Neustadt, 23. September 2022. It is going to be a decisive weekend for Rosberg X Racing, the 2021 title defender and current leader of the Championship board. The team around Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky and Johan Kristoffersson are gearing up for the most important race of the season. The Copper X Prix in Antofagasta can make the dream of the second Extreme E title for the German squad founded by Nico Rosberg.
With a 32-point lead on the second runner No. 99 GMC HUMMER EV Chip Ganassi Racing, RXR can make no mistakes if they want to take the trophy home prematurely this Sunday, after the penultimate race of the 2022 Extreme E season. There is a good chance they might succeed, but it all depends on meticulous preparation, a thorough strategy, calm nerves, and cool heads.
The latter will certainly prove difficult in the Chilean Atacama Desert, south of the Centinela mine, which is 700 miles north of the capital Santiago. This is the driest (non-polar) region in the world, and it is also home to one of the largest copper mines. As electric vehicles rely heavily on copper not only for production but also for battery charging, Extreme E aims to highlight the development of sustainable alternatives.
Ahead of the crucial race, RXR’s drivers Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky and Johan Kristoffersson took time out of their busy schedule this week to visit the site of the Chilean host partner, Antofagasta Minerals, and learn more about the environmental impact of mining and innovative solutions to transform this crucial industry.
Carlos Duarte, Extreme E's Climate Change Scientist, explained: “Mining processes impact biodiversity, habitats, and freshwater resources, in addition to producing greenhouse gas emissions. For the transition to renewable energy, this requires that metals, such as copper, be produced at 2 to 3 times the current rate by 2050. So reusing materials, including water, and recovering energy at mining sites is a necessary framework for a sustainable future. Powering mining, from extraction to processing to transport, by renewable energy, and using renewable-powered desalination, or raw seawater, as the water source for mining, needs to become the process worldwide.”
Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky, Rosberg X Racing driver, commented: “This was a very impressive and highly educational experience. Just to think that the mine is roughly the same size as Santiago de Chile was incredible. It was interesting to learn about the impact of mining and to see the development of innovative solutions, such as mining vehicles with hydrogen, just like in Extreme E."
Back at the racetrack, the team returned to preparations for the upcoming weekend. With a track length of just over 3km, each driver will have to complete two laps on the course during each of the races – treating viewers to a four-lap fight out on the course where tactics and race craft will be more crucial than ever, especially given a totally new race location: With the difference in altitude, unique terrains, more laps and a brand new course to contend with, Extreme E’s South American racing debut promises to be a special one.
Speaking ahead of the Copper X Prix, Rosberg X Racing Team Principal, Kimmo Liimatainen commented: “We are very happy to be here and can’t wait for the weekend to begin. The track seems to be quite short, so this will play a role in our strategy. Obviously, we want to build up on our lead, but competition is still fierce, so we won’t get to rest much in the coming days.”
Johan Kristoffersson, Rosberg X Racing driver, added: “I am looking forward to the weekend. The short track and two-lap course could really suit us. With a view on what’s at stake, we must play it smart, and not take too big risks. But we are the ones to beat, so I imagine it will be tough.”
In time for the big showdown of the season, Rosberg X Racing also launched its first sustainable merchandise collection, designed and exclusively made by 8Six400. The collection is made from 100% recycled materials such as polyester, cotton and plastic bottles. The collection is available now on the team’s store at https://www.rosbergxracing.com/shop.