Extreme E Rookie Test for Andersson and Molinaro
Updated: Nov 1, 2021
After the Island X Prix, 3 out of the 9 Extreme E teams took part in the series' rookie test: Klara Andersson and Tamara Molinaro got their first official outings, while Hedda Hosas sat out the test due to Veloce's accident in the race.
The Extreme E Rookie test which followed the Island X Prix was contested by only three out of the nine teams. Veloce was the only team that announced their drivers line up before the Island X Prix, with Hedda Hosas and Lance Woolridge set to get behind the wheel of the Odyssey21 SUV - but following Stéphane Sarrazin's heavy accident ni the race the team was forced to retire from the test due to damages.
Three teams were left with four drivers to test: X44 lined up Seth Quintero, Acciona Sainz took to the track with Klara Andersson and Rosberg X Racing with Stéphane Peterhansel and Tamara Molinaro.
The remaining teams (Chip Ganassi, ABT Cupra, Andretti United, JBXE, Xite Energy Racing) didn't enter the test and justified their absence with logistic problems.
The series didn't publish any details or laptimes of the event, so it is not clear how the drivers coped with the test and their first experience of the SUVs.
The test was aimed at introducing the drivers to Extreme E and getting used to the format, how the cars behave, how to get used to the layout and then completing some timed laps on the XPrix course of the Island X Prix. In addition, workshops were held - including one held by 2001 Dakar winner Jutta Kleinschmidt.
But who are the girls that got their first Extreme E taste?
Andersson is an up-and-coming talent in rallycross and has raced in the Swedish Rallycross Championship, becoming 2150 class winner in 2021. Klara had a stunning debut in RX2e in Spa a few weeks ago, with an impressive 4th place in the finals.
She started karting at the age of 7 and raced for six years, winning on Swedish, Norwegian and Italian tracks before she switched to rallycross in 2019.
She entered the Extreme E test for Acciona Sainz.
“The car is an absolute beast and the course is really challenging but I’m really enjoying it. This is a new era of motorsport and I’m really happy to be a part of and get some miles in the car and learn some things.” - she stated.
Tamara started racing at 11 and won the Ladies Trophy in the 2017 European Rally Championship, becoming the second youngest driver after Catie Munnings. She won four out of the eight rounds and topped most of the stages in the 2017 season.
In 2018, she moved up to WRC2 with a Ford Fiesta R5 at Rally Sweden and joined the Titans RX in 2019 as the only female driver. Molinaro won several qualification races and finished 5th at the end of the season, also entering occasional WRC events. Tamara has expericence as co-driver as well: in selected national events, she navigated Craig Breen through the stages.
In 2021. she joined Extreme E as reserve and track instructor driver when Jutta Kleinschmidt was signed by ABT Cupra as main driver. Molinaro tested for Rosberg X Racing: "I really needed to get some mileage in the car, to spend a bit of time behind the steering wheel."
The reason why just few teams participated in the Rookie test is only known by the teams themselves, but it is possible that most of the teams already know their driver pairing for next year. So far, only Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen have been officially signed for 2022, but more announcements are likely to come soon.
The series will host the final round of the inaugural season in the UK, from 18th to 19th December, for the Jurassic X Prix.