• The Desert X Prix kickstarts the fourth season of the off-road electric championship on the 17th and the 18th of February.

Laia Sanz and Fraser McConnell have already arrived in Saudi Arabia to take part in the Desert X Prix, the first round of the 2024 Extreme E Championship. ACCIONA | SAINZ XE Team aims for everything in this new campaign after taking the fight for the 2023 title up until the very last race.

Just like in the last three years, Saudi Arabia hosts the season opener of the electric off-road championship. After visiting Al-Ula in 2021 and Neom in 2022 and 2023, now the series heads to a brand-new location 125 kilometres away from the city of Jeddah.

For ACCIONA | SAINZ XE Team, the biggest change of the year is the addition of a new driver to its line-up. He is the young Jamaican Fraser McConnell, aged 25. He will be teaming up with the Spaniard Laia Sanz, who braces for her fourth consecutive season as an official race driver for the Spanish team.

Before the Desert X Prix gets underway, the team has taken part in a test on a purposely-built track to check the car before the start of the Championship. It was also the opportunity to test for the very first time a new shock absorber developed by FOX for the Odyssey 21. It takes the previous design and upgrades it with new inner parts.

This test was important because neither the car nor the team’s equipment went to the team headquarters after last November’s Copper X Prix. Instead, everything was shipped to Saudi Arabia by sea on the St. Helene.

This test marked the first occasion that Laia and Fraser shared the steering wheel of the Odyssey 21. They made the most of two 15-minute sessions to maximize their teamwork and find new tricks that might make a difference when the competition begins.

On the sporting side, Extreme E has made some small adjustments to its point system for the new season. Winning the Redemption Race will mean 12 points instead of 8 and taking the Continental Traction Challenge will award 1 point instead of 2.

The series has also created new initiatives to promote equality. Male and female drivers will have to be the first ones in the car in half of the races of the season (five out of ten). Also, the starting order for Qualifying 2 will not be determined by the results of Qualifying 1. Teams will choose in the inverse order as they did in Qualifying 1, meaning that the first team to choose its starting position for Qualifying 1 will be the last one to do so in Qualifying 2.


For the Desert X Prix, Extreme E will work in conserving and restoring coral reefs at the Red Sea. Drivers will go underwater in a coral planting exercise to try and preserve the local ecosystems. The series will be working with three organizations in this event: CORDAP, KAUST and Ocean Revive.


Laia Sanz, driver:

"I am really looking forward to the start of the season in Saudi Arabia’s Desert X Prix. My motivation is really high and I am ready to start working with Fraser. There are a few things where we will have to get to know each other, like in the driver switches, but I am looking forward to it. ACCIONA | SAINZ XE Team has been a close family for a long time and I think we can be one of the strong teams in the Championship. We are all really looking forward to the first race, especially after what happened last year in the season finale. In my case, I also want to keep on progressing and improving on four wheels. This is already starting."

Fraser McConnell, driver:

"Super excited to get things started in the first round of Extreme E in Saudi Arabia this weekend with my new team. Super proud to be racing for ACCIONA | SAINZ XE Team. The entire team is really professional and having Red Bull as a new partner is such a huge milestone for us. I look forward to working with Laia and Carlos. I will try to learn as much as I can from them. I will take it race by race, enjoying it and growing with the team, and I will try to end the weekend at the top of the podium. I want to make the best out of this opportunity."

Carlos Sainz:

"It is incredible how fast time flies because the new season is upon us and Extreme E is heading to the last year before the dawn of hydrogen cars. We almost won the Championship in 2023, losing it only in the Final due to bad luck. This year we want to start the calendar from the very beginning with a lot of energy. I am looking forward to working with Fraser and getting to know him better. The team’s spirit is high as always and we will try to make a good start to the season. I want to take this opportunity to thank ACCIONA and Red Bull for believing in this project. I am looking forward to the first race in Saudi Arabia."

Joan Orús, Team Principal:

"This is the fourth year in a row that we travel to Saudi Arabia to start our racing calendar, but we know that his time around it will be a brand-new challenge because it will be our first time racing in Jeddah. New year, new location, new driver in the line-up. These days will be very important, both to do some good team-building and also to ensure that we work on every single detail to start the new season well."