Veloce won Round 4 of the Extreme E championship to take the lead in the title race. Here’s how the day’s action unfolded.
No sign of the fog that cancelled Saturday’s Qualifying 1 session, as the teams looked to start the final day of the Hydro XPrix on the front font.
In the first heat, contested between Chip Ganassi, Carl Cox, ABT Cupra, X44, and RXR, Chip Ganassi took an early lead.
As they entered the switch zone, the front four teams were neck and neck, with Carl Cox some way behind.
After the teams had switched drivers, X44 closed in on the ABT Cupra car. Eventually, the two teams made contact, and X44 went through. Race Control, however, took a dim view of the contact that aided the pass, and swapped the positions back again.
Chip Ganassi crossed the line to win the first heat of the day, with RXR in second. ABT came in third, X44 behind them, and Carl Cox Motorsport propped up the results.
The remaining five cars competed against each other in Qualifying 1 Heat 2. Acciona Sainz led off the start line, and would not lose the lead for the entirety of the race.
Meanwhile, further behind them, a spin for Timmy Hansen in the Andretti car saw them drop to the back. McLaren also passed Veloce before the switch zone.
The second half of the race was a sedate affair, though Veloce picked up a 10s penalty for downing a flag.
Acciona Sainz win their heat, with McLaren in P2. Veloce finished P3, and JBXE and Andretti rounded off the first part of qualifying.
The Scottish weather Gods, who had been kind enough to allow Qualifying 1 to go ahead today, decided they wanted to spice things up between the two sessions.
Heavy rain made for a particularly tricky track, which would cause many problems for the drivers for the rest of the day.
As the drivers hit they hay to get Qualifying 2 Heat 1 underway, three drivers, quite literally, Hit The Hay.
First the McLaren, who had made the best start, spun the car and collided with the hay bales at the side of the track. They were, however, able to continue.
Behind the McLaren, the Carl Cox and ABT Cupra machines weren’t so lucky. Unsighted by the mud on their windscreens, they drove straight into the hay bales and were both forced to retire.
After a brief red flag, the race resumed, though JBXE had issues getting away from the line. A slow-zone had been put in place where the initial carnage occurred and McLaren were caught out, as they over-sped on entry.
Though McLaren would cross the line first, a 30s penalty for that over-speeding dropped them into second, behind Chip Ganassi. JBXE finished third whilst the two retires never resumed after the red flag.
More carnage in the final Qualifying heat as Acciona Sainz and RXR made contact on the run down to the first corner. Acciona Sainz spun out, and the RXR car was sent careering over the crest of the first turn and smashed into X44. Amazingly, only RXR were forced to retire.
Another red flag came and went, though there was some confusion as to whether Acciona Sainz would be allowed to start. Marshals told them they couldn’t as they made their way to the grid, despite a broken suspension.
Veloce took the win, as Andretti passed X44 for second place.
The win in both heats saw Chip Ganassi top qualifying, with Veloce, McLaren, RXR, and Acciona Sainz making it through to the final with them.
- Chip Ganassi – 20 Points
- Veloce – 16 Points
- McLaren – 16 Points
- RXR – 12 Points
- Acciona Sainz – 12 Points
- X44 – 10 Points
- JBXE – 10 Points
- Andretti – 10 Points
- ABT Cupra – 8 Points
- Carl Cox Motorsport – 6 Points
Only four of the five cars due to compete in the Redemption Race took the start, as issues for the Carl Cox team compounded a miserable day.
Extreme E’s newest driver, Andreas Bakkerud, took an early lead in the JBXE car, which the team would not lose.
Further behind, X44 were unsighted by the mud and slammed into the back of the ABT Cupra machine. The damage sustained by the X44 was too great to continue.
Apart from that incident, it was a rather sedate affair as teams struggled for visibility in the mud. JBXE won the redemption race and earned some crucial championship points.
Andretti began closing in on JBXE in the final lap, but they would ultimately finish second, ahead of the ABT Cupra.
The five top qualifiers competed for a spot on the podium in the final race of the weekend.
Veloce led off the start line, though they were side-by-side with another team going into the slow-zone – a legacy of the crash in Qualifying 2 Heat 1.
Veloce would come out of the slow-zone in the lead, though behind them Tanner Foust in the McLaren pulled off a brilliant move around the outside of the Acciona Sainz for P2.
After the switch-zone the drivers’ poor visibility really came to a head. RXR had closed in on the Acciona Sainz car, but as they looked to overtake, the two cars made contact and spun round.
Unsighted, the two teams drove head-on into each other as they looked to get going again. Thankfully, it was a slow-speed collision and both drivers were okay, though the RXR car could not continue the race.
In all of that mayhem, Chip Ganassi snook past the two of them, and would seal a solid 3rd place for the American team.
Veloce went on to win the race, putting the back in charge of the title race. McLaren finished second.
Round 4 Classification:
- Chip Ganassi
- Acciona Sainz
- ABT Cupra
- Carl Cox Motorsport
Veloce’s win see them move into first in the standings, leapfrogging Acciona Sainz who drop into second.
A close battle for third sees three teams separated by just two points, whilst JBXE continue to prop up the leaderboard.
- Veloce – 80 Points
- Acciona Sainz – 69 Points
- RXR – 52 Points
- X44 – 51 Points
- Chip Ganassi – 50 Points
- McLaren – 36 Points
- Andretti – 29 Points
- Carl Cox Motorsport – 23 Points
- ABT Cupra – 20 Points
- JBXE – 15 Points
The fifth and sixth rounds of the championship see us return to an Extreme E favourite – Sardinia, Italy – on the 8th-9th July. With the season now in full swing, you would be a fool to miss it.