3 December 2023, Chile: Rosberg X Racing (RXR) secured a dramatic second Extreme E championship at the final round of the 2023 season in Chile.
Nico Rosberg’s outfit took the title, their second in three seasons, in a rollercoaster Grand Final at the Antofagasta Minerals Copper X Prix, crossing the finish line in second place despite a severely damaged ODYSSEY 21.
The race saw nearest rivals ACCIONA | SAINZ XE Team (ASXE) retire after Laia Sanz rolled in the closing stages. Their retirement from the Grand Final meant ASXE did not secure enough points for a maiden championship victory.
Winners of the final round of Season 3 were Veloce Racing, with their third victory of 2023 securing a top-three finish in the championship standings. Completing the Round 10 podium positions were Season 2 champions X44 Vida Carbon Racing.
In the Redemption Race, Amanda Sorensen and RJ Anderson ended their first full Extreme E campaign with a race win as No. 99 GMC HUMMER EV Chip Ganassi Racing recovered from a difficult Round 9 to end the season a higher note.
Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky, RXR, said: “Winning the 2023 Extreme E Championship is a dream come true. It was neck to neck all season with ASXE, but I’m just so happy and speechless right now. We fought so hard last year and narrowly missed the win, so it was stressful when I saw that we had a puncture. But as always, we never give up. Despite the challenges, our team’s spirit never waned. This championship is a powerful reminder that with passion and perseverance, anything is achievable.”
Johan Kristoffersson, RXR, said: “After an intense season, winning the Extreme E Championship for a second time is incredible. ASXE put up an impressive fight this season, and I enjoyed every minute of the battles. I want to dedicate this win to Kyle LeDuc, who sadly passed away recently and who we will miss racing against.”
The Grand Final was action-packed from the start, with ASXE’s Mattias Ekström taking the lead as his team chased down the points needed to steal the championship title from RXR.
Veloce Racing’s Kevin Hansen slotted into second, while RXR’s Johan Kristoffersson tried to push his way through the pack into third place. As the Swede muscled his way towards the inside line, he caught the steep banking of the corner and his RXR ODYSSEY 21 veered off-line on two wheels.
Kristoffersson remarkably got the car back under control, albeit in fifth place, and a mammoth task lay ahead as a subsequent puncture forced the team to pit after just one lap, while closest rivals ASXE lead the race.
Ekström entered the Switch Zone in first place, with Veloce Racing’s Hansen hot on his heels. Behind the frontrunners, the NEOM McLaren Extreme E Team’s (NEOM McLaren XE) Tanner Foust fought to slow down his ODYSSEY 21, running into the back of X44 Vida Carbon Racing’s Fraser McConnell as the pair entered the Switch Zone.
The incident resulted in a time penalty for the American, but this proved irrelevant for NEOM McLaren XE’s race as the damage sustained ensured a retirement from the Grand Final.
The collision also hindered X44 Vida Carbon Racing’s progress. Despite being able to continue, Sir Lewis Hamilton’s outfit had to run at a much reduced pace and dropped down the order.
In the battle for the lead, ASXE’s Sanz and Veloce Racing’s Molly Taylor left the Switch Zone almost in unison. It looked like Sanz would maintain the advantage for ASXE, but Taylor got the upper hand by deploying her ENOWA Hyperdrive to snatch first place.
The DNF for NEOM McLaren XE and the damage for X44 Vida Carbon Racing meant that RXR just had to finish the race to take third place and seal the championship, unless Sanz could win back the lead and secure enough points for ASXE’s maiden title. This was to prove difficult, as after leaving the switch zone RXR’s Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky encountered another problem aboard her ODYSSEY 21 as she wrestled to get the car over the finish line.
Entering the closing stages, Sanz and Taylor made contact as the Spaniard tried to retake first place. Sanz was pushing hard, but soon after the ASXE ODYSSEY 21 reached its limit and entered a spin.
As Sanz recovered to remain in second place, the race and championship win looked ever more elusive. ASXE’s fate was sealed when a few corners later Sanz entered a roll, ending her race and the team’s chances of title glory.
Veloce Racing completed an untroubled run to take a third victory this season and end 2023 in the top three in the championship standings – their best-ever Extreme E result. Behind the race winners, both X44 and RXR continued to struggle, as Åhlin-Kottulinsky crawled around the course with her severely damaged car.
Despite crossing the line over four minutes after Veloce Racing, RXR’s second-place was enough to secure a second Extreme E championship win since their title in the 2021 inaugural season. This marked a valiant effort from both Kristoffersson and Åhlin-Kottulinsky, with the latter winning her first-ever Extreme E title.
Even further back, X44 Vida Carbon Racing were able to cross the line to take the third step on the podium and steal fourth place on the championship leaderboard from No. 99 GMC HUMMER EV Chip Ganassi Racing.
Quickest off the mark was No. 99 GMC HUMMER EV Chip Ganassi Racing, having narrowly missed out on the Grand Final based on the team’s Continental Traction Challenge time.
JBXE’s Andreas Bakkerud launched round the outside to slot in behind Anderson, with Timo Scheider running in third for Carl Cox Motorsport ahead of ABT CUPRA XE debutant Adrien Tambay.
Scheider held nothing back as he committed to the inside line, getting past Anderson to take the lead. The American soon regained first place, holding on to a good racing line to muscle his way ahead of the Carl Cox Motorsport driver.
There was more drama to follow, though, as a mechanical failure for the charging Scheider forced the German to pull over, ending Carl Cox Motorsport’s Season 3 campaign with a DNF.
The remaining three teams left the Switch Zone and ABT CUPRA XE’s Klara Andersson set her sights on Tamara Molinaro’s JBXE ODYSSEY 21.
The Swede soon completed the overtake, taking second place behind No. 99 GMC HUMMER EV Chip Ganassi Racing as Sorensen executed a smooth run for Redemption Race victory.
- Veloce Racing 8:31.760mins
- Rosberg X Racing +4:19.110mins
- X44 Vida Carbon Racing +8:11.502mins
- ACCIONA | SAINZ XE Team DNF
- NEOM McLaren Extreme E Team DNF
- No. 99 GMC HUMMER EV Chip Ganassi Racing 8:34.434mins
- ABT CUPRA XE +14.909s
- JBXE +20.993s
- Carl Cox Motorsport DNF
- Rosberg X Racing: 182 points
- ACCIONA | SAINZ XE Team: 171 points
- Veloce Racing: 155 points
- X44 Vida Carbon Racing: 121 points
- No. 99 GMC HUMMER EV Chip Ganassi Racing: 113 points
- ABT CUPRA XE: 81 points
- Andretti ALTAWKILAT Extreme E 71 points
- NEOM McLaren Extreme E Team: 68 points
- Carl Cox Motorsport: 50 points
- JBXE: 50 points
To learn more about Extreme E, visit – www.Extreme-E.com