Fraser McConnell shines despite challenges at Antofagasta Minerals Copper X Prix

By Sports Desk December 03, 2023

In a thrilling spectacle at the Antofagasta Minerals Copper X Prix, Jamaican driver Fraser McConnell showcased his prowess despite encountering challenges during the qualifying rounds. X44 Vida Carbon Racing, with McConnell behind the wheel, emerged as the top qualifiers in Round 9 of Season 3, setting the stage for an electrifying competition.

The qualifying sessions were rife with incidents and red flags, adding an extra layer of intensity to the already competitive event. Despite facing hurdles, X44 Vida Carbon Racing secured the coveted top spot in the qualification standings, thanks to McConnell's stellar performance in Qualifying 1 Heat 2 and Qualifying 2 Heat 2.

Cristina Gutiérrez and Fraser McConnell accumulated 18 points, positioning themselves strategically for the Grand Final. The achievement holds particular significance as it gives the team, currently in fifth on the championship leaderboard, an opportunity to climb higher and contend for the title.

The competition saw the unfortunate exit of the No. 99 GMC HUMMER EV Chip Ganassi Racing due to a Did Not Finish (DNF) in Qualifying 1 and a subsequent 30-second penalty in Qualifying 2. This setback relegated them to the Redemption Race and out of contention for the championship.

Despite the challenges, McConnell and Gutiérrez demonstrated resilience and skill, earning them a well-deserved top qualifying position. Their impressive performance sets the stage for an exciting Grand Final, where they will compete against other top qualifiers.

As the teams prepare for the final showdown, X44 Vida Carbon Racing remains a strong contender, aiming to capitalize on McConnell's driving prowess and secure a notable victory in the Antofagasta Minerals Copper X Prix. The championship battle promises to be fierce, and fans can expect thrilling moments as the season reaches its climax.

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    After coming first and third in the qualifying heats, the Grand Final commenced with an optimum start by Fraser, who jumped up to first. He remained in the lead from then on. Laia got behind the wheel for the final laps and defended herself from the attacks of their rivals, ultimately crossing the finish line in the first place to secure the first victory of the year for the team.

    After narrowly missing the 2023 title, this triumph is made even more special by the fact that it confirms the team’s potential for the remainder of the 2024 season.

    Fraser is happy with the team's performance,

    "Happy for the team, happy for Laia and everybody back in Jamaica. This is a big, big win. Stepping into this team was such a huge step for me. So many other people could have had the opportunity, but I was chosen by Carlos and the team to be here. They saw something in me, they believed in me, and this gave me so much confidence to dig as deep as I could."

    "I am living this opportunity as if it is my last, making sure I can make a name for myself and the team. Carlos has been a hero of mine growing up, so racing for him is such a feeling. It has been a very good first weekend."

    ACCIONA | SAINZ XE Team is now second in the Championship standings with 39 points, trailing the leader by 2 points. Beyond the 25 points from the race victory, today the team scored an additional point for winning Qualifying 2.

    The Extreme E Championship leaves Saudi Arabia and heads to Europe, where the competition will resume on July 13 and 14.

  • Fraser McConnell all set for Extreme E 2024 Fraser McConnell all set for Extreme E 2024

    Jamaican racing sensation Fraser McConnell is ready for another season of Extreme E beginning this weekend in Saudi Arabia.

    This season marks the fourth installment of the series and the second for McConnell who joins a new team, Acciona Sainz XE Team from Spain. He is paired with Laia Sanz in the Odyssey 21.

    The regulations mandate that teams must consist of a male and female driver pairing, each driving the same distance. In the 2023 season of Extreme E, Acciona Sainz XE Team, co-owned by the renowned Carlos Sainz Sr., secured the second position.

    The 2024 season will treat Extreme E fans to a ten-race global adventure with eight teams and five breathtaking locations. Extreme E's 100% electric, off-road, mixed-gender competition is geared at promoting a safer planet and gender equality.

    Fraser looks forward to racing in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia this weekend.

    "I am excited to start racing with the team. Everyone has already been so welcoming. The first test session was a great start just to see how enthusiastic and detail-oriented everyone is. We also share the common goal of wanting to win it all," he said.

    "Teaming up with Laia will be a great opportunity to bring a good fight to the competition and having the support from the legendary Carlos Sainz in the paddock will be priceless as well." he added.

    Actions for Rounds one and two qualifiers kick off at midnight on Saturday and Sunday, with the finals scheduled for 7 am on both days.

     

  • Fraser McConnell joins forces with Acciona/Sainz team for 2024 Extreme E season Fraser McConnell joins forces with Acciona/Sainz team for 2024 Extreme E season

    In a significant move for the upcoming 2024 Extreme E season, Jamaican driver Fraser McConnell has signed on as the male driver for the Acciona/Sainz Team. Following a remarkable debut season with Sir Lewis Hamilton’s X44 Vida Carbon Extreme E Team, McConnell's standout performances attracted the attention of Rally Legend Carlos Sainz (Snr), who has now enlisted him for the exciting 2024 campaign.

    Teaming up with accomplished female driver Laia Sanz, who has been a integral part of the Acciona/Sainz Team since its inception in 2021, McConnell is set to bring his talent and determination to the forefront.

    McConnell's debut season in the 2023 Extreme E Series was nothing short of impressive, securing four podium finishes in 10 rounds, including two first-place and two third-place finishes. The Acciona/Sainz Team finished second overall in Extreme E, narrowly missing out on the championship title in a thrilling final showdown.

    Carlos Sainz, serving as the team principal, brings a wealth of experience to the table with two WRC Championships, four Dakar Championships, and a recent triumph in the challenging 14-day Dakar Rally at the age of 61. His active involvement in overseeing the team's operations signifies a commitment to success.

    Expressing his appreciation for the new opportunity, McConnell is eager to work with Carlos Sainz (Snr) and learn from the seasoned professional. With Sir Lewis Hamilton's team no longer participating in the series, McConnell sees this move as a chance to continue his growth in a highly competitive environment.

    "I am so honoured to be selected as the male driver for the ACCIONA | SAINZ XE Team this year and I cannot wait to get started at the first event in Saudi Arabia on February 17 and 18," said McConnell. "Having Carlos as part of the team is going to help us win races, and I am sure I will be able to learn many things from him."

    Looking ahead to the season, McConnell is optimistic about teaming up with Laia Sanz, highlighting their potential as a strong driver pairing with the aim of clinching the championship together.

    In an additional exciting development, Acciona/Sainz announced a new partnership with Red Bull Energy Drink, adding further momentum to their campaign in the Extreme E off-road championship.

    The 2024 Extreme E Series kicks off in Saudi Arabia on February 17 & 18, with the action set to be broadcast in the Caribbean Region on SportsMax. Fans can anticipate an electrifying season as McConnell and the Acciona/Sainz Team embark on their quest for success in this thrilling off-road championship.

     

     

     

     

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