Rosberg X Racing made a strong start to the Ocean X Prix weekend by setting the second-fastest time across the event’s two qualifying sessions in Lac Rose, Senegal.
Molly Taylor and Johan Kristoffersson’s combined efforts on the shores of West Africa were good enough to secure a place in Sunday’s semi-finals, where RXR will look to continue its strong start to the inaugural season of Extreme E. Leading the championship following their historic victory in the Desert X Prix, Taylor and Kristoffersson reaffirmed the team’s frontrunning credentials by setting an aggregate time of 22m12.438s, second only to team X44 and over half-a-minute clear of the chasing pack.
Kristoffersson took to the circuit at the start of Qualifying Round 1 looking to set a measured-yet-steady lap time, as both he and Taylor continued to acclimatise to the bumpy 6.186km beach course in Senegal. By the end of the opening lap, Kristoffersson had pulled out a 4.6s lead over the then-pacesetters Veloce Racing, ahead of Taylor taking the wheel following a well-executed driver switch. The duo completed their two-lap attempt with a 11m02.310s which would ultimately be good enough for P3 at the end of the first Qualifying Session. With changes to the rulebook ahead of the Ocean X Prix mandating that drivers have to alternate for each session, Qualifying Round 2 saw Taylor send the RXR ODYSSEY 21 off the line before handing over to Kristoffersson for the second lap. A committed start - including an excellent piece of car control to save a huge slide over one of the course’s jumps - saw Taylor set a 5m03.699s, with Kristoffersson completing his second lap of the day to give the team an overall time of 22m12.438s - good enough for P2 and a place in tomorrow’s semi-finals.
Following the two qualifying sessions, Rosberg X Racing driver Molly Taylor said: "Today has been a challenging day here in Senegal but one we have lots to learn from and many positives to take. I felt we didn’t quite get the balance of the car right in both sessions, and it’s so difficult to tweak the set-up for a course that keeps changing with every lap! But overall our pace was good, and we’re pleased to be through to the semi-finals. We have a lot of data to go through today, but we’ll be prepared for the racing tomorrow.”
Johan Kristoffersson, Rosberg X Racing driver, added: “It’s been an interesting start to the weekend for Molly and me in the car, but the team has done a great job to help us progress to the semi-finals tomorrow. The course is really technical, has lots of jumps and the racing lines keep changing with every lap, so we have to be prepared to expect the unexpected every time we’re out on the course. But it’s a lot of fun, and we have good pace ahead of tomorrow. Bring on the semi-finals!”
Kimmo Liimatainen, Rosberg X Racing Team Principal, said: "It’s been an interesting start to the weekend. We’re really happy to demonstrate our pace with P2 in Qualifying, and it’s encouraging to know that we still have pace to find in the car. Our aim is to always be competitive, and we know the potential is there to challenge for the podium tomorrow in the finals. The field is very close in terms of performance, and I’m sure that will make the racing really close tomorrow.”