Rosberg X Racing became the inaugural Extreme E champions after securing the title of the electric off-road series on countback after X44 finally took their maiden win at the Jurassic X Prix. The Sebastian Loeb and Cristina Gutierrez combination completed a clean sweep of five qualifying successes in 2021. However, until this event on England's south coast, the podium's top step eluded them after mechanical issues and misfortune plagued the races in their campaign.
The manufacturers, Spark, brought upgrades to the ODYSSEY21 after receiving criticism over the perceived fragileness of the electric SUV. Broken suspensions, drivetrains, and broken wheels were, thankfully, absent from the season finale after being a regular part of the previous races. Together with a soft muddy surface, the strengthened parts allowed for days without terminal damage prematurely ending the races for the drivers.
Some gremlins did remain, however. X44 might've taken all 18 points from qualifying, but even the fastest team had to run out of sequence after an inverter problem arose before the first session. Carlos Sainz, too, had his door open up while setting his Q1 time for the Acciona Sainz Team. And the always-unlucky Chip Ganassi Racing had their misfortunes continue with a hydraulics issue at the end of Q2 resulting in Kyle Leduc driving off into the bushes.
Things looked like they might improve for the All-American outfit for the Crazy Race, though, at least initially. Leduc fell to last place in the race of the slowest three qualifiers, but he performed the overtake of the weekend to have a fighting chance of making the final. An early high-risk, high-reward pass around the outside of Xite Energy's Oliver Bennett allowed Leduc to close in on Andretti United's Timmy Hansen. Only a couple of seconds separated the two into the switch zone, setting up a single-lap shootout for Catie Munnings and Sara Price. The two drove hard and took different paths into the last corner, yet Munnings held on by just 0.46s to knock Ganassi out.
The two Semi-Final races saw awful visibility descend as mist filled the Jurassic X Prix's army base destination. With headlights illuminated, Kevin Hansen of JBXE out-dragged X44's Loeb into the first corner to make Semi-Final 1 a two-horse race from the off. Behind, the Veloce of newcomer Lance Woolridge made life more difficult than necessary for himself. The South African drove the wrong way to end up some ten seconds adrift after only a handful of corners.
Undeterred, Woolridge made significant gains on Loeb and Hansen to close the gap to just three seconds by the switchover. He looked like he might've even caught Loeb through Lap 2, but the Frenchman had saved his right foot for the end of his drive. Loeb pulled away from Woolridge to be on the tail of Hansen into the switch zone. His close proximity proved to be decisive as teammate Gutierrez ended up passing the JBXE through the driver change with only inches to spare. With Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky taking over from Hansen but unable to overtake the X44, Loeb's push became the winning move of Semi-Final 1.