“But from there on, the car was working very well, and I could do what I need to do. And here we are as winners!”
Founder and CEO RXR Nico Rosberg was also present in Senegal. After being able to witness their first victory in Saudi, this time he managed to celebrate the second win again with his team.
“I’m so happy to for us as a team to have won in Extreme E for the second time. Two out of two, wow! We have the two best drivers in the car who are doing much better job than I could – and I couldn’t be happier.
“It’s so difficult because no one really understands the cars properly, as you don’t get a chance to test them. You have to guess and figure things out. As a team, we’re really trying to bring a Formula One approach to Extreme E which is really helping us a team to perform. The challenge was not one to be underestimated but we managed to solve it together.
“Amazing effort from Molly and Johan — a brilliant dynamic, that’s fantastic to see.”
Following their victory, RXR gained total 36 points, still leading the current championship.
Final Ocean XPrix results
|1||Johan Kristofferson/Molly Taylor||Rosberg X Racing||21:52|
|2||Stéphane Sarrazin/Jamie Chadwick||Veloce Racing||+14.67|
|3||Kevin Hansen/Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky||JBXE||+2 laps|
|4||Sébastien Loeb/Cristina Gutiérrez||X44||+2 laps|