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.
Podium for Andretti United Extreme E in Dorset and third overall in the Drivers’ Championship
Andretti United Extreme E’s Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen rounded off a hugely successful debut season in Extreme E with a podium at this weekend’s Jurassic X Prix in Dorset, UK. They also secured third overall in the Drivers’ Championship.
It marks the third podium of the year for the Anglo-American team after Catie and Timmy finished second at the season-opener in Saudi Arabia and won the Arctic X Prix in Greenland.
Driving their electric SUV [the Odyssey 21], Catie and Timmy were placed seventh after qualifying. In Q1, the pairing struggled with visibility and sat sixth overall. Q2 was going smoothly with both drivers putting in rapid sector times before Timmy lost the rear of the car over a bump at waypoint 14 and hit a tree. The Swede managed to reverse the car back onto the course to get to the finish but lost around 18 seconds.
The incident in Q2 demoted Catie and Timmy to the Crazy Race shootout in a last attempt bid to reach Sunday’s all-important final. Timmy was fastest off the line in the Crazy Race and managed to keep a charging Kyle LeDuc behind him before handing over to Catie. Sara Price, however, was hot on Catie’s heels throughout the final lap but Catie successfully held on, eventually crossing the finish line 0.4s ahead of the Segi TV Chip Ganassi vehicle.
Today’s five-car final was a shootout between Andretti United, Rosberg X Racing, X44, JBXE and Acciona Sainz XE Team. The female drivers took to the wheel first with Catie at a disadvantage with a tough starting position deep in mud.
The 24-year-old got a strong start, however, settling into P4 before overtaking Molly Taylor halfway through the lap. Catie also closed on Mikaela from JBXE before losing out when the Swedish driver ran wide and Catie was forced to slam on the brakes to avoid a collision.
Catie then handed the Odyssey 21 over to Timmy who put in a polished performance to bring the car over the finish line in third position.
Following the team’s podium in Dorset, Andretti United Extreme E finish the year third in the drivers’ standings and fourth overall in the teams’ championship - just two points adrift of JBXE in third.
The second season of Extreme E will get underway in Neom, Saudi Arabia, in February 2022.
Catie Munnings commented: “We’re on the podium again which is always an amazing feeling – especially after we had such rough time in qualifying. We didn’t have an easy grid start for the final, it was practically a swimming pool of mud and I felt like I was sinking! I lost out in the fight for second after I was forced to use the brakes to avoid Mikaela but to finish with another trophy, and our third podium of the year is a great way to round out the season. It’s even sweeter knowing it’s my home race too. It’s been an amazing adventure with Extreme E – I’ve loved working from Timmy and learned so much from him and well done to our team and the entire Extreme E organisation for creating such an awesome series. I can’t wait for Season 2!”
Timmy Hansen commented: “This was one of the easier courses of the season, of course the mud made conditions difficult but it was more about ultimate pace which I really enjoyed. The standard of this championship is so high – all the guys and girls are on the limit all the time, everyone is fast but it’s just about finding the small details which can make a difference. We’ve learned so much this year and I’ve loved working with Catie. It’s an honour to work with Andretti United too – they are a hugely experienced team with knowledge across lots of different disciplines. Finally, I want to thank the media for helping to publicise this great championship, it’s been a fantastic joint effort by everyone.”
Roger Griffiths, Andretti United Extreme E Team Principal commented: “After a difficult start to the race weekend, we’re pleased to come away with third place today. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough to retain third in the teams’ championship but it’s great that Catie and Timmy have secured third overall in the drivers’ standings and to have stood on the podium in three out of five races the season is testament to all the hard work behind the scenes from both the drivers and the team. I am very proud of Andretti United and what has been achieved this year. It’s now time for a short Christmas break before we get ready for 2022 – we’ll build on the strong foundations and will be ready to come back fighting next year.”