Extreme E

ACCIONA Sainz completes Desert X Prix first-time winner sweep

2 Mins read
Credit: Sam Bagnall

The 2022 Extreme E season saw four teams win a Final. While the 2023 season is twice as long thanks to the new doubleheader format, it already has two different victors in as many races.

Carlos Sainz‘s ACCIONA | SAINZ XE Team is the newest team to add their name to the all-time win list when Mattias Ekström and Laia Sanz held off Saturday winner Veloce Racing in the Grand Final. The victory finally got the team over the hump after coming close with a pair of runner-up finishes in 2022, while Ekström notched his maiden victory in just his second race with the outfit, having replaced Sainz for 2023 due to injuries his Audi rally raid team-mate sustained at the Dakar Rally in January.

“What a great weekend at Extreme E. Driving for Carlos’ team already felt special, but bringing home P2 and team’s first ever WIN was just amazing,” tweeted Ekström. “Laia drove incredibly and the whole #AccionaSainz team did a great job. Let’s continue like this.”

The win came after a very close call in qualifying as ACCIONA | Sainz barely made the Grand Final on a tiebreaker. The team had tied with X44 for fifth in the classification after two rounds of heats at twelve points apiece, aided by X44 receiving a 3.7-second penalty in their second heat for Cristina Gutiérrez speeding in the switch bay that relegated them from third to fourth.

Veloce had dominated Sunday’s qualifying by winning both of their heats. With Veloce and ACCIONA | Sainz trading firsts and seconds in both days’ Grand Finals, they are tied atop the standings. Rosberg X Racing sits third after taking the last step of the podium for both Finals.

Despite missing out on the Final, X44 easily claimed the Redemption Race with ten seconds over McLaren. JBXE finished at the bottom of the classification after Hedda Hosås rolled in the consolation race.

Andretti ALTAWKILAT had a particularly difficult weekend after rolling twice on Saturday before Kevin Hansen did so again in Heat #1 of the second round. The team mustered a third in the Redemption Race.

Grand Final results

FinishNumberTeamTotal TimeDriver #1Driver #2
155ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team11:10.821Mattias EkströmLaia Sanz
25Veloce Racing11:16.348Kevin HansenMolly Taylor
36Rosberg X Racing11:18.250Johan KristofferssonMikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky
4125ABT CUPRA XE11:18.808Nasser Al-AttiyahKlara Andersson
599GMC Hummer EV Chip Ganassi Racing11:33.142RJ AndersonAmanda Sorensen
* – Received a penalty

Redemption Race results

FinishNumberTeamTotal TimeDriver #1Driver #2
144X44 Vida Carbon Racing11:10.132Fraser McConnellCristina Gutiérrez
258NEOM McLaren XE11:20.282Tanner FoustEmma Gilmour
323Andretti ALTAWKILAT Extreme E11:43.428Timmy HansenCatie Munnings
48Carl Cox Motorsport13:53.666*Timo ScheiderChristine GZ
522JBXEDNFHeikki KovalainenHedda Hosås

Qualifying results

Round #1

Heat #1

FinishNumberTeamTotal TimeDriver #1Driver #2
15Veloce Racing11:25.061Kevin HansenMolly Taylor
244X44 Vida Carbon Racing11:27.838Fraser McConnellCristina Gutiérrez
323Andretti ALTAWKILAT Extreme E11:28.131Timmy HansenCatie Munnings
4125ABT CUPRA XE12:34.105Nasser Al-AttiyahKlara Andersson
58Carl Cox MotorsportDNFTimo ScheiderChristine GZ

Heat #2

FinishNumberTeamTotal TimeDriver #1Driver #2
16Rosberg X Racing11:27.999Johan KristofferssonMikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky
299GMC Hummer EV Chip Ganassi Racing11:28.995RJ AndersonAmanda Sorensen
355ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team11:29.614Mattias EkströmLaia Sanz
458NEOM McLaren XE11:40.046*Tanner FoustEmma Gilmour
522JBXE11:40.341Heikki KovalainenHedda Hosås

Round #2

Heat #1

FinishNumberTeamTotal TimeDriver #1Driver #2
15Veloce Racing21:02.544Molly TaylorKevin Hansen
299GMC Hummer EV Chip Ganassi Racing21:09.941Amanda SorensenRJ Anderson
358NEOM McLaren XE21:16.34Emma GilmourTanner Foust
48Carl Cox Motorsport21:19.993Christine GZTimo Scheider
523Andretti ALTAWKILAT Extreme EDNFCatie MunningsTimmy Hansen

Heat #2

FinishNumberTeamTotal TimeDriver #1Driver #2
1125ABT CUPRA XE11:22.546Klara AnderssonNasser Al-Attiyah
26Rosberg X Racing11:27.189Mikaela Åhlin-KottulinskyJohan Kristoffersson
355ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team11:29.295Laia SanzMattias Ekström
444X44 Vida Carbon Racing11:32.391*Cristina GutiérrezFraser McConnell
522JBXE11:34.222Hedda HosåsHeikki Kovalainen
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Justin is not an off-road racer, but he writes about it for The Checkered Flag.
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