Rosberg X Racing aims to defend the Extreme E Championship in 2022, and the German team hopes to do so with a pair of Swedish drivers. On Friday, RXR announced Johan Kristoffersson will return to the team for the upcoming season, and will be paired with Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky.
Åhlin-Kottulinsky moves over from JBXE, where she was team-mates with owner Jenson Button and Kevin Hansen. The entry finished third in the team championship with four podiums and a pair of runner-up placements. Prior to the 2021 season, she assisted tyre supplier Continental Tire in testing the CrossContact for Extreme E cars.
She is the only woman to win races in the TCR Scandinavia Touring Car Championship, and she finished second in the championship in 2021. To end the 2021 season, Åhlin-Kottulinsky ran and won the Nitro Rallycross SxS (Side by Side) race at the Florida International Rally & Motorsports Park.
“I am incredibly honoured and excited to join RXR and support the team in defending their Championship title,” said Åhlin-Kottulinsky. “To have the chance to work with the winning team from Season 1 is truly a great opportunity, and I can’t wait to get started. I’m really looking forward to working and learning from Nico (Rosberg, team owner) and Johan, two world champions and drivers that I have huge respect for and admire for their incredible record behind the wheel.”
Two spots ahead of JBXE, RXR’s Kristoffersson and Molly Taylor scored three victories en route to the inaugural series championship. Kristoffersson’s 2021 also saw him win the World Rallycross Championship for a record fourth time.
“I am very happy to continue my work with RXR,” commented Kristofferson. “We have had a sensational first season together and I am confident that we can build on this experience and become even better. I am feeling relaxed, full of energy and eager to win again.”
Kristofferson hails from Arvika, Sweden, which is approximately seventy-five km away from Åhlin-Kottulinsky’s hometown Karlstad. RXR is one of two currently confirmed 2022 Extreme E teams with both drivers being of the same nationality, joining Acciona Sainz XE Team‘s Spanish duo of Carlos Sainz and Laia Sanz. Segi TV Chip Ganassi Racing has not revealed its 2022 plans, though its 2021 roster was exclusively American with Kyle LeDuc and Sara Price.
“Having Mikaela on my side is an extra motivation,” added Kristofferson. “She is a very gifted driver and being compatriots, with many common experiences, I am sure we will get along just great.”
Taylor has yet to announce her 2022 schedule beyond the Dakar Rally in January, though it is possible that she remains in Extreme E with another team. An RXR statement read, “While we are excited about our new driver pairing, we would also like to wish Molly all of the best. Molly is an incredible driver and was an incredible asset to our team in Season 1 and we are enormously grateful for her contribution.”
“As many of you may now be aware, I will not be continuing with RXR this year in Extreme E,” began an Instagram post from Taylor. “I’d like to thank the whole team (who became more like family) for an incredible inaugural season. Winning the first-ever Extreme E Championship and holding that trophy aloft was an incredible experience and I am very proud of the result we achieved together.
“There’s no secret of the complex realities that exist within Motorsport, often outside of a driver’s control; and whilst it means an unexpected change of plans for 2022, rest assured, despite a small intermission my time with Extreme E isn’t done yet. I’m very proud to raise the Aussie flag for international Motorsport and that will continue so stay tuned. As for what’s next for me, we have many exciting announcements coming soon that I can’t wait to share with you. I’m really pumped for what 2022 has in store and I know you all will be too. Thanks for being on the ride with me”.