A highly competitive Season 2 has rolled the showdown for the title onto the fifth and final race of the year, the Energy X Prix, to be staged this weekend in Punta del Este, Uruguay.
However, they are not alone in their title hunt as two other teams remain in contention for the title in the series’ second visit to South America, the first to Uruguay.
In the lead-up to the season’s grand finale, the off-road, all-electric racing series breaks new ground in Uruguay, one of the leading countries in renewable energy production, currently generating over 98 percent of all electricity from renewable sources, primarily through wind power.
With still 30 points on the table, the team founded by Nico Rosberg, Rosberg X Racing (RXR), leads the championship standings with 93 points, just 17 ahead of rival, X44 Vida Carbon Racing, founded by Hamilton.
The reigning champions (RXR), represented by the Swedish duo Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky, and the five-time FIA World Rallycross champion Johan Kristoffersson, aim to claim back-to-back titles.
“There’s definitely a lot at stake going into the final round of this season. You need to be cautious and not always take big risks, but I just want to get back behind the wheel and give it my all. In Extreme E, anything can happen, so it’s important that we remain focused, stay on our toes and do the best we can,” Ahlin-Kottulinsky remarked.
Meanwhile, 2021 runner-up, X44 Vida Carbon Racing, arrives in Punta del Este on top form, having earned its maiden victory thus far this season at the Antofagasta Minerals Copper X Prix in Chile by late September, summing up 66 points.
The outfit is in pursuit of RXR, looking to record a maiden championship triumph by the hands of the pairing Cristina Gutierrez and Sebastien Loeb.
Last year, the Spaniard became only the second woman ever to win a Dakar Rally stage.
For his part, the Frenchman, who also goes by the nickname of Le Patron, ‘The Boss,’ is the most successful driver in WRC history with nine-time under his belt.
Extreme E Founder and CEO Alejandro Agag commented: “The Uruguay Natural Energy X Prix promises to be a spectacular event, especially as we have such a close battle for the lead with four teams still in the running to win the championship. We are confident it will be one of our most thrilling rounds yet.”
“Punta del Este marks a stunning location to complete our second Extreme E season, and its commitment towards sustainable solutions and the energy transition is not only commendable, but a benchmark for the rest of the world.”
The team led by rally legend Carlos Sainz Snr., ACCIONA SAINZ XE Team, stands in third place, entering the title fight with a 60 points tally.
The ‘Matador’ as Sainz Snr. is also known, outlined: “We have been pushing all season long, but in Uruguay, we will double our efforts because we still have a slim shot at the championship. Hopefully, it will be a good show for the fans.”
For the first time since its inception, the environmental purpose-driven championship will have spectators (6000 people) following the action on-site.
In fourth place stands No. 99 GMC HUMMER EV Chip Ganassi Racing with 55 points, seeking to emerge victorious to lift their first-ever Extreme E trophy.
The American squad will feature a new driver line-up ahead of the final, as due to a calendar clash, Kyle LeDuc will not be able to compete alongside teammate Sara Price.
Californi-born driver RJ Anderson, a two-time Baja 1000 champion, will join Price in the team’s bid for victory.
“The team has done a great job all season long, and I can’t wait to race alongside Sara for the season finale,” the 29-year-old said.
The stellar 20-driver field also features Swedish brothers Timmy and Kevin Hansen, Emma Gilmour, the first female driver for McLaren, and the quadruple Dakar Rally winner, Nasser Al-Attiyah among other big names that take part in the pioneering series.
Extreme E revealed on Thursday the course that will challenge the drivers this weekend.
In that regard, Timo Scheider, Extreme E Championship Driver, stated: “We have what I think is a very exciting starting area down to Waypoints 1 and 2. It is a wide open, slightly downhill slope into the first drop, which will create some action. The good thing here is that we will have a side-by-side situation for up to five cars. Then, we enter the ditch, and jumping out of that, the cars will likely still be next to each other.”
Adding: “I expect plenty of track evolution as the drivers run lines into the course and form ruts, so they will have to hit the line perfectly.
“Otherwise, they will have to fight hard to recover. I also expect, next to the line, it will remain very slippery, so we will likely see the cars sliding all over the place.”