Rosberg X Racing (RXR) had the chance to wrap up the Extreme E title on Sunday, but a technical failure prevented the team from making the grid in Chile.
RXR could have wrapped up consecutive titles in the Antofagasta Minerals Copper X Prix on Sunday, and the early signs looked positive. The team registered wins in qualifying and in the semi-finals. Should they have re-created their form in Sunday’s race, a second title beckoned.
However, Nico Rosberg’s team were unable to start the car for the main race, giving their competitors a chance for the title. The largest benefactors of RXR’s misfortune was Lewis Hamilton’s X44 Vida Carbon Racing, who claimed their first win of the season in the Chilean desert.
World-renowned rally driver Sébastien Loeb gave X44 the early lead, whilst Tanner Foust in the NEOM McLaren muscled his way up to second. The two cars were almost inseparable for the entire race, with Foust overtaking Loeb just before the change of drivers.
Following the switch-over, Cristina Gutiérrez re-took the lead for X44, making smart use of the Hyperdrive. It was apparent that no one could challenge McLaren and X44 as they constructed a significant gap to the cars behind.
Emma Gilmour in the McLaren then came back at Gutiérrez and made the pass down the inside of the X44. Aware that they had a penalty, the McLaren then pushed to build a gap to second, but it wasn’t enough.
Further penalties dropped McLaren to last, as X44 took the victory to close the gap on RXR to 17 points with just one final race remaining. They finished ahead of ACCIONA | SAINZ XE, who are a further six points back in the championship.
The second season of Extreme E, an environmentally-conscious rally series, concludes in Punta del Este in Uruguay at the end of November, with the title race still very much alive.
Photo by Extreme E