Molly Taylor has secured a last-minute deal to race in the Extreme E season-opener in Saudi Arabia this weekend, partnering Kevin Hansen at JBXE.
Taylor, who won the inaugural title last year alongside Johan Kristoffersson at Rosberg X Racing, looked set to be a surprise omission from the grid this year after RXR opted for Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky – previously a JBXE driver – instead.
“I had an incredible year with Extreme E in 2021 and I believe wholeheartedly in what the competition represents both with respect to its commitment to sustainability and gender equality,” said Taylor, whose other competitive outing in 2022 was also in Saudi Arabia in the Dakar Rally.
“Having had the benefit of a win in last year’s championship, when the call came to join the JBXE team ahead of this weekend’s race, I thought why not?
“I’m looking forward to getting my teeth stuck into the Desert X-Prix this weekend.”
Taylor’s deal with JBXE is so far only for the Desert X-Prix, but team-mate Kevin Hansen joined the squad for the Ocean X-Prix last year on an initial one-race deal in place of team boss Jenson Button and kept his spot for the rest of the 2021 season and this year.
“I’m very excited to work with Molly,” said Hansen. “She did great last year and was one of the best out on track. You don’t become champion for nothing!
“She has a lot of experience now in Saudi from the Dakar Rally this year, so I will take a lot of advantage from that. It was an amazing experience that she had there and now she can share that with me.
“It’s going to be very fun to work with her this weekend.”
Button, who remains at the helm of the team, is thrilled to bring in a driver of Taylor’s caliber for the weekend.
“To be able to bring Molly into the team is fantastic news for JBXE,” he said. “Having won the championship last year she obviously brings a huge amount to the table so I’m incredibly excited to see her and Kevin in action this weekend.”
Confirmation of Taylor and Hansen at JBXE completes the full driver lineup for season two:
Rosberg X Racing: Johan Kristoffersson/Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky
X44: Sébastien Loeb/Cristina Gutiérrez
JBXE: Kevin Hansen/Molly Taylor*
Andretti United: Timmy Hansen/Catie Munnings
Abt Cupra: Nasser Al-Attiyah/Jutta Kleinschmidt
Acciona Sainz: Carlos Sainz/Laia Sanz
Veloce Racing: Lance Woolridge/Christine GZ
Chip Ganassi Racing: Kyle LeDuc/Sara Price
Xite Energy Racing: Oliver Bennett/Klara Andersson**
McLaren: Tanner Foust/Emma Gilmour
* currently for one round only
** replaced by Tamara Molinaro for round one due to COVID-19