RXR Seal Maiden Extreme E Title on Countback | Extreme E: Race Report

RXR have won the teams championship in Extreme E’s inaugural season, despite X44 winning the final race on a thrilling last day.

Crazy Race:

The first race of the weekend was the Crazy Race, where the bottom three qualifiers all competed for a place in the final. Andretti United, Chip Ganassi, and Xite Energy all hoped to improve on a poor Saturday qualifying result.

As the lights went out it was Andretti United’s Timmy Hansen who got the best getaway, leading out Xite Energy’s Oliver Bennett, and Chip Ganassi’s Kyle Leduc going into the first turn.

Whilst Hansen looked to extend his lead, Bennett and Leduc were embroiled in a close wheel to wheel battle, which ended when the latter overtook Bennett around the outside.

After the switch, Sara Price for Chip Ganassi closed up to Katie Munnings’ Andretti car and they were nose to tail for much of the lap. Ultimately, though, it wouldn’t be enough, as Andretti United booked their place in the final.

Crazy Race Classification:

  1. Andretti United
  2. Chip Ganassi
  3. Xite Energy

Semi-Final 1:

Championship protagonists X44 hoped to extend their so-far perfect weekend in the first semi-final as they faced off against JBXE and Veloce.

JBXE’s Kevin Hansen had a great start and entered the first turn in first place, just ahead of X44’s Loeb. Behind, Veloce’s debutant Lance Woolridge made a mistake and lost some ground to the two leaders.

In order to claim the title, X44 needed the five extra points for setting the fastest time in the Continental Traction Challenge. Loeb managed to do just that, putting in a blistering sector to catch up to JBXE.

By the time the cars entered the switch zone, you could have put a blanket over JBXE and X44. The latter made better use of the switch, though, and narrowly came out in the lead.

From there, Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky for JBXE pushed Christina Gutierrez for X44 right to the end. It wasn’t enough to take the victory but both teams progressed to the final.

Semi-Final 1 Classification:

  1. X44
  2. JBXE
  3. Veloce

Semi-Final 2:

Championship leaders RXR looked to reach the final for the fifth race in a row, where they would be able to place one hand on the trophy. First, though, they had to race against Acciona Sainz and ABT Cupra in the second semi-final.

Johan Kristofferson in the RXR machine got off to the perfect start, putting it into first place; whilst Carlos Sainz put his Acciona Sainz car into second with the help of hyperdrive.

Unfortunately for the German team, ABT Cupra sustained damage early on and they dropped off the back of the other two cars.

With ABT Cupra a long way off, all RXR and Acciona Sainz had to do was bring the car home. Molly Taylor and Laia Sanz did just that, securing the final two spots in the final.

Semi-Final 2 Classification:

  1. RXR
  2. Acciona Sainz
  3. ABT Cupra

Final:

This was it then, the championship had come down to this race. RXR just needed to finish fourth or above to claim the very first Extreme E title.

X44 got off to a brilliant start, with Gutierrez using her hyperdrive to great effect to take the lead. RXR were a close second, with JBXE, Andretti United, and Acciona Sainz just behind.

However, after a good start, RXR’s Molly Taylor began to drop to the back of the field, being overtaken by both JBXE and Andretti United. With X44 in the lead, losing fourth place to Acciona Sainz would mean they lost the championship.

Taylor stood strong, however, and she handed over to Johan Kristofferson just ahead of the Acciona Sainz team.

Meanwhile, Katie Munnings for Andretti United attempted an overtake on JBXE’s Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky but spun and lost some ground. Crucially, she kept ahead of Taylor.

The final lap of the season was an uncharacteristically quiet one which saw X44 win their first race of the season, having done everything possible to claim the title. But, with RXR finishing in fourth, the two teams ended level on points, with RXR winning on countback.

Final Classification:

  1. X44
  2. JBXE
  3. Andretti United
  4. RXR
  5. Acciona Sainz

X44 completed a perfect weekend, having been fastest in both qualifying sessions and both races. In the end it would not be enough but Lewis Hamilton’s team will take a lot of positives into the new season.

Overall Weekend Classification:

  1. X44 25 Points (+5 for Continental Traction Challenge)
  2. JBXE 19 Points
  3. Andretti United 18 Points
  4. RXR 15 Points
  5. Acciona Sainz 12 Points
  6. Veloce 10 Points
  7. ABT Cupra 8 Points
  8. Chip Ganassi 6 Points
  9. Xite Energy 4 Points

In the championship, RXR topped the table, ahead of X44 by virtue of having won more races. Elsewhere, JBXE beat out Andretti United to third place and Acciona Sainz drew level on points with ABT Cupra. ABT Cupra remained ahead on countback.

Championship Standings:

  1. RXR 155 Points
  2. X44 155 Points
  3. JBXE 119 Points
  4. Andretti United 117 Points 
  5. ABT Cupra 100 Points
  6. Acciona Sainz 100 Points
  7. Veloce 77 Points
  8. Chip Ganassi 73 Points
  9. Xite Energy 64 Points

It’s been an incredible first season of Extreme E, with some enthralling racing in the most remote locations, all in the name of raising awareness of Climate issues. With McLaren joining the grid next year, season two is going to be unmissable.

