Molly Taylor has enjoyed more success in the inaugural Extreme E Series after winning the second round alongside Rosberg X Racing teammate Johan Kristoffersson.
After a highly successful season opener in the desert of Saudi Arabia last month, the all-electric SUV off road racing series saw its high profile entry list venture west for its first ever Ocean X Prix on the coast of Lac Rose, Senegal.
With the Atlantic Ocean providing a stunning backdrop for the second event of the new series, Taylor and Kristoffersson proved to be the strongest and most consistent once again as a number of crews failed to overcome the difficult conditions,
Having qualified in second place behind the Lewis Hamilton backed entry of Sébastien Loeb and Cristina Gutiérrez, Taylor and Kristoffersson did everything they needed to do in the heats and semi-finals to make it to the four-car Grand Final.
The Grand Final proved dramatic right from the get-go as Hamilton’s X44 squad, who had been one of the front runners all weekend, made contact with Taylor in the Rosberg X Racing ODYSSEY 21 on the first corner fighting for the lead and the Hamilton entry was forced to the sidelines after their vehicle sustained terminal damage.
Another grand finalist, the JBXE entry of Kevin Hansen and Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky also failed to make it to the first corner after picking up rear-wheel damage.
The chaotic start allowed Taylor to use the clear pathway to build on her lead on the only other remaining car in the final, the surprise packet duo of Veloce Racing’s Stéphane Sarrazin and Jamie Chadwick – the 2016 RSEA Safety Motorsport Australia Rally Champion defending her position well over the fast charging Sarrazin.
The session was then red flagged in order to clear the two stranded vehicles, which set up what would be a one-lap dash between Kristoffersson and Chadwick for the outright victory.
However once the race did resume, Kristoffersson was just too good for Chadwick after just beating her on the straight before extending the gap on the windy section of the course to eventually take out a 15 second victory.
Following on from the win Taylor was thrilled the duo’s hard work paid off and they were able to take out the round.
“It’s so fantastic to have won today,” Taylor said.
“Coming here, it felt like we had a lot of work to do over the weekend, and it certainly didn’t come easy, but with every session we just kept our heads down and just saw where we needed to improve, and everything totally paid off in the end.
“It’s difficult to predict anything in Extreme E even when you have the best laid plan, but the team was awesome, and Johan really did a phenomenal job too.
“Obviously, we didn’t get to choose our grid position for the final, so we were where we were and that for me was on the inside, so it was all about trying to get the track position – I really just tried to get that established as early as I could and then hold onto it. It’s a steep bank and pretty tight coming into turn one, and as I went through, I made some contact, but this is close racing and that can happen.
“A really huge thanks to the team who did an incredible job and to Johan, equally incredible.”
Taylor and Kristoffersson now comfortably lead the series with 71 points, while the X44 squad of Loeb and Gutiérrez sit in second place a further 14 points behind.
After conquering the desert and the beaches, the Extreme E Series now turns to an ice surface with the Arctic X Prix to take place in the Kangerlussuaq in Greenland on 28-29 August.
Photos: Rosberg X Racing