Carlos Sainz, Sr. and Laia Sanz

Sainz Extreme E Racing Team Returns for Season Two

Sainz XE Team have retained their driver line-up for the forthcoming campaign, with Carlos Sainz Sr. and Laia Sanz back behind the wheel for Extreme E Season 2.

SOURCE: Extreme E

Sainz Sr. and Sanz were part of a hotly contested inaugural season of Extreme E and this was possibly best evidenced in the midfield, where the teams fourth to sixth in the Championship were separated by just 17 points. The Spanish duo finished sixth in the standings, tied on points with ABT Cupra XE courtesy of a podium in Greenland keeping them in the fight.

ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team began their maiden Extreme E campaign with a strong showing in Saudi Arabia, qualifying second and finishing the Desert X Prix in fourth. A difficult Ocean X Prix meant Sainz Sr. and Sanz could only finish eighth, but they bounced back strongly in Greenland to take their first podium in the series with a third-place finish.

Sainz Sr. and Sanz's progress was hindered in Sardinia as they finished seventh, but a strong fifth place at the season-finale in the UK after qualifying in the top three ensured they ended the campaign on a high.?The team will be determined to pick up where they left off on course in Season 2, which gets underway next month in NEOM, Saudi Arabia (19-20 February).

Carlos Sainz Sr., arguably one of the greatest rally drivers of all-time, has won the FIA World Rally Championship twice, in 1990 and 1992. He has also won the Dakar Rally three times: in 2010, 2011 and 2020. The Spanish driver received the Princess of Asturias Sports Award in 2020 for his successful career in elite world motorsport, and in the same year, was voted the best driver in rallying by fans and journalists.

Most recently the 59-year-old Spaniard, driving for the Audi Q Motorsport team, arrived in Saudi Arabia for the Dakar rally seeking a third overall triumph in five years. Sainz Snr. won stage three, recording the fastest time in the Car category by 38 seconds, and finished 12th overall.

Also competing in the 2022 Dakar Rally was Laia Sanz, marking her car debut having ridden motorbikes at the Dakar Rally every year since 2011 and having made the switch to cars for Extreme E Season One.

Sanz has been crowned Trial World Champion 13 times, Enduro World Champion on five occasions and has finished the Dakar Rally ten times between 2011 and 2020. She finished ninth overall in 2015, achieving the best result ever by a woman in the motorcycle category on the event.

Carlos Sainz Snr., ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team, said: "We are about to start Season 2 of the Extreme E Championship. It's quite surprising how fast time flies because it seemed yesterday that we were about to embark on this thrilling adventure that has taken us all over the world with a unique message. All the members of the ACCIONA | SAINZ XE Team, also Laia and myself, are really looking forward to this new season in which we want to fight for everything. The experience we gained in 2021 must help us to take a step forward to start fighting for better results and even the Championship. I am really looking forward to the first X Prix in Saudi Arabia to show just how much we have progressed.

"The level of the Championship is really high, but we want to win and to send the strongest possible message about the importance of sustainability and respecting the environment. It makes me proud that we are doing this with a project that is entirely Spanish, so I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all the parties that make this possible for their confidence, including Santander Private Banking and Power Electronics, which will continue supporting us this year."

Laia Sanz, ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team, said: "I am really looking forward to the season opener in Saudi Arabia. I think it will be a different year to 2021 because we are not starting from scratch. Now the team has experience with the Odyssey 21 and I have been able to do many kilometres on four wheels, so I am convinced that I will be able to help the team much more. In the last races of 2021, we already took a step forward in terms of performance and I think that this is promising for what is to come. This winter I was able to do my first Dakar Rally racing on cars and I believe this will also prove really positive for this Extreme E season.

"It is true that I still lack experience in the wheel-to-wheel fights, but I am getting used to them and I am convinced that this season will be much better for us and that we will fight for better results. The level of the Championship got much higher throughout 2021 and everything seems to suggest that this 2022 will be even tighter, so I am really looking forward to getting started."

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First Published: 2022-02-10

Pages Viewed: 1721

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