Featured Image courtesy of ExtremeE

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: Qualifying Report

image courtesy of ExtremeE

X44 topped an incredible day’s qualifying yet again as the Arctic XPrix weekend gets into full swing.

It was the new girl, Emma Gilmour, who kicked off qualifying in Q1 for the Veloce team. Coming in for the occupied Jamie Chadwick, Emma set a strong pace for teammate Stephane Sarrazin to build upon. Stephane had an uneventful run and, after a 10 second penalty was awarded for Emma knocking over a flag, Veloce Racing set a benchmark time of 14:19.436.

JBXE’s Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky was next out on track and was going strong until the suspension broke as she went over the rocks. Their Q1 session ended without Kevin Hansen getting in the car.

Xite Energy Racing and ABT Cupra followed as both teams had incident free runs to go 3rd and 1st respectively, with ABT Cupra posting a superb time of 13:48.947, some 30.48 seconds quicker than Veloce’s initial time.

With ABT Cupra the new benchmark it was the turn of championship leaders Rosberg X Racing to take to the track. Johan Kristoffersson was the first of their two drivers to tackle the track and was several seconds up as he got to the halfway point of the lap. At that point disaster struck. As Johan went over a bump, the motor suddenly cut out. It took a few crucial seconds to reboot the car, and, as the car cut out twice more, they were left over a minute down when Molly Taylor took over. Yet more bad news for the RXR team as, just a short way into the lap, Molly rolled the car, sustaining huge bodywork damage in the process. Somehow, she was able to continue and brought the car home 1:40.69 seconds down on ABT Cupra’s time.

Sara Price got Chip Ganassi’s qualifying off to a flyer, handling the track superbly to give the team a lead coming in to the changeover. Last event’s super sector dominator, Kyle Leduc, came into the car and stormed the track to give the team a lead in this weekend’s super sector and provisionally fastest qualifier. However, at some point in the lap, Leduc hit a flagpole and was given a 10 second time penalty. This put them just behind ABT Cupra in the standings.

X44 were fastest qualifiers in both the previous rounds coming in to this weekend and they made a strong case to do so again. Both drivers had clean yet fast runs and they went quickest by about 3 seconds, with a time of 13:45.235.

Andretti United and Acciona Sainz finished off the first qualifying session in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland as both teams looked to set themselves up nicely for the races tomorrow. Acciona Sainz had a careful run and went 6th quickest, some 55.64 seconds off the pace. Unfortunately for Andretti United, the car shut off as Timmy Hansen came into the braking zone for the change over, losing him a minute of time. Catie Munnings was only able to claw back a bit of the deficit as the American outfit finished Q1 in 7th position.

Classification standings and points following Q1:

  1. X44 13:45.235 9 points
  2. ABT Cupra +3.71 8 points
  3. Chip Ganassi +6.39 7 points
  4. Veloce +34.20 6 points
  5. Xite Energy +51.74 5 points
  6. Acciona Sainz +55.64 4 points
  7. Andretti United +1:29.95 3 points
  8. RXR +1:44.40 2 points
  9. JBXE DNF 1 point

Stephane Sarrazin kicked off Q2 for Veloce but problems started almost immediately for the Frenchman. By the time he had reached the first turn, the power steering had broken. He tried to reset the system but was unable to fix it and the team were only able to set a benchmark time of 16:51.810

Kevin Hansen then did his first and only lap of the whole of qualifying for the JBXE team. He was initially very quick but more issues struck as the car shut down coming in to the braking zone for the switch over, just as it did for his brother Timmy. Once they’d got the car going again, Mikaela jumped in and had a solid lap that saw the team go fastest so far with a 14:42.102.

Problems seemed to be the theme of the day as the next three teams all failed to complete their Q2 runs. Xite Energy’s Oliver Bennet suffered techincal issues, meaning he was unable to complete a lap. ABT Cupra’s Ekstrom made it a little further but came in to the switch zone with both rear tires punctured. The team were unable to change them and Jutta Kleinschmidt did not finish the run. Chip Ganassi’s Kyle Leduc didn’t even make the halfway stage as the rear left suspension broke going over a jump.

Next it was the turn of the Q1 quickest, X44. Loeb set the pace early, handing over to teammate Gutierrez with a 10 second advantage over JBXE. Christina had a steady run and brought the car home to provisionally top the session with a time of 14:37.598.

The rest of the qualifying session was uneventful as Andretti United, Acciona Sainz, and RXR all had solid runs to round off qualifying 3rd, 5th and 1st respectively.

