The X44 Vida Carbon Racing team claimed their first victory of the Extreme E season in a dramatic first Copper X Prix Final in Chile at the weekend.
Sébastien Loeb and Cristina Gutiérrez finished second but were handed a vital win after penalties for winners NEOM McLaren Extreme E dropped them down the standings.
A dramatic twist saw No. 99 GMC HUMMER EV Chip Ganassi Racing enter the final as first reserve, after technical issues robbed championship leaders Rosberg X Racing a shot at securing the title this weekend.
The American team had finished the race in third, but in pushing hard to make the most of the opportunity, they received a penalty for missing a waypoint, which subsequently put No. 99 GMC HUMMER EV Chip Ganassi Racing off the podium and into fourth.
Following those penalties for NEOM McLaren Extreme E and No. 99 GMC HUMMER EV Chip Ganassi Racing, ACCIONA | SAINZ XE Team took second place and ABT CUPRA XE secured their first podium of the second season with third.
The victorious Loeb said: “We are very happy with the result today, of course. We were surprised to see that Rosberg X Racing weren’t competing in the final, but we didn’t have a lot of time to think about it as we were racing straight away.
“It was a very strong fight against some great teams but Cristina was incredible, securing the fastest lap of all the drivers in the final.”
Loeb’s teammate Gutiérrez said: “Today was amazing, we are so happy to have won the Copper X Prix and to still be in the fight for the championship. Rosberg X Racing are a really strong team so for them to not be able to drive in the final was not good for them, but hopefully it is more interesting to have more than one team fighting for the championship in Uruguay.
“It was a very tough race so I was surprised to get the fastest lap, but it shows what an incredible opportunity Extreme E is providing for female drivers to prove ourselves and show we can compete against some of the best drivers in the world. Now we go to Uruguay, which is very good for me as I love to race in South America. Hopefully we can even get another race win and maybe the championship too.”
Meanwhile Carlos Sainz Snr. of ACCIONA | SAINZ XE Team, said: “It was a very exciting weekend and now we need to look to Uruguay and make sure we do a good final race.
“Even though we made it to the final it was not easy from where we were. We have been consistent and have been improving, and in life you have to keep improving, although it’s difficult at my age.”
1. X44 Vida Carbon Racing 8:59:728
2. ACCIONA | SAINZ XE Team +6.093
3. ABT CUPRA XE +8.612
4. No. 99 GMC HUMMER EV Chip Ganassi Racing +10.159 (penalized)
5. NEOM McLaren Extreme E +18.935 (penalized)
Championship Points Standings:
1. Rosberg X Racing: 83
2. X44 Vida Carbon Racing: 66
3. ACCIONA | SAINZ XE Team: 60
4. No. 99 GMC HUMMER EV Chip Ganassi Racing: 55
5. NEOM McLaren Extreme E: 34
6. Genesys Andretti United Extreme E: 33
7. XITE ENERGY RACING: 29
8. JBXE: 25
9. ABT CUPRA XE: 21
10. Veloce Racing: 8