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!

Extreme E: X44 Continue Saturday Streak | Qualifying Report

image courtesy of ExtremeE

Lewis Hamilton’s team, X44, qualified fastest for the fourth race in a row this weekend in Sardinia; putting in a dominant display over their championship rivals.

Qualifying 1:

Championship leaders Rosberg X Racing (RXR) kicked off the Island X Prix qualifying, with the German team coming into the weekend mathematically able to win the title. Johan Kristofferson showed some strong early pace but that was to be undone as teammate Molly Taylor had an off. The RXR car stepped out as she was going over a blind crest and it rolled as the tires dug into the dust. Fortunately for the team, the car landed upright and Molly was able to finish her lap, setting a respectable time of 11:37.557.

Chip Ganassi’s Sara Price was next to take to the track as the team hoped they had put all their bad luck behind them. It was not to be, however, as the suspension broke within the first minute. Christine GZ also suffered from mechanical problems on her lap, which meant both Chip Ganassi and Xite Energy recorded a DNF.

X44 followed Xite Energy as they looked to continue their hot run of qualifying form. Christine Gutierrez was first out and barring a minor spin, set a solid foundation for Loeb to build upon. And build upon it he did! Loeb flew round the course to comfortably set the fastest time of the session so far with a 11:05.105.

Andretti United’s Timmy Hansen had the unfortunate job of trying to follow that run and a loss of power steering certainly didn’t help the cause. He limped the car to the pits and the issue was fixed as Katie Munnings jumped in. She had a steady lap and the American outfit posted a time 1:18.79 off of X44’s benchmark.

The final four teams all had quick runs, but none were able to match the pace of the X44 team, who finished Q1 top of the pile and took maximum qualifying points from the opening session.

Qualifying 1 Classification:

  1. X44 11:05.105 (9 Points)
  2. Acciona Sainz +12.28 (8 Points)
  3. Veloce +18.07 (7 Points)
  4. ABT Cupra +19.69 (6 Points)
  5. JBXE +22.90 (5 Points)
  6. RXR +32.45 (4 Points)
  7. Andretti United +1:18.79 (3 Points)
  8. Xite Energy +1 Lap (2 Points)
  9. Chip Ganassi +2 Laps (1 Point)

Qualifying 2:

Christine GZ kicked off Qualifying 2 for Xite Energy. Fortunately for them, she and teammate Oliver Bennett were able to finish their run and set a decent time of 11:33.636. Not so fortunately, the team received a 10 second time penalty after Bennett missed a waypoint flag.

Current Qualifying leaders X44 were next onto the track and they set a blistering run to smash their Q1 time and go provisionally to the top of the standings with a time of 10:55.401. They were to be the only team to go under 11 minutes.

Andretti United’s Katie Munnings followed as the team looked to just get round the course without a repeat of the issues from Q1. They did so, just 18.72s off of X44’s time.

It was disaster for Acciona Sainz and Veloce though, with both teams suffering from mechanical faults. The Sainz team had an issue with the steering which saw them finish some two minutes off the back of the pack, whilst Stephane Sarrazin’s suspension broke completely and he was unable to complete a lap.

The remaining four teams all had fast and uneventful runs to put themselves right up the order. None, however, were able to get near X44, who had taken maximum qualifying points.

Qualifying 2 Classification:

  1. X44 10:45.401 (9 Points)
  2. Chip Ganassi +17.20 (8 Points)
  3. RXR +18.37 (7 Points)
  4. Andretti United +18.72 (6 Points)
  5. ABT Cupra +47.16 (5 Points)
  6. JBXE +48.75 (4 Points)
  7. Xite Energy +58.23 (3 Points)
  8. Acciona Sainz +2:32.54 (2 Points)
  9. Veloce +2 Laps (1 Points)

Overall Qualifying Classification:

  1. X44 18 Points
  2. RXR 11 Points
  3. ABT Cupra 11 Points
  4. Acciona Sainz 10 Points
  5. Chip Ganassi 9 Points
  6. Andretti United 9 Points
  7. JBXE 9 Points
  8. Veloce 8 Points
  9. Xite Energy 5 Points

Teams on the same number of qualifying points were separated by the fastest traction zone (formerly super sector) times. Qualifying points do not count towards the championship, the points for which were distributed 12-4 through the field.

It will be X44 racing against Chip Ganassi and Andretti United in the first semi final, as the teams battle it out for their spot in the final. RXR, ABT Cupra, and Acciona Sainz will compete in semi final 2, whilst JBXE, Veloce, and Xite Energy will face off in the crazy race.

RXR’s championship lead shrunk (albeit ever so slightly) today as X44 look to chase them down. Chip Ganassi, who sit at the bottom of the table, were also able to close in on the team above them (Xite Energy).

Championship Standings:

  1. RXR 104 Points
  2. X44 96 Points
  3. Andretti United 83 Points
  4. JBXE 74 Points
  5. Acciona Sainz 70 Points
  6. ABT Cupra 64 Points
  7. Veloce 54 Points
  8. Xite Energy 51 Points
  9. Chip Ganassi 48 Points

Extreme E: UK Set to Host Extreme E Finale

image courtesy of Simon Tassie

Extreme E announced earlier today that the fifth and final race on the Extreme E calendar, the Jurassic XPrix, will take place at Bovington in the English county of Dorset on the 18-19th December.

Supposed to take place in Argentina, the all electric racing series made the difficult decision to cancel the event a few months ago due to the developing coronavirus situation. The decision to now host the finale in the UK instead, comes just a few weeks before the Island XPrix, which replaced the Amazon XPrix for similar reasons.

Bovington is a UK Army Barracks situated in the south of England. Extreme E will work closely with British Ministry of Defence to share innovative ideas on electrification to allow both parties to be at the forefront of sustainable technology. The details of the Legacy Program will be revealed closer to the event.

Speaking about the decision to move the finale to the UK, Extreme E CEO Alejandro Agag said “I am very excited by this race location… This move is a poignant shift in our mission to race in remote, far-away places to highlight the effects of Climate Change, as more increasingly, the issues we talk about are literally happening in our backyards”

The announcement comes after the UK experienced an unusually warm September, with a mean temperature 2.1 degrees above the 1981-2010 long term average and the second hottest September since records began in 1884. As temperatures continue to rise above their averages, it seems important that Extreme E emphasises that climate change is not just felt by those in remote locations; it is felt by everyone.

The Jurassic XPrix will finish the season, following the penultimate round, which takes place in Sardinia later this month. With the championship battle getting closer and closer, we look forward to seeing the winner crowned on UK soil.