Classification standings and points for Q2:

  1. RXR 14:26.647 9 points
  2. X44 +10.951 8 points
  3. Andretti United +14.917 7 points
  4. JBXE +15.455 6 points
  5. Acciona Sainz +30.377 5 points
  6. Veloce +1:56.163 4 points
  7. ABT Cupra DNF 3 points
  8. Xite Energy DNF 2 points
  9. Chip Ganassi DNF 1 point

For the final qualifying classification the points from both qualifying sessions were added up, with ties  being settled by who had the fastest super sector times. X44 topped the classification, going on to compete against Veloce and Acciona Sainz  in Semi Final 1. ABT Cupra, RXR, and Andretti United will compete in Semi Final 2. The first 2 finishers in each semi final will progress to the final. The last spot in the final will be contested between Chip Ganassi, JBXE, and Xite Energy.

Final Qualifying Classification:

  1. X44 17 points
  2. ABT Cupra 11 points
  3. RXR 11 points
  4. Andretti United 10 points
  5. Veloce 10 points
  6. Acciona Sainz 9 points
  7. Chip Ganassi 8 points
  8. JBXE 7 points
  9. Xite Energy 7 points

RXR’s lead at the top of the championship has weakened slightly following qualifying as X44 close to just 12 points away. Points that count in the championship are awarded by the position in qualifying, with the fastest, X44, receiving 12 points, and the slowest, Xite Energy, receiving just 4.

Here’s how the championship looks heading in to the races tomorrow:

  1. RXR 81 points
  2. X44 69 points
  3. JBXE 49 points
  4. Andretti United 46 points
  5. ABT Cupra 46 points
  6. Acciona Sainz 43 points
  7. Xite Energy 41 points
  8. Veloce 39 points
  9. Chip Ganassi 36 points

With qualifying completed, we’re finely poised for an exciting day of racing tomorrow!

Extreme E: Arctic XPrix Preview

image courtesy of ExtremeE

Taking place in the picturesque landscape of Kangerlussuaq, Greenland, Extreme E returns this weekend with its first ever Arctic XPrix.

Greenland is set to host its first ever motorsport event in just a few days time as the teams and drivers prepare to take on the ice and snow. Kangerlussuaq, where the race is being held, is home to the now greatly diminished Russell Glacier, the remnants of which will provide a good site to host the eight kilometre circuit. Drivers will have to negotiate tricky technical sections around rocks, as well as more open sections, all whilst coping with an icy surface. The Arctic XPrix circuit will host a challenge never seen before in Extreme E

Something else that’s never been seen before in Extreme E is the five car final, which is one of a number of changes to the weekend format. Learning from the last two events, qualifying has had a shakeup, with each of the two sessions awarding classification points, rather than providing a combined time. Now, the fastest team in each session will be awarded nine points, with other teams being awarded eight to one each session respectively.  The overall qualifying positions will be set by the highest to lowest number of points, giving teams who DNF in one of their runs more of a chance. Should any teams be on equal points, they will be ordered by their fastest super sector times.  It is important to note that these classification points do not count towards the championship.

Once the qualifying classification has been established, the teams will take part in one of three races. The teams that qualify in first, fifth, or sixth will race in Semi Final One, with the top two progressing to the final. The second, third, and fourth qualifiers will race in Semi Final Two. The top two finishers in this race will also progress to the final. The bottom three qualifiers will all face off in the Crazy Race, where only the winner will complete the grid for the final.

The championship points system remains unchanged for this weekend, as points are awarded for both qualifying and the race. Twelve points will still be awarded to the top qualifier and the rest of the points will be evenly distributed down to four points for the ninth qualifier. Points will also be awarded for the final race classification, with the winner receiving twenty five points, down to the bottom finisher receiving four. Five points will still be awarded to the team with the fastest super sector time of the weekend.

Coming in to the weekend, Rosberg X Racing hold a fourteen point lead over X44 with a total of seventy one points. JBXE are a further thirteen points back, with just seven points separating the remaining six teams.

The Arctic XPrix will also see a couple of changes to the driver line ups. Jutta Kleinschmidt, who raced for ABT Cupra in Senegal in place of an ill Claudia Hurtgen, will make her debut as a full time driver for the team, replacing Claudia, who wanted to put more focus on her other driving roles. Senegal also saw Kevin Hansen replace Jenson Button at JBXE as the Formula One champion looked to prioritise his role as team principle. Kevin will continue to partner Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky at the Arctic XPrix. Veloce reserve driver Emma Gilmour will come in to the team in place of Jamie Chadwick, who is racing in W Series at Spa this weekend.

Every Extreme E event aims to both highlight an environmental issue, and leave a positive impact on the communities they visit. This weekend, the series will discuss melting ice sheets and rising sea levels. The legacy program consists of several seminars and teaching resources, which hopes to transform climate education in Greenland. It is believed around three thousand six hundred Greenlandic children will take part in Climate Week in September, as they learn about the issues surrounding climate change and how they can address them. Extreme E have partnered with UNICEF to make this happen.

The one of world’s cleanest racing series, racing in one of the world’s most beautiful locations. You’d be a fool to miss it!

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