Veloce Racing has set off a dramatic shuffle in the Extreme E driver market by confirming an all-new lineup of Molly Taylor and Kevin Hansen for the season finale in Uruguay.
Taylor, who won the championship last year with Rosberg X Racing, has been without a full-time drive since being replaced by Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky at the start of the season.
Hansen meanwhile has spent much of the year at JBXE, but is now joining Veloce on a “long-term deal”.
The pair will step in in place of Lance Woolridge and Christine Giampaoli Zonca for the Energy X-Prix.
“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 to gender equality,” said Taylor.
“Having had the benefit of a win in last year’s championship, it feels amazing to know that I’m going to be back in the Extreme E paddock.
“I think we are building a very special team with the combination of Veloce’s ambition and experience as well as Kevin’s skill and commitment. We are setting our targets high and I’m looking forward to being back in the action.”
Hansen added: “To join a team which is young, ambitious, modern in its ways and doing things that no other team does is fantastic for me. It’s a huge opportunity to continue in Extreme E for the next X-Prix and for season three. The team has high ambitions, as do I and Molly.
“I am really happy to have her alongside me – we raced in Saudi Arabia together and had a great time. We work well as a pair and we’re looking forward to building a partnership between us and the whole team.”
Veloce’s surprise driver change is part of the team’s preparations for season three with team co-founder and CEO Daniel Bailey saying: “We’re excited to see what the future holds for us together.
“The challenges of Extreme E are unique in the world of motorsport, and Veloce is continuously evolving to adapt to this fast-paced and innovative series,” he added. “Next year promises to be the team’s biggest yet, but first we are looking to finish season two on a real high.
“All of us here at Veloce Racing want to thank both Lance and Christine for their commitment and contributions to the team, and we wish them all the best going forward in their careers.”
With JBXE, Hansen has spent much of the year racing alongside Hedda Hosås – herself on loan from Veloce. Hosås will have a new team-mate for the Energy X-Prix, but so far there is no official word on who that will be.
With Timo Scheider returning to his previous role as male championship reserve as his spot at Xite Energy Racing going to series newcomer Ezequiel Companc, Fraser McConnell – who filled the reserve role while Scheider was racing – is available.
Woolridge is also without a confirmed seat for the first time since last year’s Island X-Prix.
GZ meanwhile could potentially take up the official female reserve driver role with the series, replacing Klara Andersson who will be racing in place of Jutta Kleinschmidt at Abt Cupra.
Kleinschmidt is continuing her recovery from a back injury sustained at the Copper X-Prix in Chile.
In another late driver shuffle, Chip Ganassi Racing driver Kyle LeDuc will miss a round for the first time due to a scheduling clash. He will be replaced by accomplished off-road racer RJ Anderson.
Anderson is a two-time Baja 1000 winner, twice Crandon World Champion and LOORRS Pro Lite champion, and a UTV world champion and will partner Sara Price for the final round.