Andersson XE debut on hold after positive COVID test

Extreme E's championship driver Tamara Molinaro will stand in for Andersson at the Desert X-Prix


New Xite Energy signing Klara Andersson will not be making her Extreme E debut at this weekend’s Desert X-Prix, with her place being taken by series reserve Tamara Molinaro.

Andersson had been due to race alongside Oliver Bennett at the team but she returned a positive COVID test ahead of travelling out to Saudi Arabia.

“I’m so, so disappointed about this. I’m devastated,” said Andersson. “This was such a huge opportunity for me.

“Last week I told you it was a dream come true and that’s exactly what it was. It’s become a nightmare to be honest. I’m so sorry for Oli and the team.

“I’ll be watching and cheering them on from the side – but feeling very, very frustrated.”

Bennett, who last year raced alongside Christine Giampaoli Zonca, now of Veloce Racing, added: “I’m so disappointed for Klara. I know how much she was looking forward to this and how much this race meant to her.

“Unfortunately, this is the world we live in right now – the pandemic remains a part of our daily lives and is still capable of impacting on plans at every level.”

While Andersson’s series debut will have to wait, it does open the door for Molinaro to make her first start instead.

Tamara Molinaro

The Italian has been Extreme E’s official female reserve since last season’s Glacier X-Prix, taking the place of Jutta Kleinschmidt who earned a full-time seat at Abt Cupra after staring in her stand-in role during the 2021 Ocean X-Prix in Senegal.

“It’s tough to come to the race seat under these circumstances and I’m sorry for Klara,” said Molinaro. “I’m looking forward to working with XITE Energy Racing and especially with Oli.

“I’ve had some running time in the car, but I really can’t wait to get to Saudi and get going with the event.”