JBXE has added some championship-winning firepower to its 2022 Extreme E lineup. On Tuesday, the team announced Molly Taylor has joined the organisation while Kevin Hansen returns for a second season.
Taylor arrives as the reigning champion after claiming the inaugural series title in 2021 for Rosberg X Racing. RXR replaced her with JBXE’s Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky for 2022, making Taylor’s own move in essence a driver trade. Interestingly, the exchange also comes between teams run by ex-Formula One World Champions as JBXE is operated by 2009 winner Jenson Button and RXR is 2016 WDC Nico Rosberg‘s; both also began their F1 careers with Williams Racing, whose engineering arm supplies batteries for Extreme E’s Odyssey 21 cars.
“To be able to bring Molly into the team is fantastic news for JBXE,” said Button. “Having won the championship last year she obviously brings a huge amount to the table so I’m incredibly excited to see her and Kevin in action this weekend.”
In 2021, Taylor and Johan Kristoffersson won three races for RXR en route to the championship; the duo was the lone team to win multiple races. Between the end of the season and Tuesday’s announcement, Taylor ran the Dakar Rally in January, where she finished fourteenth in the SSV category. She won the 2016 Australian Rally Championship and has made starts in the FIA World Rally Championship.
“I had an incredible year with Extreme E in 2021 and I believe wholeheartedly in what the competition represents both with respect to its commitment to sustainability and gender equality,” commented Taylor. “Having had the benefit of a win in last year’s championship, when the call came to join the JBXE team ahead of this weekend’s race, I thought why not. I’m looking forward to getting my teeth stuck into the Desert X Prix this weekend.”
After the 2021 season opener for his own team, Button stepped aside for Hansen to drive the JBXE machine. Hansen currently competes in the FIA World Rallycross Championship for his family team alongside older brother Timmy, who also races in Extreme E for Andretti United. The younger Hansen finished fourth in the 2021 WRX standings with a win in the first race.
Extreme E was not the only newly formed series that the Hansens ran in 2021 as they also entered Nitro Rallycross in the United States. While Timmy won the inaugural race and placed third in points, Kevin was a spot behind with podiums in three of five races. Hansen also won all four of his battle bracket qualifying races at the ERX and Glen Helen rounds.
“I’m very excited to work with Molly,” Hansen stated. “She did great last year and was one of the best out on track. You don’t become champion for nothing. She has a lot of experience now in Saudi from the Dakar Rally this year, so I will take a lot of advantage from that. It was an amazing experience that she had there and now she can share that with me. It’s going to be very fun to work with her this weekend.”
With Button, Hansen, and Åhlin-Kottulinsky, JBXE finished third in the championship with three podiums at the Ocean, Arctic, and Jurassic X Prixs.
The 2022 season begins in Neom, Saudi Arabia, on 19/20 February.