Qualifying masters Sebastien Loeb and Cristina Gutierrez will remain at X44 for a second season in Extreme E.
The already well-decorated duo finished second in the 2021 Extreme E championship after winning the final round of the season.
X44 was level on points with Rosberg X Racing after the Dorset X-Prix, but ended the year second on countback. Despite topping every qualifying session in the inaugural season, bad luck meant they could only secure one race win.
The team now aims to go one step further in the off-road electric racing series’ second season.
“I’m so excited to be returning to race for X44,” said Gutierrez, who came into Extreme E at the start of 2021 with extensive off roading experience. In 2021, alongside her Extreme E commitments, she won the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies title and earlier this month finished third in the Light Prototypes class at Dakar.
“We came very close to winning the championship last year and now we’re even more motivated and excited to drive well and push to take first place in 2022. Since I first joined the team, I have learned so much and feel stronger and faster with every race, so I’m excited to get back in the car and show what I can do.
“I’m also looking forward to exploring the planet and learning more about what places we are racing. By highlighting the climate change challenges faced by the remote environments where we race, I hope to further educate myself on what we can do to help.”
Team-mate Loeb has also had an eventful off season. He finished second at Dakar and took his 80th WRC win in the Rallye Monte Carlo.
“I’m very happy to be driving for X44 again in Season 2 of Extreme E,” he said. “Last year was very challenging for us, we had a lot of struggles with the car and some bad luck too, but we came out top of qualifying at every race and finished the year with a win and level on championship points – so we are feeling optimistic.
“I think the other teams are very strong, but Cristina and I have shown that we know how to win races in some of the toughest terrains in the world, so we will give our all to secure more podiums. Our fans have been very supportive since our first race, so I hope we can repay them with a championship win in 2022.”
Loeb is set to round out his eventful January with an appearance in the 2021-22 Andros eTrophy finale this weekend before the opening round of the Extreme E season next month.
Image courtesy of Extreme E