The Rosberg X Racing pair of Johan Kristofferson and Molly Taylor continued to set the tone in Extreme E with their second Ocean X Prix win of the season in Senegal, surviving a final clash with X44’s Cristina Gutiérrez.
The event in the African country, held on a course carved out over a beach and dunes along the Atlantic Ocean, proved to be a much better showcase for the new electric off-road series than the season opener in Saudi Arabia, where poor visibility due to dust on the desert course made overtaking virtually impossible. Here’s what we learned from the second Extreme E.
The RXR continues to set the tone
As in Dakar, the RXR duo took the win, were among the pioneers all weekend and took glory in the final, although this time around they had to work a lot harder for it.
Taylor was in the car for the first lap of the Final, and in the race around the first corner she found herself wheel to wheel with Gutiérrez in the X44 car which set the tone in qualifying. The two cars collided on the way out of the turn, sending Gutiérrez off the track into a dune, ultimately damaging the car.
The X44 entry wasn’t the only car to retire in the final: the JBXE machine suffered a rear suspension rupture after Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky attempted to change lanes on the beach and tore the rear suspension in a rut.
This left RXR to fight with Stéphane Sarrazin’s Veloce Racing machine, which was right on Taylor’s tail as they entered the driver swap area midway through the event. But with two cars stranded on the course, organizers decided to flag the event for recovery, staging a one-lap shootout between Kristofferson and Jamie Chadwick from Veloce. Both drivers used their “hyperdrive” from the start and touched down briefly, but Kristofferson took the lead in the first corner and held it until the end. Still, the second was a great result for Veloce, considering it was the team’s first race after canceling their first car with a qualifying crash in Saudi Arabia.
The JBXE car was credited with the third place because it had completed more routes, the X44 car fourth.
Retreats make a disappointing final
The final was the first time four cars had entered a single Extreme E race, after dust in Saudi Arabia prompted organizers to limit ridership on the course to one time.
So it was unfortunate that two of the four cars didn’t get past the first corner, robbing the final of much of its drama. While the two retired for different reasons, it’s notable that both suffered terminal issues after what appeared to be relatively minor incidents. For a series built on the principle of “go anywhere” racing cars, this will be a concern for the organizers.
But the race was an improvement
The races for the opening of the dusty season were indeed decided by the driver who led in the first corner. Fortunately, the Senegal series has proven that Extreme E cars can overtake – although it won’t be easy.
The best showcase came during the Last-Chance Shootout event which decided positions six to nine in the final ranking. The event featured Sara Price and Kyle LeDuc’s Chip Ganassi race car, which was the fastest in practice but ran into trouble in their semi-final when LeDuc hit a tree, causing the car to go through reset mode.
Price completed the first round of the Shootout in last place, before handing over to a clearly excited LeDuc. He then stormed his two rivals in the latter part of the round to claim victory in the final and sixth in the final standings.
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This notice was published: 2021-05-31 07:33:57