Rosberg X Racing takes inaugural XE victory

Johan Kristofferson and Molly Taylor beat Andretti United and X44 to the Desert X-Prix win

Extreme E 2021: Desert X-Prix

Rosberg X Racing’s Johan Kristoffersson and Molly Taylor won the first ever Extreme E event after dominating the final of the Desert X-Prix in Saudi Arabia.

Pacesetter for much of the weekend, RXR took the lead at the first corner of the 5.46-mile course and were unchallenged for the remainder of the race.

That wasn’t the whole story though. For Andretti United, winner of the ‘Crazy Race’ and polesitter as a result of Grid Play, Timmy Hansen made the best start and held a sizeable lead in the opening phase of the race while Kristoffersson and Team X44’s Sebastien Loeb squabbled over second.

But in a repeat of his race-winning semifinal move, Kristoffersson took a wider line into the first turn, marked by the second timing gate, and undercut Hansen to sweep into first place.

At the mid-point driver change RXR held a 30.97-second lead over Andretti United, with X44 a further 30s back and dropping thanks to a power-steering issue.

Catie Munnings, taking over from Hansen initially closed in on RXR’s Molly Taylor by half a second, only for Taylor to respond by once again extending the gap.

The deficit continued to fluctuate but by race end Taylor held a 23.73s advantage.

Cristina Gutierrez (ESP)/Sebastien Loeb (FRA), X44

After a relaxed driver change, X44’s Cristina Gutiérrez continued to fight with the power steering problems that had blighted Loeb’s lap. She eventually crossed the line over a minute and a half behind Taylor.

Classified fourth for the event after their third place in the semifinal were Acciona Sainz’s Carlos Sainz and Laia Sanz.

Fifth and sixth went to the Crazy Race runners up Hispano Suiza (Oliver Bennett and Christine Giampaoli Zonca) and JBXE (Jenson Button and Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky), while shootout runners Abt Cupra (Mattias Ekström and Claudia Hürtgen) and Chip Ganassi Racing (Kyle LeDuc and Sara Price) claimed seventh and eighth respectively.

Following its withdrawal after Stéphane Sarrazin’s roll in qualifying, Veloce Racing was classified ninth.