Back for its second season, Extreme E returned to Saudi Arabia for the Desert X Prix this weekend, held in a new location of NEOM in the northwest of the country.
Andretti United Extreme E’s Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen win Arctic X Prix in Greenland
Andretti United Extreme E’s Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen have won the inaugural Arctic X Prix – round three of Extreme E – after a sensational drive from both drivers in Greenland, the first-ever motorsport event to be held in the country.
Driving their electric SUV [the ODYSSEY 21], Catie and Timmy were placed fourth after Saturday’s qualifying sessions. In Q1, the team hit trouble when the car stopped at the end of Timmy’s lap with a software issue. Timmy managed to get the car back to the Switch Zone where he handed it over to Catie who successfully got the car to the finish in P7.
The British-American team worked hard to repair the car between sessions and Catie and Timmy were back fighting for Q2 where they posted the third quickest time catapulting them duo up to P4 at the end of Saturday.
Timmy also successfully posted the quickest Super Sector time - a part of the course where the fastest driver in that section over the weekend earns five points for their team. Timmy’s time from Q1 remained the quickest throughout the entire weekend.
Sunday was a near-perfect day for the Anglo-Swedish pairing as Catie and Timmy put in a superb performance to win their semi-final ahead of Rosberg X Racing’s Johan Kristoffersson and Molly Taylor plus ABT Cupra XE’s Mattias Ekstrom and Jutta Kleinschmidt.
In the all-important five-car final, it was Catie who took to the wheel first battling with the likes of nine-time World Rally Champion, Sebastien Loeb. Loeb eventually passed Catie despite her valiant efforts to keep the Frenchman behind her but then Catie overtook Molly Taylor in a phenomenal move at the riverbed section to enter the Switch Zone in P2.
X44 dropped out of contention for the win following a rear puncture leaving Timmy and Johan Kristoffersson to battle for the top spot. Car issues hindered Kristoffersson, however, leaving Timmy to power into the lead eventually crossing the finish line over 2.6s ahead of his brother, Kevin.
Following their win this weekend, Andretti United Extreme E are now third in the overall standings - eight points adrift of X44 in second and 17 behind championship leaders Rosberg X Racing who leave Greenland with 93 points.
Next in the Extreme E calendar is the championship’s Island X Prix which will be staged in Sardinia from 23-24 October.
Catie Munnings commented: “This is the best day ever, my cheeks hurt from smiling so much. I know I always say this but Timmy really is my hero, the level of skill he can tap into out there on the track is just unbelievable and it’s really cool to be working alongside him. I’m used to rallying where I’m racing against the clock so it doesn’t always feel natural racing against others but today everything just went right for us. To be lining up on the start alongside some of childhood heroes today such as Sebastien [Loeb] feel surreal and to take the win is a dream come true. Thank you to the entire team, we’ve come so far from Senegal and I want to thank everyone – especially my family and friends supporting me back at home too, which means so much.”
Timmy Hansen commented: “Today has been the perfect day. I’m a racer and I always want to win so of course the trophy was at the forefront of my mind when I woke up this morning but to actually win it is an amazing feeling. I’m so proud of Catie, she drove unbelievably well on the first lap and her overtake on Molly was awesome. It’s been incredible being out here in Greenland, looking around at this landscape and seeing the glacier – something which we are all out here to highlight the importance of – is amazing and none of this has sunk in yet. Finally, I want to say well done to Extreme E, they pulled off a race in the most extreme of environments in the middle of nowhere and that’s an unbelievable achievement.”
Michael Andretti, Andretti United Extreme E co-owner commented: “What a dream result for the team. The driving conditions here were extremely difficult but Catie and Timmy showed bravery and maturity behind the wheel, both looking after the car but putting in phenomenal pace when it mattered most. With two rounds still remaining and judging on this weekend’s performance, Andretti United Extreme E are certainly in with a fighting chance of becoming the first Extreme E series champions.”
Richard Dean, Andretti United Extreme E co-owner commented: “Catie and Timmy were nothing short of brilliant today and thoroughly deserved to take home the winners’ trophy. They did a great job of fighting back from their misfortune in Q1 and for Timmy to take the Super Sector win thanks to his outright pace was the icing on the cake. Well done to the entire team for their efforts this weekend and congratulations to Alejandro [Agag] and Extreme E for putting on an event in such challenging surroundings.”
Roger Griffiths, Andretti United Extreme E Team Principal commented: “What an incredible race! The weekend didn’t start out as planned with the issue we had during Q1 but since then, Catie and Timmy have put in a flawless performance and navigated the track perfectly. As teammates they work really well together and their efforts today prove just why Andretti United Extreme E have signed these two up for another season. Bring on Sardinia!”