J’can McConnell joins Lewis Hamilton’s Extreme E team

Jamaican Fraser McConnell poses with race partner Cristina Gutiérrez, season two winner of the X44 Vida Carbon Racing competition.

Jamaica’s only rallycross driver Fraser McConnell will join X44 Vida Carbon Racing, the Extreme E Team founded by seven-time Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton.

X44 Vida Carbon Racing is a series that recognises that motorsport has traditionally been dominated by a narrow demographic, an issue that team owner Sir Lewis Hamilton is dedicated to addressing.

McConnell will join season 2 winner and World Champion Cristina Gutiérrez as his race partner, with a renewed focus on breaking down these barriers and creating a more diverse and inclusive environment within the sport.

McConnell is excited about this latest development.

“I am delighted to join X44 Vida Carbon Racing, and to be part of a Championship-winning team. I’m impressed with Cristina’s performances in the first two seasons of Extreme E and can’t wait to drive alongside her and put Jamaica in the motorsport conversation here; I hope to learn a lot from her prior experience. It’s never a bad thing to race alongside a World Champion.”

Gutiérrez also looks forward to racing with McConnell.

“Following last season’s win, I am so excited to get back on track and give it my all again for the team. Fraser is an exciting young Jamaican talent and I am looking forward to racing with him this year. I feel privileged to be part of the journey towards a fairer, more inclusive industry,” she said.

McConnell, winner of the 2019 American Rallycross Championship, is the most competitively successful Jamaican driver in the history of international rallycross racing. Making his rallycross debut in 2018, he recorded the fastest-out-of-the-box time in his first race and went on to win all of his heat races, starting his first finals in pole position.

His maiden international racing campaign came just one year later, with Olsbergs MSE in the FIA RX2 Championship, where he finished fourth among the world’s best young rallycross drivers.

In 2021, Fraser graduated to the supercar class and became the first and only Jamaican to claim a supercar victory in the Rally X Nordic Championship, going on to debut in the Nitro Rallycross Series later that year.

X44 Vida Carbon Racing owner and seven-time Formula World Champion Hamilton looks forward to season 3.

“We know from the findings of The Hamilton Commission that the motorsport industry is an incredibly difficult place to break into, and I hope that X44 Vida Carbon Racing can be a powerful platform to provide opportunities to the next generation. It has never been more important that we, as an industry, take real action to move our sport forward, and X44 Vida Carbon’s new direction is one of the ways I am committing to making that genuine change,” he said.

McConnell will make his debut at the start of season 3 on March 11-12 at the Desert X Prix in Saudi Arabia.

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