X44’s Loeb/Gutierrez win Extreme E finale as RXR duo takes title

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X44’s Loeb/Gutierrez win Extreme E finale as RXR duo takes title

Off Road

X44’s Loeb/Gutierrez win Extreme E finale as RXR duo takes title

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Team X44, with drivers Sebastien Loeb and  claimed its first Extreme E victory at the Jurassic X Prix in Dorset, UK to finish in a tie on points with Rosberg X Racing in the standings, but on wins count back, RXR’s Molly Taylor and Johan Kristoffersson secured the inaugural crown in a dramatic finale for the all-electric off-road series.

X44’s Gutierrez made the best launch from the grid to lead the final from the start in the field of identical ODYSSEY 21 E-SUV machines, initially ahead of RXR’s Taylor and JBXE’s Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky.

Running fourth, Andretti United Extreme E’s Catie Munnings passed Ahlin-Kottulinsky early on the opening lap, but Ahlin-Kottulinsky battled back, passing both Munnings and then later Taylor to climb to second.

As Gutierrez pulled away out front, Munnings also passed Taylor around the outside at the Twins section of the track, Taylor dropping into the clutches of ACCIONA | Sainz Extreme E team’s Laia Sanz.

Munnings closed the gap to Ahlin-Kottulinsky and was right on the rear of JBXE machine into the Switch Zone entry at the end of the second lap around the 3.8-kilometer/2.4-mile route, but Munnings spun out.

With X44 in the lead, RXR needed to finish fourth to secure the title, but a spin for Sanz ahead of the Switch Zone made that fourth position more secure for the Nico Rosberg-owned squad.

With Loeb (X44), Kevin Hansen (JBXE), Timmy Hansen (Andretti United) and Kristoffersson (RXR) at the wheel, the top four positions remained the same after the driver changes in the Switch Zone, and to the finish line. While Loeb took the breakthrough win for X44 — which is owned by Rosberg’s former F1 teammate Lewis Hamilton — fourth position, 15 seconds off the lead, was enough for RXR to tie on points at the head of the order and claim the title by virtue of three wins to X44s one victory.

“This has been a challenging championship for us, but this weekend was the best so far,” said Loeb. “We came first in qualifying in every X Prix, but we kept having bad luck in the finals so to end on equal points with RXR after the season they’ve had is incredible and shows what we can do. “I’m confident we will do even better next year, but for now we will be celebrating with the team!”Gutierrez said,  “I am so happy — finally we have won an X Prix! I’m very proud of Seb and everyone in the team. It has been a tough year, but they all worked really hard and today it paid off. “A first-place race finish and second in the championship is amazing, and of course congratulations to RXR for such a great season. I can’t wait to come back next year and see what else we can do!”

Meanwhile, by finishing second, JBXE secured third in the standings, beating Andretti United by just two points.

Sunday’s races start with a half-hour highlights show of the preliminary at 12pm ET on FS2, followed by a 90-minute telecast of the final on FS1 starting at 2pm ET.

 

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