X44 have won their first race of the season at Saturday’s Hydro XPrix after Andretti received a time penalty. Here’s how the day unfolded.
There isn’t much that can stop an Extreme E car from racing – but if anything could it’s the Scottish weather.
The boffins at Extreme E thought it would be a good idea to hold the first qualifying at 6am local time – and the Scottish weather gods made them pay.
Thick fog coated the track, meaning the medical helicopter could not take off if it had needed to. For the safety of the drivers – Qualifying 1 was cancelled.
With the fog cleared, Qualifying 2 Heat 1 got underway as X44, JBXE, Acciona Sainz, Andretti, and Chip Ganassi knew they just needed to finish in the top 2 to be guaranteed a Final sport.
X44 got the best get-away with Chip Ganassi not far behind them. Though the field was very close, very little overtaking meant X44 took the chequered flag followed by Chip Ganassi – who both made it through to the final. Third placed Andretti would have to wait until the second heat to see if they had also made it to the final.
The remaining five teams would compete for the remaining Final spots in the second heat. RXR got the best start, but chaos ensued behind as ABT Cupra’s Klara Andersson rolled the car.
After contact off the start-line, Andersson hit the hay-bales that lined the track. The car rolled and sustained heavy damage against the gravel and rocky track. Veloce also had a drive-shaft issue, forcing them to retire.
A brief red flag came and went and the reaming teams resumed with RXR leading, Carl Cox in second and McLaren in third.
McLaren did get past Extreme E’s newest team, Carl Cox. but a five-second time penalty for a switch-zone infringement meant they finished in third.
RXR and Carl Cox progressed to the final, alongside Andretti, after McLaren’s super sector was slower than the American outfit’s.
Overall Qualifying Classification:
- X44 – 10 Points
- RXR – 10 Points
- Chip Ganassi – 8 Points
- Carl Cox Motorsport – 8 Points
- Andretti – 6 Points
- McLaren – 6 Points
- Acciona Sainz – 4 Points
- Veloce – 4 Points
- JBXE – 2 Points
- ABT Cupra – 2 Points
The bottom five qualifying teams were up in the Redemption Race, with the teams trying to salvage as many championship points as possible from the day’s action.
ABT Cupra, who were involved in the heavy crash in Qualifying 2, did not make the start as there was too much damage.
Of the four cars that started the race, Acciona Sainz got the best get-away, and they led from start to finish. Veloce were not far behind in second as the teams entered the switch zone.
Ultimately they would be little-to-no overtaking in the race and Acciona Sainz won the race. Veloce came home in second with McLaren a fair way back in third. JBXE rounded up the grid.
Undoubtedly the best action of the day came in the Final, as each team looked to take their first victory of the season.
RXR’s Johann Kristofferson looked to get the best start but X44 used their hyper-drive to perfection to power their way around the outside of everyone and into first.
But, McConnell in the X44 machine took too much speed into a corner and Andretti forced their way up the inside. As X44 were hung out to dry, RXR went side-by-side with them.
Then, all of a sudden, the RXR car veered the left and rolled over the rocky edge of the circuit. Kristofferson was okay, but the team could not continue.
Andretti led the way coming into the switch-zone, but they were too quick in the change-over, and they were given a post-race penalty of 15.3s.
Unknown to the drivers at the time, X44 harried the Andretti team, but were not able to complete the overtake.
Andretti United crossed the line first but were demoted to second after the penalty, giving X44 the victory. Problems for Carl Cox and Chip Ganassi saw them too far back to take advantage of Andretti’s penalty. Carl Cox rounded out the podium.
Overall Round Classification:
- Carl Cox Motorsport
- Chip Ganassi
- Acciona Sainz
- ABT Cupra
Acciona Sainz took the lead of the championship standings, despite not making it to the final, as they gained two extra points for being fastest through the continental traction challenge.
Another tough weekend for JBXE sees them prop up the table.
- Acciona Sainz – 56 Points
- Veloce – 52 Points
- X44 – 49 Points
- RXR – 42 Points
- Chip Ganassi – 33 Points
- Carl Cox Motorsport – 23 Points
- Andretti – 23 Points
- McLaren – 18 Points
- ABT Cupra – 16 Points
- JBXE – 7 Points
JBXE and ABT Cupra will have another chance on Sunday to properly get their season going, whilst Andretti will look to build on their new-found momentum.