Rosberg X Racing won the NEOM Island X Prix II on Sunday with a late overtake to secure their second victory of Extreme E Season 2.
Lewis Hamilton’s X44 finished second and Genesys Andretti United Extreme E third, after ABT CUPRA XE were disqualified following a safety infringement.
With Nico Rosberg in the paddock to watch his team’s progress, a superb pass by Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky on ABT CUPRA XE’s Jutta Kleinschmidt sealed the win.
Åhlin-Kottulinsky, and teammate Johan Kristoffersson, who topped the standings prior to the Sardinian double header, now have a lead of 37 points ahead of their nearest challengers No.99 GMC Hummer EV Chip Ganassi Racing, with X44 now up to third.
RXR also scored maximum points from round three, with the quickest combined time in the Continental Traction Challenge adding five to their tally, bringing their total overall to 80 points.
Rosberg, founder and CEO of Rosberg X Racing, commented: “It is such a pleasure for me to work with this team. It reminds me of my F1 days. It’s been a great team effort with everyone giving their best and being at the height of their game. Both drivers have been performing at an incredibly high level.
“Johan was the star of race one in NEOM. Mikaela was the star of this weekend with her speed and incredible pass for the win through the water during the last lap. I couldn’t be prouder.”
Kristoffersson said: “I am very happy. It was a phenomenal weekend for us, starting with good qualifying and we were also very fast in the super sector. The car felt amazing all week and we have got to thank the team for that. They worked very hard, and it paid off.”
Åhlin-Kottulinsky added: “It’s been my strongest Extreme E weekend so far. We worked so hard, Johan and I analyzed everything to try and improve even more. The final was an absolute blast for me, waiting for (the) right opportunity to overtake Jutta. After this week, and everything that happened during the first race, I just feel like this is the ending that we deserved, and I am very happy for the team.”
The ABT CUPRA XE team, placed on the preferred line, had surged to the front of the group, with RXR close behind in second and X44 rounding out the top three
Timmy Hansen slotted into fourth for Genesys Andretti United Extreme E as X44’s Sebastien Loeb and Kristoffersson chased down Nasser Al-Attiyah further up the course.
Five seconds separated the front three as Al-Attiyah began to pull away from Kristoffersson.
It was still a four-way tear up for the win as the teams entered the switch zone until disaster struck for ABT CUPRA XE. During the driver change, Kleinschmidt failed to properly buckle her seatbelt before setting off on her lap. This would later lead to the team’s disqualification from the final, after they finished second on the course.
They then lost the lead thanks to the incredible overtake from Åhlin-Kottulinsky in the closing stages of the race, securing the team’s second win of 2022.
The ABT CUPRA XE team’s disqualification also promoted X44 into second and secured Genesys Andretti United Extreme E a spot on the third step of the podium, their first top three finish of the season, which was a huge boost for both teams after a difficult start to the Sardinian double header.
Loeb said: “In the end the feeling was quite good from the start of Q1 of the second race. The balance of the car was much better compared to the first event, so finally we could push and in the end we finished second in round three.
“It’s a good result, but we are still losing points to the leader, quite a lot actually given the super sector ones that they scored. We need to react as RXR is really strong. Both of the drivers are really fast and they make no mistakes, so we’ll need to be stronger next time.”
Next up in the race calendar is the Copper X Prix in Chile, from Sept. 24 to 25, and the rest of the grid will be working hard to knock RXR off their perch at the top of the standings.
1. Rosberg X Racing 9:12:668
2. X44 +8:227
3. Genesys Andretti United Extreme E +12.884
4. ACCIONA | SAINZ XE Team DNF
5. ABT CUPRA XE Disqualified
1. Rosberg X Racing: 80 points
2. NO.99 GMC Hummer EV Chip Ganassi Racing: 43 points
3. X44: 41 points
4. ACCIONA | SAINZ XE Team: 40 points
5. XITE ENERGY Racing: 27 points
6. Genesys Andretti United Extreme E: 27 points
7. NEOM McLaren Extreme E: 19 points
8. JBXE: 18 points
9. Veloce Racing: 7 points
10. ABT CUPRA XE: 6 points