As the championship kicked off in NEOM, Saudi Arabia, for the Desert X Prix, RXR’s Johan Kristoffersson and Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky brought home a solid set of points as they looked to claim their second Extreme E championship in three seasons.
Two third-place finishes from the first two rounds, in what was anticipated to be the most competitive Extreme E season yet, ensured a consistent opening to the campaign.
It could have been even more for RXR, having crossed the line at the head of the pack in the Round 1 Grand Final. However, the team was later hit with a penalty after a Slow Zone violation, undoing their Grand Final efforts which included a sublime start from Kristoffersson.
The all-new racing format gave RXR the opportunity to go for the win once again in Round 2. The team suffered some setbacks in Qualifying, including contact with ASXE and ABT CUPRA XE, plus a false start, but a place in the Grand Final was secured. A race-long battled ensued with Veloce Racing as the duo tussled for second place, but RXR would have to settle for third once more as they left the deserts of Saudi Arabia third in the standings.
The Hydro X Prix marked the only X Prix of the season that RXR did not take their place amongst the top-three positions at either round despite making both Grand Finals.
After losing out to Andretti Altawkilat Extreme E and X44 Vida Carbon Racing at the start of the Round 3 Grand Final, RXR would drop out of contention after a crash for Kristoffersson with a rocky bank of the course, rolling his ODYSSEY 21 in the process and into retirement.
Round 4 offered an opportunity to bounce back in Scotland. A second and third place from their two Qualifying Heats ensured the team kept their 100 per cent record of Grand Final appearances in 2023. However, in a Grand Final which saw title rivals Veloce Racing pull clear, contact with challengers ASXE ruled both teams out of the running and those dropping further points.
They would both, however, recover strongly in Sardinia as the championship returned for its Mediterranean leg of the season.
A dominant weekend from RXR saw the team win Rounds 5 and 6 on the Italian island, continuing their success in Sardinia, and leaping them up to second in the overall standings.
Nevertheless, they were shadowed home in both races by ASXE, who took over the championship lead in the process, while Nico Rosberg’s team benefitted from a post-race penalty handed to No. 99 GMC HUMMER EV Chip Ganassi Racing in Round 5 after the American outfit crossed the line in first.
Given RXR’s history of success racing in Sardinia more of the same was expected in Rounds 7 and 8.
Despite again making both Grand Finals, fourth was the maximum that RXR could achieve in Round 7 after a tumultuous Grand Final – which saw multiple cars suffer damage and visibility issues out on course as they battled for position.
RXR lost ground to ASXE and Veloce Racing – both of which made the podium – but clawed back the points deficit in Round 8.
After two Qualifying Heats it looked as if RXR would miss out on their first Grand Final appearance of the season, but their speed through the Continental Traction Challenge bumped them up the order and into the all-important top-five ranking teams.
A difficult start in the Round 8 Grand Final dropped RXR down to fourth, but some feisty driving from Kristoffersson moved RXR into second place before shadowing X44 Vida Carbon Racing home to bank valuable points. Both ASXE and Veloce Racing contested the Redemption race for Round 8, closing the gap still further.
At last year’s Antofagasta Minerals Copper X Prix, it looked like the Atacama Desert would be the backdrop for RXR’s second championship success in as many seasons.
However, technical issues prior to the Final meant the team could not take back, dropping valuable points and momentum in the process. This would be the catalyst for X44 Vida Carbon Racing to overhaul them in the standings, snatching the championship at the 2022 finale.
RXR will be aiming for redemption when they take to the track for the title decider in Chile (2-3 December), as the 2023 season heads towards a dramatic conclusion.
The crowning of the 2023 champions will be live across ITV and STV in the UK, while outside of the UK please visit here for broadcaster details.