Mon 12 Jun 2023

‘Queen of the Desert’ completes RX2e field for season-opener

Fourteen-time FIM Women’s Trial World Champion Laia Sanz – dubbed the ‘Queen of the Desert’ for her two-wheeled exploits on the legendary Dakar Rally – will return to the FIA RX2e Championship for its 2023 curtain-raiser in Hell, Norway this weekend (17-18 June).

Fourteen-time FIM Women’s Trial World Champion Laia Sanz – dubbed the ‘Queen of the Desert’ for her two-wheeled exploits on the legendary Dakar Rally – will return to the FIA RX2e Championship for its 2023 curtain-raiser in Hell, Norway this weekend (17-18 June).

Sanz was an early starter in the sport, first riding a bicycle at the age of two and beginning her competitive career just five years later. Since winning the inaugural edition of the Women’s Trial European Championship in 1998, she has barely paused to draw breath...

From 2000 to 2006, she went unbeaten in the FIM Women’s Trial World Championship, collecting the first seven of an extraordinary 14 titles in the discipline, complemented by six FIM Women’s Enduro World Championship crowns.

In 2011, the Spaniard fulfilled a childhood dream by making her Dakar debut – winning the Female Trophy – with further outings capped by a ninth-place overall finish in 2015, the best result to-date for a woman in the motorbike class.

Later that same year, Sanz made her rallycross bow in the World RX-supporting RX Lites series on home soil in Barcelona, going on to contest RX2e for the first time at Spa-Francorchamps in 2021. She returned to the fray last season, with her three appearances highlighted by seventh position at Höljes.

In parallel with this, the 37-year-old has established herself as a consistent front-runner in Extreme E, placing fifth overall in 2021 and third in 2022 alongside two-time FIA World Rally Champion, Carlos Sainz. She sits second in the current standings alongside 2016 FIA World Rallycross Champion, Mattias Ekström, with the pair triumphing in the Desert X Prix back in March.

“Competing in RX2e helped me a lot last year, especially in wheel-to-wheel racing,” reflected Sanz, who will take to the track under the ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team banner. “I had very little experience of this kind of racing, but taking part in RX2e boosted my confidence in these conditions and that’s why I have decided to rejoin the championship.

“My target is to keep improving and growing as a driver, and every chance that I get to do as many kilometres as possible is good. I plan to take full advantage of that and learn fast.”

The full RX2e entry list for Hell is below.

Latvia
Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Italy
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 8:30:00 AM
Hungary
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 9:30:00 AM