Veloce Racing set for Saudi season opener
The third season of Extreme E gets underway in NEOM, Saudi Arabia, this weekend (11-12 March) with Veloce Racing ready to hit the ground running in the off-road all-electric racing series.
Molly Taylor and Kevin Hansen are in buoyant mood ahead of the Desert X Prix curtain-raiser, having enjoyed a pre-season testing programme in Dubai last week, before setting the pace in the #5 ODYSSEY 21 during practice here in NEOM earlier today.
The first round is always crucial in setting the tone for the campaign ahead, but Extreme E's Season 3 opener carries even more weight with the introduction of an all-new sporting format.
Each X Prix will now be a double-header and play host to back-to-back rounds across X Prix weekends. This means double the opportunity for wins, podiums and crucial points across a ten-race calendar, with Hansen and Taylor looking to kick off the campaign with silverware in Saudi Arabia.
The new Veloce Racing driver line-up took on their first X Prix for the team at the Season 2 finale in Punta del Este, Uruguay, putting the British squad at the top of the Qualifying standings for the first time ever in Extreme E.
Taking that performance into Finals Day, the team secured a race win in Semi-Final 1 before finishing the Uruguay Natural Energy X Prix in fifth – marking Veloce's best result of the year and a promising debut from Hansen and Taylor.
The success in Uruguay marked a good starting point for Veloce Racing's driver pairing, but the hard work is already well underway as Taylor and Hansen now take on the opening race of the new season.
Testing took place in NEOM on Wednesday as the drivers were reacquainted with the car for the first time since that promising season finale in Uruguay, whilst the first two practice sessions were completed earlier today.
Both Hansen and Taylor showed good speed and provided positive feedback following their runs around the sandy Saudi course, as Veloce ended up P1 in the final session of the day.
The serious business begins tomorrow with Qualifying 1 and Qualifying 2, where the British-based squad will be targeting a place in the Grand Final later in the day. The same format will be repeated on Sunday.
Molly Taylor, Veloce Racing driver, said: “We’ve already had such a great few weeks of preparation in both Dubai and here in NEOM, and now we can’t wait for the opening rounds of the new Extreme E season to begin.
“The car has felt good during testing and practice, and we’re confident that we can be fighting at the front this weekend.”
Kevin Hansen, Veloce Racing driver, said: “The confidence and spirit within Veloce Racing is extremely high and we’re ready for the Desert X Prix double-header in NEOM.
“This is the best preparation I have had before an XE season, and the team pulled out all the stops with the testing programme in Dubai and with their efforts here in NEOM so far.
“The ingredients are in place so now we need to go out and execute the plan over the weekend.”
Daniel Bailey, CEO of Veloce Racing, added: “Everyone at Veloce Racing is highly focussed and excited about the new Extreme E season.
“Kevin and Molly’s continued integration with the team since Uruguay has been fantastic and we have all worked extremely hard to prepare in the best way possible for the campaign ahead.
“We are in good shape and can’t wait for the action to get underway this weekend.”