Rosberg X Racing picked up where it left off after the Extreme E season opener by winning the Ocean X-Prix in Senegal.
For the first time a four-car final was on the cards, but after a wildly attritional first lap, only two cars made it to the finish.
Veloce Racing joined RXR in completing the two-lap race, earning redemption after failing to make it past qualifying in Saudi Arabia.
At the start of the final JBXE’s Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky made the best initial getaway, but RXR’s Molly Taylor deployed ‘hyperdrive’ as early as possible and took the lead as the pack took to the beach.
Taylor was challenged by Team X44’s Cristina Gutierrez into the first braking zone, having used the boost slightly later to close the gap. But as the pair piled into the first true corner of the course, they made contact with Taylor forcing Gutierrez wide.
The contact resulted in suspension failure for the X44 machine, and JBXE met a similar fate moments later. Looking to make a move into the same corner, as Åhlin-Kottulinsky departed the beach section, a bump in the course broke the suspension on her car too forcing an instant retirement.
Åhlin-Kottulinsky’s car ultimately blocked the course, forcing a red flag.
During the stoppage the teams made their driver changes without the 45 second restriction (increased by five seconds compared to Saturday), and were then sent back to the starting grid for a standing start and one-lap sprint to the finish.
RXR’s Johan Kristoffersson got off the line better than Veloce’s Jamie Chadwick – who had taken the place of Stephane Sarrazin – on the restart but with both deploying ‘hyperdrive’, they remained close on the straight until the technical section. From then, Kristoffersson steadily eked out a gap, eventually crossing the line 14.676 seconds ahead of Chadwick.
By dragging the JBXE car mere meters further than fellow retiree X44, Åhlin-Kottulinsky and debutant team-mate Kevin Hansen earned a podium finish, being classified third despite failing to make the finish.
Following the semifinals, Abt Cupra and Xite Energy Racing claimed fifth and sixth in the event overall, while the order of the final three positions were decided by the ‘Shoot Out’ race that preceded the final.
After a freak brush with a tree branch took it out of contention in qualifying, Chip Ganassi Racing salvaged something from its weekend with a barnstorming run to victory in the Shoot Out race.
Timmy Hansen of Andretti United made the best start, using ‘hyperdrive’ to take an early lead, but as has been something of a theme throughout the day, Acciona Sainz’s Carlos Sainz saved his boost for later on the main straight.
That allowed him to slip up the inside of Hansen in the first corner and take the lead – a lead he wouldn’t relinquish for the remainder of the first lap.
The double World Rally Champion ended the lap 8.8s ahead of Hansen, who was fighting with Ganassi’s Sara Price and, despite Price’s best efforts, managed to stay ahead.
After the driver switch, Sainz’s Laia Sanz and Andretti’s Catie Munnings both opted to use the ‘hyperdrive’ immediately. Kyle LeDuc meanwhile not only had a slow exit from the driver change area, but also elected to not use his boost. Both proved to be of little consequence though, as the seven-time Pro-4 champion once again showed the kind of form that has impressed all weekend.
By gate 10 he was already on the rear bumper of Munnings, and by 23 – where the track splits in two – he made the most of the alternate line to blast into second. His charge was far from over though as Sanz, who had been reeled in by Munnings and LeDuc over the course of the second lap, was in his sights.
It only took another two gates for LeDuc to get by, taking the lead at gate 25, and with his ‘hyperdrive’ in hand, he crossed the line 7.7s ahead of Sanz to win for Chip Hanassi.
Sanz didn’t have an easy run to second, with Munnings hounding her for the final couple of corners, but despite the Andretti racer diving towards the sea and the wet sand in a bid to gain extra traction on the run to the line, she couldn’t find a way past and had to settle for third on the road, and the ninth spot overall in the event.
Ganassi also claimed five bonus championship points for setting the fastest time in the ‘Super Sector’. LeDuc’s 1m50.891s run through the sector in Q1 on Saturday was not bettered all weekend.
Back-to-back victories in the finals for RXR extends Kristoffersson and Taylor’s championship lead to 14 points over X44’s Sebastien Loeb and Gutierrez, with 71 points to 57.
Competing without regular team-mate Jenson Button, Åhlin-Kottulinsky holds third on her own with 44 points, while Andretti United’s crew and Xite Energy Racing’s Oliver Bennett and Christine Giampaoli Zonca are all on 37 points.
Shoot Out results
1 Sara Price/Kyle LeDuc (Chip Ganassi) 11m17.00s
2 Carlos Sainz/Laia Sanz (Acciona Sainz) +7.74s
3 Timmy Hansen/Catie Munnings (Andretti United) +8.76s
1 Molly Taylor/Johan Kristoffersson (RXR) 21m52.00s
2 Stéphane Sarrazin/Jamie Chadwick (Veloce Racing) +14.67ss
3 Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky/Kevin Hansen (JBXE) +2 laps
4 Cristina Gutiérrez/Sébastien Leob (X44) +2 laps
1 Kristoffersson/Taylor 71 2 Gutiérrez/Loeb 57 3 Åhlin-Kottulinsky 44 4 Hansen/Munnings 37 5 Oliver Bennett/Christine Giampoli Zonca 37 6 Sanz/Sainz 36 7 Mattias Ekström 35 8 Chadwick/Sarrazin 31 9 Price 31 10 LeDuc 30