Extreme E

Sanz and McConnell to lead Sainz XE’s Extreme E challenge

Laia Sanz will return to drive for Acciona Sainz XE (ASXE) in Extreme E Season 4, with a new partner in Fraser McConnell.

McConnell joins Sanz from Lewis Hamilton’s X44 Vida Carbon Racing as ASXE looks to improve on its second-place finish in last year’s competition.

Sanz, who has been with ASXE since the inaugural season of Extreme E, scored two podiums last season, alongside Mattias Ekström and has scored a total of nine podiums for ASXE.

She said: said: “I am really happy to continue racing for Acconia Sainz XE and I am really looking forward to starting working with Fraser because I am sure he will bring a lot to us. The team has grown a lot throughout this time and we have grown together.

“Last year we did a great job, even though we narrowly missed the title, and I am looking forward to continuing down this path. Today we feel like a family, we work really well together, always in sync, and I think it is very positive to continue to keep on improving.”

McConnell scored two wins for X44 last season after racing for Jenson Button’s JBXE in 2022 as the series’ Championship Driver. Prior to that, he established his reputation as a serious off-road racer in World Rallycross, Nitro Rallycross, ARX Rallycross and the RallyX Nordic Supercar Championship.

Commenting on his move, McConnell said: “I am so honoured to be selected as the male driver for the Acciona SAINZ XE Team this year and I cannot wait to get started at the first event in Saudi Arabia.

“Receiving the call from Carlos asking me to join the team was such a surreal moment for me because growing up I was such a big fan and still to this day he is such an inspiration. He is also still such a fierce competitor so having that energy within the team is definitely going to help us win races and I am sure I will be able to learn many things from him.

“I am also very much looking forward to teaming up with Laia who has been so fast over the last few seasons and I can feel that we will be a very strong driver pairing and aim to win the championship together.”

Joan Orús, team principal at ASXE, added: “We are really happy to welcome Fraser to the team. His youth and his will to succeed will help us achieve our goals for this season. Of course, having Laia for a fourth season in a row is a luxury. Her experience and her improvement are impressive, as she has shown recently in the Dakar Rally or as we could see throughout 2023 when she established herself as maybe the fastest female driver in Extreme E.

“With the solid presence of Acciona and the arrival of Red Bull to the team, we have the baseline we need to do a great year.”

Matt Allan

Matt is Editor of EV Powered. He has worked in journalism for more than 20 years and been an automotive journalist for the last decade, covering every aspect of the industry, from new model reveals and reviews to consumer and driving advice. The former motoring editor of inews.co.uk, The Scotsman and National World, Matt has watched the EV landscape transform beyond recognition over the last 10 years and developed a passion for electric vehicles and what they mean for the future of transport - from the smallest city cars to the biggest battery-powered trucks. When he’s not driving or writing about electric cars, he’s figuring out how to convert his classic VW camper to electric power.