Extreme E is back on track for another exciting season! For the first race in the electric rally championship’s sophomore season, of which Zenith is proudly resuming its role of Official Timekeeper and Founding Partner, Saudi Arabia was once again chosen as the venue for the “Desert X Prix”. But instead of returning to last year’s historical AlUla region, Extreme E chose to hold the first major motorsport event in the emerging city of NEOM, which is being modelled as a template for future sustainable developments. A unique topography of coastline, desert and mountainous terrain provided the perfect opener for what’s shaping up to be a thrilling season for the world’s fast electric rally racing championship.
The opening race saw familiar faces as well as new teams and drivers take to the challenging off-road track. Ultimately, last year’s top contenders and 2021 championship title winner Rosberg X Racing (RXR) team kept up its momentum and finished the Desert X Prix in pole position.
Johan Kristoffersson (RXR) – Desert X Prix “Moment In Time” winner
Zenith is maintaining its tradition of giving out a Moment In Time award at the end of each race, singling out one driver for his or her extraordinary performance or incredible feat. For the Desert X Prix, winning team Rosberg X Racing’s Johan Kristoffersson took the prize for his jaw-dropping accomplishment in the final race. Not only did he finish in first place, but he did so havng started 14 seconds behind the leader and taking on some brave manoeuvres in a nail-biting hunt down which went right to the wire. At one point he was driving on only two wheels while attempting to overtake another vehicle. For his spectacular performance, Johan was awarded a DEFY Skyline watch.
“I am super proud to receive the Zenith Moment in Time Award. Very rarely do I get a rush from driving a racing car, but this was the biggest adrenaline rush that I’ve had for many years. I wasn’t sure how much I could push due to the dust and damage, but I came closer and closer and found some new lines that I didn’t think were drivable. Then I made a really risky move, driving up blind and breaking more speed than I could have imagined, but came out first. An incredible moment for me” stated Johan Kristoffersson.
The Extreme E Legacy Programme is central to the championship’s mission of racing for a purpose. Led by its scientific board comprised of world-renowned experts, the Legacy Programme had already begun working with the Saudi Ba’a Foundation after the 2021 Desert X Prix race to help preserve the endangered Green turtle and critically endangered Hawksbill turtle in Ras Baridi, close to where the series raced in its inaugural season. It is doubling down this year through increased education and deeper involvement with locally operating companies and government bodies.
Made with Extreme E: DEFY Extreme E Desert X Prix
The Desert X Prix was the perfect occasion to unveil the first in a series of special DEFY Extreme editions, inspired by and commemorating each of the five vastly different X Prix off-road circuits. Taking on the deep yellow colours of the desert electric rally race, the DEFY Extreme E Desert X Prix is crafted in light yet durable carbon fibre and titanium. The limited edition of 20 pieces is delivered in a suitably sturdy waterproof and crushproof watch case built to withstand the harsh conditions of the rally, incorporating various upcycled elements from the side-lines of the first season’s races. The case’s lid coating is made from E-grip recycled tires, while the plate covering is made from parts of an Extreme E racing tarpaulin. As the ultimate Extreme E memorabilia, the DEFY Extreme E is delivered with a rubber strap containing sustainable materials from recycled Continental CrossContact tyres that were used in the first season races.
Limited to just 20 pieces, the DEFY Extreme E Desert X Prix edition is available exclusively at Zenith physical and online boutiques.
Price: USD 27,100
The next Extreme E “Island X Prix” race is set to take place on May 7-8, 2022 in Sardinia, Italy.