Jenson Button’s JBXE Extreme E team has announced a new-look driver line-up for the 2024 season.
Andreas Bakkerud returns for his second campaign with JBXE and will be partnered by Saudi Arabia’s Dania Akeel, who will make her debut at her home event, the Desert X Prix, on 17 and 18 February.
Akeel was the first female Saudi to obtain a motorbike track licence and competed in the UAE National Sportsbike Superseries in 2019/20. She then moved to four wheels, competing in the Dakar Rally in 2021 and 2023. Last year also saw her secure podiums in the FIA World Bajas Cup and Saudi Toyota Rally Championship.
Akeel said: “I’m very excited to join the fun that I’ve been witnessing at Extreme E since it started. Sport is the perfect medium for both work and play, and I’m looking forward to what I’ll learn in this type of racing. Being home for the first round will have its comforts, and I couldn’t ask for a nicer start.
“Thank you to the JBXE team for this opportunity; working with Jenson is a true privilege, and I aim to deliver my absolute best.”
Bakkerud said: “I’m thrilled to be back with JBXE for 2024. It is great to be a part of this championship and I can’t wait for the new season. This will be my first time racing in the sand. Last year I got to be ringside watching the epic scenery of the race in NEOM, and now I’m just pumped getting to race it.
“Welcoming Dania as a teammate is an exciting prospect. Her rise through the motorsport ranks has been monumental and I’m optimistic about what can happen when we head to Saudi Arabia.”
Team owner and former F1 world champion, Jenson Button, added: “I am delighted to welcome Andreas back to JBXE and it is great to have Dania make her Extreme E debut with us. I believe we have got a strong driver pairing for 2024.
“Andreas’ experience with the team gives us a great platform to achieve positive results this season, while Dania has demonstrated her off-road capabilities in other categories and that will give us plenty of experience for the season ahead. I’m confident we can hit the ground running at the Desert X Prix, especially in Dania’s home event, and we are really looking forward to the new season.”
Bakkerud joined JBXE ahead of the Hydro X Prix last term after a brief stint as Championship Driver and has secured two top-five finishes from his eight races to date. Prior to joining Extreme E he enjoyed a wealth of success in other off-road categories including the FIA World Rallycross championship and Nitro Rallycross.