Extreme E

Penalty dooms Rosberg again, Veloce scores first win at Desert X Prix

2 Mins read
Credit: Colin McMaster

In 2022, Rosberg X Racing was easily the top team as the defending Extreme E champion with two wins, but penalties and errors doomed their title defence. Unfortunately for Johan Kristoffersson and Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky, matters did not improve as the 2023 season began when they received a 136-second time penalty in the Grand Final of the first Desert X Prix, relegating them to third.

Veloce Racing, who led Friday practice, capitalised on the penalty to score their first victory in just their second race with Kevin Hansen and Molly Taylor. For Hansen, the win comes as redemption after fracturing his vertebrae during the 2022 Desert X Prix’s Crazy Race.

“To come back to Saudi Arabia and get my first Extreme E win with this new team, with Molly, and in the country that I had such a career changing accident, this is such a highlight,” said Hansen.

“Both of us believe so much in what the engineers and mechanics are doing, so we feel so safe when we get in the car. We believe in what we are going to drive and I think that is also giving some results.”

Although the Rosbergs held the advantage for much of the Grand Final, Åhlin-Kottulinsky sped in a slow area and received the penalty of over two minutes to knock RXR down to third. ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team, with new driver Mattias Ekström and the returning Laia Sanz, finished runner-up. Chip Ganassi Racing and reigning champion X44 retired with mechanical problems.

The race day was the first to ditch the single-car qualifying format in favour of two rounds of heat races, as well as a Redemption Race for the five teams that did not make the Grand Final. The latter ended up seeing a massive wreck when Nasser Al-Attiyah flipped and collided with McLaren’s Tanner Foust, resulting in substantial front damage to the former’s ABT CUPRA machine. The team was permitted to use Extreme E’s spare car primarily delegated for Continental’s tyre tests for Sunday, albeit with a thirty-second penalty in their first heat.

Grand Final results

FinishNumberTeamTotal TimeDriver #1Driver #2
15Veloce Racing11:56.291Kevin HansenMolly Taylor
255ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team12:13.000Mattias EkströmLaia Sanz
36Rosberg X Racing14:04.332*Johan KristofferssonMikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky
444X44 Vida Carbon RacingDNFFraser McConnellCristina Gutiérrez
599GMC Hummer EV Chip Ganassi RacingDNFRJ AndersonAmanda Sorensen
* – Received a penalty

Redemption Race results

FinishNumberTeamTotal TimeDriver #1Driver #2
158NEOM McLaren XE28:55.292Tanner FoustEmma Gilmour
28Carl Cox Motorsport29:00.844Timo ScheiderChristine GZ
322JBXEDNFHeikki KovalainenHedda Hosås
4125ABT CUPRA XEDNFNasser Al-AttiyahKlara Andersson
523Andretti ALTAWKILAT Extreme EDNFTimmy HansenCatie Munnings

Qualifying results

Round #1

Heat #1

FinishNumberTeamTotal TimeDriver #1Driver #2
199GMC Hummer EV Chip Ganassi Racing11:32.914RJ AndersonAmanda Sorensen
255ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team11:36.298Mattias EkströmLaia Sanz
38Carl Cox Motorsport11:51.577Timo ScheiderChristine GZ
4125ABT CUPRA XE13:42.040*Nasser Al-AttiyahKlara Andersson
523Andretti ALTAWKILAT Extreme EDNFTimmy HansenCatie Munnings

Heat #2

FinishNumberTeamTotal TimeDriver #1Driver #2
144X44 Vida Carbon Racing11:32.993Fraser McConnellCristina Gutiérrez
25Veloce Racing11:41.727Kevin HansenMolly Taylor
322JBXE11:52.093Heikki KovalainenHedda Hosås
46Rosberg X Racing11:59.973Johan KristofferssonMikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky
558NEOM McLaren XE12:01.721*Tanner FoustEmma Gilmour

Round #2

Heat #1

FinishNumberTeamTotal TimeDriver #1Lap Time
15Veloce Racing11:38.038Molly TaylorKevin Hansen
26Rosberg X Racing11:46.899Mikaela Åhlin-KottulinskyJohan Kristoffersson
399GMC Hummer EV Chip Ganassi Racing11:52.462Amanda SorensenRJ Anderson
423Andretti ALTAWKILAT Extreme E12:03.435Catie MunningsTimmy Hansen
58Carl Cox Motorsport11:50.867*Christine GZTimo Scheider

Heat #2

FinishNumberTeamTotal TimeDriver #1Driver #2
155ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team11:29.779Laia SanzMattias Ekström
244X44 Vida Carbon Racing11:35.123Cristina GutiérrezFraser McConnell
358NEOM McLaren XE11:41.126Emma GilmourTanner Foust
4125ABT CUPRA XE11:48.122Klara AnderssonNasser Al-Attiyah
522JBXE11:55.303Hedda 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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