ASXE Take Round 2 Victory In Jeddah To Conclude Extreme E Desert X Prix

Laia Sanz (ESP) / Fraser McConnell (JAM), Acciona | Sainz XE Team

ACCIONA | SAINZ XE Team (ASXE) took their first win of the season in Round 2 of the Desert X Prix.

Fraser McConnell and Laia Sanz brought home the victory for the Spanish outfit, holding off Andretti Altawkilat’s Timmy Hansen and Catie Munnings who enjoyed a welcome return to form. E.ON Veloce Racing finished third once more in Saudi Arabia securing back-to-back podiums ahead of Rosberg X Racing (RXR) who rounded out the order in the Round 2 Grand Final.

The result moves ASXE up to second in the drivers standings, two points adrift of RXR who head the leaderboard with E.ON Veloce Racing completing the top-three positions.

Fraser McConnell, ASXE, said: “I am really happy for the team, happy for Laia and everybody back in Jamaica. This is a big, big win. Stepping into this team was such a huge step for me. So many other people could have had the opportunity, but I was chosen by Carlos and the team to be here. They saw something in me, they believed in me, and this gave me so much confidence to dig as deep as I could. I am living this opportunity as if it is my last, making sure I can make a name for myself and the team. Carlos has been a hero of mine growing up, so racing for him is such a feeling. It has been a very good first weekend.

“Yesterday we didn’t get what we wanted, but these things can happen when you push. We are here to win, not to be second or third, and everyone in ACCIONA | SAINZ XE Team is doing everything they can to fulfill this goal. I am going to enjoy this win as much as I can. It is a long break now until the next round, but we will go through everything to analyze what we did right and what we did wrong. We will carry the positives and work on the negatives. Awesome feeling and ready to go for it again.”

Molly Taylor (AUS) / Kevin Hansen (SWE), Veloce Racing

Laia Sanz, ASXE, said: “I am super happy. This weekend was a tough fight because the pace is super high and everyone is improving, but I am super happy to take this first race victory with Fraser. Winning this race is made even more special after what happened last year in the season finale, where we narrowly missed the title. The team has done a great job this weekend to improve the car in each session and we felt really quick in the Grand Final, with enough strength to go for the win.

“We are feeling well as we leave Saudi Arabia. We know that the Championship will be very tight, but today we saw that we have the pace to go for the win. Today we proved it. We must keep working hard.”

The start was always going to be crucial in the Round 2 Grand Final, and it was ASXE’s McConnell who got the best launch of all to lead out of the first turn. It was an advantage the Jamaican never surrendered, putting ASXE in prime position to take the victory in his debut X Prix for the team.

Behind McConnell, Andretti Altawkilat Extreme E’s Timmy Hansen settled into second place as RXR’s Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky and E.ON Veloce Racing’s Molly Taylor traded positions, with the Australian eventually coming out on top for the British outfit.

Klara Andersson (SWE) / Timo Scheider (DEU), SUN Minimeal Team Catie Munnings (GBR) / Timmy Hansen (SWE), Andretti Altawkilat Extreme E

That was how the order stayed as the teams headed towards the Switch Zone for the driver change after two laps.

When the ODYSSEY 21s emerged, ASXE’s Sanz was immediately under huge pressure from Andretti Altawkilat’s Munnings. Try as she might, however, the Briton could not get ahead, with Sanz defending expertly to maintain the lead.

And the Spaniard held her nerve to take ASXE’s first win of Season 4 in front of a jubilant Carlos Sainz Snr, with second place for Andretti Altawkilat ensuring their first podium since the Island X Prix last summer.

Behind them, E.ON Veloce Racing’s Kevin Hansen and RXR’s Johan Kristoffersson duelled for the final podium slot, with the former coming out on top to secure a second third-place finish in as many days, and ensuring both Hansen brothers finished on the podium.

Nico Rosberg’s outfit had to settle for fourth after taking Round 1 honours yesterday, but still head the championship standings after the opening X Prix of the 2024 campaign.

Earlier today, the NEOM McLaren Extreme E Team secured crucial points with victory in the Redemption Race, sealing the win by overtaking series debutants LEGACY MOTOR CLUB IN ASSOCIATION WITH JIMMIE JOHNSON in the closing stages.

Dania Akeel (KSA) / Andreas Bakkerud (NOR), JBXE, crashes out

Timmy Hansen, Andretti Altawkilat Extreme E, said: “It was a tough battle, especially off the start. My plan was not to do what I did, but I managed to get a launch which was better than expected and I did not see any one. But then Fraser [McConnell] got past me and I had to make sure I kept second position.

“Fraser and I kept our heads down, and pushed as hard as we could to give our team-mates a good headstart after the driver change. I tried my best to close the gap, but it was so bumpy and dusty in the Grand Final.”

Catie Munnings, Andretti Altawkilat Extreme E, said: “It’s fantastic to start the year with a podium, I always think the start of the season sets the tone for the rest of the year. We definitely had the pace and we were unlucky with our quali draw yesterday, which meant that we didn’t make it to the final, so it was really nice to redeem ourselves today. I think we had the pace to win but I think we’ll save that one for later in the year!”

Kevin Hansen, E.ON Veloce Racing, said: “The team put together an amazing car for us. There wasn’t a single problem all weekend, so it was up to us out there to make the most of it. A special shout out to the guys in the Vodafone Business Command Centre as they did a fantastic job coaching us through the races. At the end of the day, we’re super happy with a double podium to start off the season and we’re up there in the title fight for sure.”

Molly Taylor, E.ON Veloce Racing, said: “It has been a great weekend for us. We had some fantastic battles and it was really challenging in the dust, but we had some amazing speed and the team have been on fire. It was really important at this point to take some solid points in the championship, and we’ve definitely started Season 4 on the right foot.”

Gray Leadbetter, (USA) / Travis Pastrana (USA), LEGACY MOTOR CLUB (LEGACY M.C.)

Grand Final result
1. ACCIONA | SAINZ XE Team 10:54.593mins
2. Andretti Altawkilat Extreme E +1.406s
3. E.ON Veloce Racing +4.662
4. Rosberg X Racing +8.051

Redemption Race result
1. NEOM McLaren Extreme E Team 8:32.825mins
3. SUN Minimeal Team +9.809s

Championship standings
1. Rosberg X Racing 41 points
2. ACCIONA | SAINZ XE Team 39 points
3. E.ON Veloce Racing 33 points
4. Andretti Altawkilat Extreme E 31 points
5. NEOM McLaren Extreme E Team 30 points
7. SUN Minimeal Team 10 points
8. JBXE 10 points

Gray Leadbetter, (USA) / Travis Pastrana (USA), LEGACY MOTOR CLUB (LEGACY M.C.)