Extreme E arrives in Senegal for the second round of the all-new motorsport championship’s inaugural season at the Ocean X Prix.
After the desert of Saudi Arabia played host to the electric series’ opening round last month, the sustainable series heads to Africa and the shores of Lac Rose on the outskirts of Dakar for a different kind of driving challenge.
Sand, salt beds, gravel, rocks and undulations, the event on the west coast of Africa will shed light on rising sea levels, marine ecosystem degradation and desertification.
Nico Rosberg’s team will aim to build on their winning start in the five-round championship. The 2016 world champion’s Rosberg X Racing squad emerged on top in a three-car final in Saudi Arabia which also featured the team owned by former fierce F1 rival Lewis Hamilton, X44.
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“The team did an incredible job in Saudi Arabia to get the win and we’re very proud to be the first X Prix winners in Extreme E history, but we know we need to stay focused if we are to remain at the front,” said Rosberg.
“The series is already so competitive, but this team loves a challenge, and we can’t wait to go racing again in Senegal.”
Jenson Button is the third former F1 world champion with his own team, JBXE, and drove the car in Saudi Arabia. But the 2009 F1 title winner will not be in action at round two, with Kevin Hansen taking his place, as the Englishman focuses on his team owner role.
Britain’s Jamie Chadwick drives for Veloce Racing and will be hoping to turn a wheel at round two after a big qualifying crash for team-mate Stephane Sarrazin ruled the outfit out of the remainder of the opening weekend.
Rule tweaks to spice up Round Two
The opening event certainly started in dramatic style, with big barrel roll crashes during the first qualifying time trials for Sarrazin and Abt’s Claudia Hurtgen.
But the huge plumes of sand kicked up by the SUVs in the remote desert meant that the head-to-head races of the semi-finals and final produced little wheel-to-wheel action and overtaking.
But the Senegal event is expected to allow closer combat, with the layout to use the existing tracks surrounding the lake which is famous for its striking pink colour.
In tweaks to the Saudi Arabia format, four cars instead of three will go head-to-head in the final, while there will also be the addition of a ‘Super Sector’ – a part of the course where the fastest driver over the weekend will earn five points for their team to add to their championship tally.
Challenging and technical… take a closer look at the #OceanXPrix circuit!
The Super Sector is new for this race, with the fastest team through the split during the weekend awarded an additional 5 Championship Points!#ExtremeE #OceanXPrix pic.twitter.com/vXf7VMZATv
When to watch live on Sky
Live on Sky Sports Action and Sky Sports Mix
12.30pm: Qualifying Round One
5pm: Qualifying Round Two (Sky Sports Mix only)
3pm: The Final
Who is driving for who at Round Two?
Abt Cupra XE: Mattias Ekstrom and Claudia Hurtgen
Acciona | Sainz XE Team: Carlos Sainz and Laia Sanz
Andretti United: Timmy Hansen and Catie Munnings
Segi TV Chip Ganassi Racing: Kyle LeDuc and Sara Price
XITE Energy Racing: Oliver Bennett and Christine GZ
JBXE: Kevin Hansen and Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky
Rosberg X Racing: Johan Kristoffersson and Molly Taylor
Veloce Racing: Stephane Sarrazin and Jamie Chadwick
X44: Sebastien Loeb and Cristina Gutierrez
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