Extreme E: RXR Have One Hand On The Title | Race Report

Image courtesy of ExtremeE

Sara Price (USA)/Kyle Leduc (USA), Segi TV Chip Ganassi Racing

Rosberg X Racing have edged ever closer to the championship title following their third race win of the season at the Island X Prix.

Semi-Final 1:

It was to be a day of attrition as top qualifiers, X44, Chip Ganassi, and Andretti United all prepared to face off for two spots in the weekend’s final.

Having qualified slowest of the three teams, Andretti United had the worst line leading off from the start. As the lights went out, the American team’s Timmy Hansen looked to get the jump on the teams ahead of him. He did manage to gain a slight lead ahead of Chip Ganassi’s Sara Price, but in trying to get onto a quicker line, he cut across the front of his rival. The contact caused him to temporarily lose control of his vehicle and he punted into X44’s Christine Gutierrez. This caused something to break at the back of the Spaniard’s car and she was unable to prevent it from slamming into a rock. The X44 team were out of the race.

Following the contact with the X44 car, Hansen in the Andretti United machine also had to pull over; as the damage he sustained was too much to continue on with. Chip Ganassi appeared to have shaken off their bad luck as they sailed through to the final in first place.

Initially, Andretti United were also set to be through to the final, given that they made it round more of the lap than the X44 team. However, the stewards judged Hansen to be wholly at fault for the two retirements and the team were demoted to the back of the grid. Miraculously, X44 were through to the final, if only they could get the car fixed in time!

Semi-Final 1 Classification:

  1. Chip Ganassi
  2. X44
  3. Andretti United

Semi-Final 2:

With the craziness of the first semi-final, it would be easy to forget that we had a second coming up: and I don’t think RXR, ABT Cupra, or Acciona Sainz would forgive you if you did!

It was RXR’s Johan Kristofferson who took an early lead for the championship hopefuls. ABT Cupra also got a good start but the poor visibility caused by the dust meant that Ekstrom had to back off a little. As all the cars merged into one path, RXR lead Acciona Sainz, who led ABT Cupra.

This would not be for long however, as the course claimed another victim. At some point towards the start of the race, the steering column on the Sainz car broke, and he had to crawl around for the rest of the lap.

With one car all but officially out of the race, the two remaining teams took it slow as they tried to ensure their car remained in one piece before the final.

Semi-Final 2 Classification:

  1. RXR
  2. ABT Cupra
  3. Acciona Sainz

Crazy Race:

The final three teams to face off for the final spot in the Island XPrix final were Veloce, JBXE, and Xite Energy.

JBXE got off the line well and led into the first turn. Xite Energy were also just able to get ahead of Veloce. Towards the end of the first lap Veloce looked to put some pressure on the Xite Energy team. Ultimately the teams entered the switch zone in the order they had been for most of the lap.

Following the driver switch, Veloce’s Stephane Sarrazin hoped to apply even more pressure to the Xite Energy team. This looked to have paid off as the course claimed one more victim when Xite Energy’s steering broke. Sarrazin was through and he pushed hard to close down JBXE.

It would not be, however, as the Frenchman pushed too hard and he rolled the car; having one of the biggest crashes of the season so far. Slightly misjudging his speed as he went over a crest, the back end of the car flew into the air. The nose then dug into the ground and the car ended up doing a couple of barrel-rolls; tearing off one of the wheels and a lot of bodywork in the process. Thankfully Stephane was okay, but the crash meant JBXE eased into the fifth and final spot in the final.

Crazy Race Classification: 

  1. JBXE
  2. Veloce
  3. Xite Energy

Final:

The weekend’s action had all come down to this race and we were all set for a crucial 15 minutes. With the rain coming down hard in between sessions, the teams and drivers had new challenges in which they would need to negotiate.

As the lights went out it was Chip Ganassi’s Kyle Leduc who took a commanding lead. X44, sitting in second place off the start, looked to hunt him down. However, disaster struck as a slow puncture caused the team to retire, losing them vital points in their championship battle with RXR.

As Leduc handed over to Sara Price, it appeared as if the bad luck of the previous races was behind them. They lead the race by over 40 seconds. The fairy tale was not to be, however, as once again the steering on the car snapped. RXR capitalised on their misfortune and took the lead of the race.

So the final finished, RXR taking their third win from four races as they put one hand on the title. A little further behind, ABT Cupra finished in second despite a stall off the start line and JBXE rounded out the podium.

Weekend Classification:

  1. RXR
  2. ABT Cupra
  3. JBXE
  4. Chip Ganassi
  5. X44
  6. Andretti United
  7. Acciona Sainz
  8. Veloce
  9. Xite Energy

Another strong weekend for Nico Rosberg’s team means they now extend their lead at the top of the table. X44 were, however, able to limit the weekend’s points deficit somewhat as Loeb’s incredible qualifying run meant they took 5 points for being the fastest in the Continental Traction Zone (formerly the Super Sector). Elsewhere Chip Ganassi were able to lift themselves off the bottom of the table, despite their misfortunes.

Championship Standings:

  1. RXR 129 Points
  2. X44 113 Points
  3. Andretti United 93 Points
  4. JBXE 92 Points
  5. ABT Cupra 83 Points
  6. Acciona Sainz 78 Points
  7. Chip Ganassi 63 Points
  8. Veloce 60 Points
  9. Xite Energy 55 Points

We head off to the south coast of England next for the final round of the Extreme E season. It’s still (mathematically) all to play for as we look to crown the first ever Extreme E Champions. Make sure you join us on the 18th and 19th of December!

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