Alejandro Agag considered converting the Desert X-Prix into a time trial event before the final day of action in Saudi Arabia.
The championship was already forced to make a last minute format change to account for the conditions in Alula, switching from qualifying races to two time trial sessions.
Agag revealed after the final – won by Rosberg X Racing – that he had considered changing the race format but opted against it.
“We changed the race format because of the dust,” he explained. “We came here in January, and there wasn’t as much dust.
“Even last night, we had to make the call and it was not an easy call. I was talking and getting a lot of feedback from the drivers and team-principals, that we should do also time trials [on Sunday].
“I can tell you I’m happy I made that call [to run three-car races] last night. I take responsibility for the call.”
He went on to describe the race, won by Molly Taylor and Johan Kristoffersson as “motorsport gold”.
Overall the weekend can be considered a success, but the championship format is unlikely to remain unchanged for the remainder of the season. Agag has already shared two possible changes that may be made before the next event in Senegal in May.
“One I just came up with while I was watching the shootout. I as thinking that maybe, inside the team, I do a draw for who races, so we can mix up female and male drivers in all the races.
“Because we are seeing that the teams are lining up all the men in first and the women in second. I’m going to think about it. That’s just an idea.”
Every team in the semi final, crazy race, and final opted to run the male driver first, regardless of experience in wheel-to-wheel racing or running in sand. One of the benefits is this usually means seatbelts had to be tightened during the mid-race driver swap as the female drivers were generally smaller. Tightening the belts was much quicker than loosening them, as would be needed if the male driver ran after their female team-mate.
Agag is also considering mixing time trials and wheel-to-wheel racing.
“Another one is maybe looking at one sector for doing a time trial also on the Sunday during the three-car race,” he explained. “When we go to Senegal, we will see the dust level there.
“We came here a few months ago but the temperature has changed a lot here. The temperature has changed less in Senegal. We’re going to check with SUVs and see what the level of dust is and then we will make a decision. I want to listen to as many people in our ecosystem as I can, like I did yesterday.
“There will be some tweaks but I think the three-car race today was the right call.”
Image courtesy of Extreme E