With just four rounds left of Extreme E Season 3, the championship is closing up ahead of the remaining two X Prix of the campaign. With the top three teams separated by 14 points, and four winners from six races, the series is set for its closest title battle yet.
After finishing the Season 2 Finale as the fastest qualifiers, Veloce Racing maintained their upward momentum at the start of 2023 by taking their debut win in Extreme E.
Kevin Hansen and Molly Taylor were immediately on the pace in the sands of Saudi Arabia, winning the opening round of Season 3 at the Desert X Prix in NEOM, Saudi Arabia. They were joined on the podium by ACCIONA | SAINZ XE Team (ASXE) and Season 1 champions Rosberg X Racing.
The same trio were back on the podium for Round 2 in NEOM, although it was Spanish outfit ASXE who picked up their maiden victory in Extreme E.
New driver pairing Laia Sanz and Mattias Ekström, the latter replacing the injured Carlos Sainz Snr., were on the pace throughout the weekend with a first win just rewards, with Veloce Racing and RXR second and third.
The series visited Scotland for the first time for Rounds 3 and 4, with the Hydro X Prix course and backdrop one of the most dramatic on the calendar so far.
All eyes were on Andretti Altawkilat’s Catie Munnings at the team’s home event, and it looked like they would take their first win since the 2021 Arctic X Prix as Munnings crossed the finish line in first.
However, an earlier penalty awarded to Andretti Altawkilat demoted them to second, allowing Season 2 champions X44 Vida Carbon Racing to take their first win of the campaign. Carl Cox Motorsport also took their first-ever Extreme E podium at the team’s home event.
Round 4 of the championship saw the first double-winner of the campaign, as Veloce Racing took home the honours in the second part of the Hydro X Prix double-header.
A charging NEOM McLaren Extreme E team finished second to take their first podium of the campaign, while in third were No. 99 GMC Hummer EV Chip Ganassi Racing’s new driver pairing of Amanda Sorensen and RJ Anderson.
Fourth and fifth in the Round 4 Grand Final were ASXE and RXR after colliding in the race, giving Veloce Racing a further boost following their second win of the campaign as the team claimed the championship lead.
Both teams, though, were back on song at the Island X Prix in Sardinia, co-organised and coordinated by the Automobile Club d’Italia and Regione Sardegna. Nico Rosberg’s RXR outfit took two wins in Rounds 5 and 6, while ASXE returned to the top of the Season 3 standings after a strong showing on the Italian island.
In each event Sanz and Ekström trailed the superlative pairing of Johan Kristoffersson and Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky for RXR, with both teams leapfrogging Veloce Racing in the standings after the British outfit finished sixth and seventh, respectively, in Italy.
In Round 5, No. 99 GMC Hummer EV Chip Ganassi Racing made it back-to-back podiums as they finished third. It could have been so much more for the team after finishing first on the course, but a penalty applied post-race dropped them down the order.
No. 99 GMC Hummer EV Chip Ganassi Racing trailed RXR and ASXE in Round 6 and were so close to making it three podium finishes in a row, but they were pipped at the final corner by Andretti Altawkilat’s Munnings who snatched third place.
RXR became the first team to win both races at an X Prix so far this season, closing the gap to the new championship leaders ASXE to four points.
With just 14 points separating the top three with four Rounds remaining, Extreme E Season’s championship battle is all set to be closer than ever.
Copy and images courtesy of Extreme E.