Extreme E: RXR extends championship lead in crash heavy Island X-Prix

Rosberg X Racing claimed yet another victory in Extreme E as Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky and Johan Kristoffersson came out on top in the first of two Island X-Prix’s.

After a lengthy delay to the season following the Ukraine crisis, Extreme E finally got back underway with the Island X-Prix, which took place in Sardinia, Italy. The action was worth the wait, however, with semi-finals and a final that were packed full of drama.

With the stage set in the midst of a scorching Italian summer, the drivers’ had to contend with record high temperatures as well as a challenging course layout with a number of different terrains.

The unpredictability of the course soon became apparent, as McLaren’s Emma Gilmour suffered a big shunt in the Crazy Race. The Kiwi driver was lucky to escape without any serious injuries, but that wouldn’t be the last major incident of the day.

The final was made up of Hummer EV Chip Ganassi Racing, Acciona Sainz XE Team, JBXE, reinging champions and championship leaders Rosberg X Racing, and Xite Energy Racing, who were taking part in their first Extreme E final.

It did not take long for the drama to unfold, Waypoint 2 to be precise, as Johan Kristoffersson ran into the side of Carlos Sainz, flipping the Spaniard over and causing significant damage to the Rosberg X Racing’s ODYSSEY 21.

Thankfully, Carlos Sainz was able to walk away from the accident, but Acciona Sainz were out of the race and will now be a doubt for Round 3 of the season which takes place in Sardinia once again in just a couple of days.

The damage to Kristoffersson failed to slow him down, however, as the Swede pushed forward and gained control of the race, building up a sizeable lead to Kyle Leduc of the Hummer EV.

Keen to bring an end to the RXR dominance, Leduc pushed as hard as he could to close the gap, but the American almost took it too far towards the end of the first lap as he came mightily close to flipping over on one of the many bumps on the circuit.

As the drivers’ entered the switch zone, the restart was delayed due to a red flag, as the Extreme E team saw to Carlos Sainz and his car. Sainz was able to walk away from the incident but looked visibly shaken from the collision.

The second lap was relatively uneventful in comparison, as Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky carefully navigated the course to avoid any accidents and to prevent any kind of upset. Despite best efforts from the chasing pack, it was yet another victory for the Rosberg X Racing team, who make it two wins from two this season.

RXR lead the championship on 60 points, with a healthy gap to second placed Hummer EV Chip Ganassi Racing on 30 points. Sitting in third place is Acciona Sainz on 28 points.

Thanks to the rescheduled Extreme E calendar, Round 3 of the championship takes place this coming Saturday, with the teams’ and drivers’ having a second chance at tackling the Italian terrain with another Island X-Prix in Sardinia.