Nico Rosberg’s team, Rosberg X Racing, took victory in the maiden Extreme E event, initially recovering from a slow start to take the advantage in Saudi Arabia’s Desert XPrix on Sunday.
The final was contested by Sunday’s two quickest teams in the semi-final – Rosberg X Racing and X44 – and the winner from the ‘crazy race’ – Andretti United – in a head-to-head race across two laps of the difficult desert track.
Reigning World Rally Cross champion Timmy Hansen flew off the start line to take a huge lead through the first gate, but the slow starting Johan Kristoffersson and Sebastien Loeb soon caught up with the help of some hyperdrive.
Kristoffersson moved into the lead at the second gate and immediately started to build a gap before the driver switch. Loeb meanwhile dropped further back with poor visibility harming his pace, falling a minute behind at the switch.
Molly Taylor maintained the advantage during her lap to bring the Rosberg X Racing Odyssey 21 SUV across the line in first place to score 25 points. Catie Munnings was just 23 seconds adrift in second with Cristina Gutíerrez more than 90 seconds back to take third for Lewis Hamilton’s X44 team.
Sunday’s semi-final saw Carlos Sainz and Laia Sanz take third, meaning they finish fourth overall for the Sainz XE team, ahead of crazy race runners-up Christine Giampaoli Zonca and Oliver Bennett in the Hispania Suiza machine and JBXE’s Jenson Button and Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky.
Seventh place goes to the ABT Cupra squad, which was involved in a collision with Chip Ganassi’s Kyle Luduc during the shoot-out event. The Veloce team finished ninth following a crash on Saturday, which they were unable to repair in time to compete in Sunday’s session.