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Friday, February 23, 2024

Hamilton’s X44 group departs Excessive E

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X44 was run by Prodrive for the primary two seasons of the off-road sequence that started in 2021 and captured the drivers’ title in 2022 with Sebastien Loeb and Cristina Gutierrez after the duo had completed runner-up the 12 months earlier than.

Administration of the programme switched to Rodin Carlin in 2023 as Gutierrez was partnered by Fraser McConnell, with the pair slipping to fourth within the standings. 

However on the eve of the championship’s fourth season, which begins in Saudi Arabia on 17-18 February, it was revealed that the squad wouldn’t return. 

It was confirmed to Autosport last month that the championship in its present kind will conclude on the finish of 2024, as its organisers transition to hydrogen energy with the launch of Excessive H in 2025. Present infrastructure and employees will likely be retained for the brand new enterprise.

Gutierrez had already signed for the McLaren group, partnering Mattias Ekstrom, whereas McConnell will take the Swede’s place on the Acciona Sainz outfit alongside Laia Sanz.

No cause for X44’s departure was given in a press release outlining its exit.

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“We’ve had an unimaginable three seasons competing as X44, successful a number of races and even a world championship,” it mentioned.

Cristina Gutierrez, Fraser McConnell, X44 Vida Carbon Racing, Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky, Johan Kristoffersson, Rosberg X Racing

Photograph by: Colin McMaster / Motorsport Images

“Thanks to our drivers Cristina, Fraser and Seb, and all our proficient team-mates who labored arduous to assist us obtain the whole lot we did. 

“Much more than the outcomes on observe, we’re proud to have been a part of a much bigger dialog about learn how to make motorsport extra sustainable, of our success in giving folks from all types of backgrounds a possibility to thrive on this group, and of the legacy our group proprietor Lewis will go away behind with the Racing for All programme.

“Though we received’t be competing ourselves in 2024, we’ll be cheering on the sequence from the sidelines and maintaining a tally of the thrilling developments at Excessive H.”

Collection boss Alejandro Agag expressed because of seven-time Formulation 1 champion Hamilton and X44 “for his or her valued contribution to Excessive E” each in competitors and in “implementing initiatives off-track which deal with gender equality, variety and inclusion”.

It has additionally been introduced that Chip Ganassi Racing will depart the sequence.

A press release from the American group mentioned: “We sincerely thank Excessive E for welcoming our GMC HUMMER EV entry as a part of their progressive sequence and look ahead to following the sequence’ progress.

Amanda Sorensen, RJ Anderson, GMC Hummer EV Chip Ganassi Racing

Amanda Sorensen, RJ Anderson, GMC Hummer EV Chip Ganassi Racing

Photograph by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

“We will likely be watching carefully because the sequence, and its technical companions proceed to push motorsports of their transfer upward and right into a modernised off-road hydrogen-powered race automobile for 2025 and past.”

Like X44, Ganassi had been concerned because the championship’s inauguration, with the late Kyle LeDuc and Sara Value taking victory in Sardinia in 2022. It proved the group’s excessive level within the championship earlier than LeDuc was sidelined by most cancers.

Amanda Sorensen and RJ Anderson took over driving duties final 12 months, ending fifth within the standings.

It turns into the third group to depart XE over the off season after Abt Cupra, though the championship has gained an entrant backed by Swiss meals producer SUN AG.

Its SUN Minimeal Workforce will characteristic two-time DTM champion Timo Scheider on its driving power alongside his position as group principal, with rallycross racer Klara Andersson becoming a member of as its feminine driver.

Defending title-winners Rosberg X Racing named an unchanged lineup of Johan Kristoffersson and Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky because the squad backed by 2016 F1 champion Nico Rosberg.

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