Extreme E opens second season with Desert X Prix in Neom
Drivers faced a new set of challenges with the season opener Desert X Prix in Neom, Saudi Arabia. The 6.9km course offered breathtaking backdrops, stunning rock formations and plenty of gradient changes. In stark contrast to the 2021 Desert X Prix in Al’Ula, this race weekend featured a launch off the start that is all uphill and took the drivers across the lower part of the valley floor.
The first way point sat between two rock formations at the top of a short but steep incline as drivers headed towards the first sharp direction change as the cars started their descent to the middle of the valley floor.
Dust was a factor, but the width of the valley offered more than enough room to duck out of anything being lifted by the car in front, allowing the drivers to stay on full throttle.
Another steep climb took the cars up to the first of two technical sections as they briefly climbed on top of the edge of a rock formation, before a sharp right-hand turn at the farthest point of the course. A steep but spectacular descent through the heavy red sand brought the cars onto the flat of the second valley floor, before a short climb over another hill opened up to a wide and inviting section of the course where a myriad of racing lines tempted the drivers to overtake.
Into the last quarter of the course the drivers were full throttle for a blast up the steepest incline in deep sand. At the top of the hill, the drivers turned a sharp right and over a blind crest, hitting a steep descent towards the penultimate waypoint – a tight 90-degree left hander.
The opening race was won by Rosberg X Racing.