The opening day of the new Extreme E season was full of action, which ultimately saw Veloce win their first ever Extreme E race. Here’s a roundup of the day’s action.
The first action of the day, Qualifying 1 Heat 1, saw Extreme E’s newest team, Carl Cox Motorsport, take on ABT Cupra, Andretti United, Acciona Sainz, and Chip Ganassi.
Chip Ganassi were best off the line and took an early lead. Acciona Sainz were right on their tails. Despite being close behind, there was little action before the switch zone, with Chip Ganassi heading out Acciona Sainz, Carl Cox Motorsport, Andretti United, and ABT Cupra.
The pressure eased on Chip Ganassi after the switch zone after Laia Sanz in the Acciona Sainz team got a bit too close to the water’s edge, costing the team a lot of time.
Further behind, ABT Cupra’s Klara Andersson also got too close to the water. All the way to the back.
The biggest drama of the session, however, was when Catie Munnings rolled her Andretti United car whilst attempting an overtake on Carl Cox Motorsport. Thankfully Munnings was okay, but the team would not finish the race.
Chip Ganassi crossed the line first, receiving 10 intermediate points and the first championship point of the season. Acciona Sainz came second with championship new boys, Carl Cox Motorsport, picking up six intermediate points.
Qualifying 1 Heat 1 Classification:
- Chip Ganassi 11:32.914 – 10 Intermediate Points
- Acciona Sainz +3.384 – 8 Points
- Carl Cox Motorsport +18.663 – 6 Points
- ABT Cupra +57.726 – 4 Points
- Andretti United DNF – 0 Points
Qualifying 1 Heat 2:
The five remaining cars, JBXE, McLaren, X44, RXR, and Veloce, all competed in Heat 2.
Qualifying 1 Heat 2 was a much calmer affair. Whilst the teams were all tightly packed, the only move of note was a lovely move from X44’s Fraser McConnel to take the lead.
X44 crossed the line first, with Veloce just behind, and JBXE in third. Season 1 championship winners, RXR, finished fourth ahead of McLaren.
Qualifying 1 Heat 2 Classification:
- X44 12:32.993 – 10 Points
- Veloce +8.734 – 8 Points
- JBXE +19.100 – 6 Points
- RXR +20.980 – 4 Points
- McLaren +28.728 – 2 Points
Qualifying 2 Heat 1:
The second part of qualifying saw Chip Ganassi, Carl Cox Motorsport, Andretti United, Veloce, and RXR all compete for more intermediate points in Heat 1.
After a messy start, Veloce took an early lead that they would not relinquish. RXR made some good overtakes on first Carl Cox Motorsport, then Chip Ganassi, but that would be the extent of the action. Carl Cox Motorsport would later grind to a halt after experiencing a technical issue.
Veloce won the heat, securing their place in the final, whilst Andretti United’s fourth place cemented their spot in the redemption race.
Qualifying 2 Heat 1 Classification:
- Veloce 11.380 – 10 Points
- RXR +8.86 – 8 Points
- Chip Ganassi +14.42 – 6 Points
- Andretti United +25.39 – 4 Points
- Carl Cox Motorsport – 0 Points
Qualifying 2 Heat 2:
The final qualifying race consisted of Acciona Sainz, ABT Cupra, X44, JBXE, and McLaren.
As the lights went out, Laia Sanz for Acciona Sainz got a lightening start, with X44 and JBXE battling ot out for second place behind.
After the start there was little action, and Acciona Sainz topped both their heat and qualifying overall. X44 finished in second place, with McLaren finishing in third.
When all the intermediate points were added up, three teams, Acciona Sainz, RXR, and Veloce, had 18 points, only being separated by times through the Continental Traction Challenge
Qualifying 2 Heat 2 Classification:
- Acciona Sainz 11:29 – 10 Points
- RXR +5.34 – 8 Points
- McLaren +11.34 – 6 Points
- ABT Cupra +18.34 – 4 Points
- JBXE +25.52 – 2 Points
Overall Qualifying Standings:
- Acciona Sainz – 18 Points
- X44 – 18 Points
- Veloce – 18 Points
- Chip Ganassi – 16 Points
- RXR – 12 Points
- ABT Cupra – 8 Points
- JBXE – 8 Points
- McLaren – 8 Points
- Carl Cox Motorsport – 6 Points
- Andretti United – 4 Points
Going through to the final following qualifying were tje top five teams, Acciona Sainz, X44, Veloce, Chip Ganassi, and RXR. The bottom five qualifiers would compete in the redemption race.
The redemption race saw the most action of the day, with three cars not seeing its end.
McLaren took an early lead off the start but the main action was happening just behind. Three cars converged through a waypoint with Andretti United coming off worse. Their car rolled over and was unable to continue.
Things calmed down for a couple of minutes after that, but a move from the ABT Cupra car on the McLaren also saw the former end on its side in an incident not dissimilar from Catie Munnings’ in Qualifying One. All drivers were okay but the race was red-flagged.
The race resumed and JBXE reclaimed their lead. However, technical issues for the team saw them slow down and eventually stop, becoming the third retirement of the race.
With three cars out of the race it was a comfortable finish for McLaren, who crossed the line in first, with Carl Cox Motorsport not far behind in second.
Redemption Race Classification:
- McLaren 28:55.292
- Carl Cox Motorsport +5.552
- JBXE DNF
- ABT Cupra DNF
- Andretti United DNF
The last race of the day was the final, being fought between the top five qualifiers.
RXR took an early lead with a brilliant move from Johan Kristofferson. All five cars were neck and neck for most of the first lap.
However, Chip Ganassi ran into a technical issue and were forced to retire. A slow zone was put by the stricken car, restricting speeds to the switch zone speed limit. X44 also had an issue and retired not long after.
The remaining teams came into the switch zone with just a few seconds separating them. RXR led, with Veloce in second, and Acciona Sainz in third.
As the cars neared the slow zone, RXR’s Molly Taylor lost track of where she was and failed to slow in time, They were given a post-race penalty of 136 seconds.
There was little going on after that incident, as RXR crossed the line first but Veloce taking the victory. Acciona Sainz came in second and RXR were saved a place on the podium by virtue of the other cars retiring.
- Acciona Sainz +16.709
- RXR + 2:08.041
- X44 DNF
- Chip Ganassi DNF
- Veloce – 26 Points
- Acciona Sainz – 21 Points
- RXR – 15 Points
- X44 – 13 Points
- Chip Ganassi – 11 Points
- McLaren – 8 Points
- Carl Cox Motorsport – 6 Points
- JBXE – 4 Points
- ABT Cupra – 2 Points
- Andretti United – 1 Point
So concluded an exciting day’s racing. With the chance to do it all again tomorrow, Veloce will be hoping for a similarly successful day, whilst Andretti United will welcome the chance to immediately get their championship back on track.