8 February 2024, London: Laia Sanz and Fraser McConnell will be the driver line-up for the ACCIONA | SAINZ XE Team (ASXE) in Extreme E Season 4.
ASXE finished the 2023 Extreme E campaign in second place overall, narrowly missing out on the championship to Rosberg X Racing.
Sanz has been part of the team ever since Extreme E’s maiden season in 2021. She recently finished the Dakar Rally with a career-best result.
Sanz claimed two victories last term alongside Mattias Ekström and has scored a total of nine podiums for ASXE. Her speed behind the wheel illustrates the rapid improvement the Spaniard has demonstrated year-after-year in Extreme E, where she has established herself as one of the series’ fastest racers. Sanz also has proven pedigree on two wheels, as a 14-time trial world champion and a six-time enduro world champion.
Laia Sanz, ASXE driver, said: “I am really happy to continue racing for ACCIONA | SAINZ XE Team and I am really looking forward to starting working with Fraser because I am sure he will bring a lot to us. The team has grown a lot throughout this time and we have grown together.
“Last year we did a great job, even though we narrowly missed the title, and I am looking forward to continuing down this path. Today we feel like a family, we work really well together, always in sync, and I think it is very positive to continue to keep on improving. For me personally, I am really happy to continue in this team and I am eager to start the season. I think it is the best place to continue learning and fighting for victories.”
McConnell joins ASXE for the 2024 campaign after competing with X44 Vida Carbon Racing in Extreme E Season 3, where the Jamaican claimed two wins for Sir Lewis Hamilton’s outfit. He debuted in Extreme E in 2022 for JBXE after a stint as the series’ Championship Driver.
A proven off-road racer, McConnell was crowned ARX Rallycross champion in 2019 and finished fourth in the FIA World Rallycross RX2 Series. From there, he jumped to the RallyX Nordic Supercar Championship, where he was the runner-up both in 2020 and 2021. In 2022 he made his first appearance in Nitro Rallycross and was its European runner-up. For 2023, he combined his duties for X44 with the Nitro Rallycross calendar, taking victories in the series.
Fraser McConnell, ASXE driver, said: “I am so honoured to be selected as the male driver for the ACCIONA | SAINZ XE Team this year and I cannot wait to get started at the first event in Saudi Arabia. Receiving the call from Carlos asking me to join the team was such a surreal moment for me because growing up I was such a big fan and still to this day he is such an inspiration. He is also still such a fierce competitor so having that energy within the team is definitely going to help us win races and I am sure I will be able to learn many things from him.
“I am also very much looking forward to teaming up with Laia who has been so fast over the last few seasons and I can feel that we will be a very strong driver pairing and aim to win the championship together.”
ASXE will also receive a further boost by partnering up with Red Bull for the forthcoming season. Carlos Sainz Snr. and Red Bull’s relationship is a longstanding and successful one, and marks the latter’s first official involvement as part of the all-electric off-road racing series.
Carlos Sainz Snr., ASXE advisor, said: “I would like to welcome Fraser to the team. He is a young and ambitious driver. He has the speed and the right attitude to grow even further. I think he will be a very good fit for the team and I am sure he will push to give us plenty of things to be happy about.
“Of course, I am very happy to have Laia again in the car. She is a really talented driver and she has developed a lot through these years, and she is especially eager to go for it after her great Dakar Rally and how close we were last season to winning the title.
“Last but not least, a racing team needs people and companies that believe in it, and for this, I would like to thank ACCIONA for its continuous support through the years and also to give the warmest welcome to Red Bull, who joins the project this year. We have an exciting season ahead and we will go for it.”
Joan Orús, Team Principal at ASXE, added: “We are really happy to welcome Fraser to the team. His youth and his will to succeed will help us achieve our goals for this season. Of course, having Laia for a fourth season in a row is a luxury. Her experience and her improvement are impressive, as she has shown recently in the Dakar Rally or as we could see throughout 2023 when she established herself as maybe the fastest female driver in Extreme E.
“With the solid presence of ACCIONA and the arrival of Red Bull to the team, we have the baseline we need to do a great year.”
Extreme E’s fourth season will start in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on 17-18 February.
You can watch all the action from the 2024 Extreme E campaign across ITV and STV in the UK, while outside of the UK please visit here for broadcaster details.
To learn more about Extreme E, visit – www.Extreme-E.com