Extreme E

XITE Energy Racing signs Timo Scheider, Tamara Molinaro for Sardinia

3 Mins read
Credit: Charly Lopez

A new driver pairing will pilot the XITE Energy Racing ODYSSEY 21 in the upcoming Island X Prix doubleheader in Sardinia as Timo Scheider and Tamara Molinaro take over from Oliver Bennett and Klara Andersson. Both drivers were previously Championship Drivers for the series, meaning they worked as advisors and reserves in the event that a regular driver is unable to compete.

Scheider has enjoyed a versatile career that includes winning the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters championship in 2008 and 2009, competing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2010, claiming victories in the Spa 24 Hours and Nürburgring 24 Hours, scoring a podium in A1 Grand Prix and two podiums in the FIA World Rallycross Championship.

He raced in World RX, a series that shares plenty of overlap with Extreme E despite being different disciplines, from 2015 to 2020 with a runner-up finish at Barcelona in 2017 and a third in Sweden in 2020. Scheider also made a start in the now defunct Americas Rallycross Championship in 2018.

When Extreme E began its inaugural season in 2021, Scheider was entrusted with the Championship Driver role. While he did not have to substitute for any drivers in races, he carried out his advisory position by assisting in course design.

The German takes over for team owner Bennett, who ran the Desert X Prix season opener in Saudi Arabia in February but has since committed to Nitro Rallycross as the series débuts its FC1-X car and Group E class.

“I was supposed to be doing the course test with the usual ‘test’ car as a Championship driver when I got to Italy, but now I will be travelling to Sardinia as a race driver with XITE Energy Racing,” said Scheider. “That is a great feeling. I am super-pumped to get out there and show what we are capable of. Tamara and I fit quite well together in terms of performance, and I think we will put on a good show in Sardinia.”

Molinaro is no stranger to XITE Energy Racing, having replaced Andersson for the Desert X Prix when she tested positive for COVID-19. The Molinaro/Bennett duo finished sixth.

“I am very happy to be back in Extreme E for Sardinia and it is even more special as it is my home event,” Molinaro added. “It will be a bigger challenge compared to the opening round in Saudi Arabia as that was a new track for everybody; the other guys have experience from last year, but we are going to give it our all and see how it goes.

“I am hopeful that we can have a good race and that we can be competitive. I have a great relationship with Timo; since I became a Championship Driver alongside him, I spent a lot of time with him and we often spoke about how cool it would be to be in a team together. That was our dream watching everyone else driving, so we will definitely have a lot of fun now that we are there.”

Andersson, now focusing mainly on World RX, effectively trades jobs with Molinaro as she becomes the new female Championship Driver. Fraser McConnell, a Nitro RX Group E competitor like Bennett, takes over the male side from Scheider.

XE Chief Championship Officer James Taylor added, “It is great to welcome Timo and Tamara into the series as part of a racing team following their excellent stints as Championship Drivers.

“We are delighted that XITE Energy Racing will remain in the series. With Oliver Bennett pursuing his endeavours in Nitro Rallycross further it has allowed Timo to step into a race seat and we are all very excited to see how he will perform in Sardinia. Timo has invaluable experience working across so many motorsport disciplines on wide-ranging terrains and conditions.

“Tamara has already raced for XITE Energy Racing this season and it is great to see her back behind the wheel. After such a strong showing in NEOM, Tamara is fully deserving of retaining her seat and we look forward to seeing how she fares driving on home ground next week.”

The Island X Prix doubleheader takes place on 6/7 and 9/10 July.

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Justin is neither a NASCAR nor off-road racer, but he has covered them for The Checkered Flag since 2018.
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