Ocean X Prix: Rosberg, X44, JBXE and Veloce advance to final

Extreme E returns as Rosberg X Racing, X44, JBXE and Veloce Racing make it through to the Ocean X Prix final in Senegal after battling it out in the morning sessions.

New electric motorsport series Extreme E returned this weekend with the Ocean X Prix in Senegal. After getting to grips with the track on Friday, Saturday’s session saw the teams attempt their fastest laps to qualify as high as possible in the standings.

Qualifying ended with teams X44, Rosberg X Racing and ABT Cupra XE taking first, second and third respectively, securing their places in today’s first semi-final.

Extreme E
Credit: Extreme E Media Centre

JBXE, Veloce Racing and Xite Energy Racing were the next three fastest Odyssey 21s around the track, so they race each other in the second semi-final, with Segi Chip Ganassi, Andretti United and Acciona Sainz completing the standings and facing each other in the shoot out.

The top two teams from each semi-final progress to a four-car final this afternoon.

Semi-Final 1 got underway with all three cars experiencing some wheel-spin off the line. The X44 and RXR Odyssey 21s got close trying to edge ahead on the starting straight but Loeb managed to out-drag Kristoffersson whilst Ekström led.

Kristoffersson took a wide line close to the sea which saw him able to hit back at the X44 and overtake. From there, the X44 tried to come back on the RXR Odyssey 21 but was still behind when they came in for the Switch with the ABT Cupra in the lead.

Extreme E
Credit: Extreme E Media Centre

The Switches went well for each of the teams initially, but Kleinschmidt couldn’t get her car going straight away and ended up losing the lead as a result. Taylor got away well for RXR with Gutiérrez close behind whilst the ABT Cupra chased after the disappointing restart from the Switch.

Taylor and Gutiérrez were so close all the way round on their lap, taking different lines in the hope of trying to sneak some extra time here and there. Ultimately, the ABT Cupra was just too far behind to compete and Taylor for RXR and Gutiérrez for X44 comfortably made it through to the final.

Semi-Final 2 saw Jamie Chadwick’s first race in the Odyssey 21 after being denied last time round. JBXE had a great start from Hansen with Bennett and Chadwick coming together at Turn one, although Chadwick managed to defend her place.

Hansen sped off way ahead of the others who were really battling in the sand. Bennett took a risk and went for an alternate line which didn’t quite work out but he still didn’t lose too much time and remained close to the Veloce car. Bennett eventually made his way past the Xite Energy car just before the Switch.

The Switch was simple for all teams, Åhlin-Kottulinsky making the most of her head start. Christine GZ and Sarrazin were close on their lap, although a small mistake from Sarrazin at Turn 1 lost him a little time.

Sarrazin came back for Veloce Racing though and managed to overtake after a coming-together with GZ. She then came back, desperately trying to find a way back through, but Sarrazin saved his power boost for the final part of his lap which secured the team second and a place in the final. Åhlin-Kottulinsky maintained the lead for JBXE and secured a comfortable win to see them through too.

Today’s final and shoot-out will air at 3pm BST.