NEOM: Veloce Racing secured their first-ever victory in Extreme E following a penalty for on course winners Rosberg X Racing (RXR) in the Grand Final of the opening round in NEOM.
Kevin Hansen and Molly Taylor put in a consistent drive for the Desert X Prix Round 1 Grand Final, and while it looked like an outright win was within their grasp, they ended the race in second behind Nico Rosberg’s outfit.
After crossing the finish line in first place, RXR received a penalty for speeding under a yellow flag, dropping the team from first to third and ensuring Veloce Racing took the top step on the podium for the first time. The Acciona Sainz XE Team finished third on course, but jumped up to second after RXR received their time penalty.
Winners of the series’ first Redemption Race were the NEOM McLaren Extreme E Team having seen off championship debutants Carl Cox Motorsport. Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour came out as best of the rest in a race of two halves, as the session was red flagged following racing incidents for Andretti Altawkilat Extreme E and ABT Cupra XE.
A victorious Hansen said: “It feels great. To come back to Saudi Arabia and get my first Extreme E win with this new team, with Molly, and in the country that I had such a career changing accident, this is such a highlight.
“Both of us believe so much in what the engineers and mechanics are doing, so we feel so safe when we get in the car. We believe in what we are going to drive and I think that is also giving some results.”
Meanwhile, team-mate Taylor said: “I think all of us in the team clicking right from the beginning and developing and improving. We were able to start at a really good level in Uruguay form there they've been really good at bringing the best out of every aspect that we look into.
“Our team principal Luc (Alphand) knows what it takes to win. Having that faith in someone like that, who's got the scores on the board, who knows what you're feeling, and knows how to translate that into results, I think that's a real advantage for us.”
The remaining five teams fought it out in the Redemption Race to determine sixth to 10th place in the Desert X Prix Round 1 standings.
1. Veloce Racing 11:56.291
2. ACCIONA | SAINZ XE Team +16.709
3. Rosberg X Racing +2:08.041 (PENALISED)
4. X44 Vida Carbon Racing DNF
5. No.99 GMC HUMMER EV Chip Ganassi Racing DNF
1. NEOM McLaren Extreme E Team 28:55.292
2. Carl Cox Motorsport +5.552
3. JBXE DNF
4. ABT CUPRA XE DNF
5. Andretti ALTAWKILAT Extreme E DNF
1. Veloce Racing: 26 points
2. ACCIONA | SAINZ XE Team: 21 points
3. Rosberg X Racing: 15 points
4. X44 Vida Carbon Racing: 13 points
5. No.99 GMC HUMMER EV Chip Ganassi Racing: 11 points
6. NEOM McLaren Extreme E Team: 8 points
7. Carl Cox Motorsport: 6 points
8. JBXE: 4 points
9. ABT CUPRA XE: 2 points
10. Andretti Altawkilat Extreme E: 1 point