After seeing so many glimpses of the project for many months, the first qualifying of Extreme E finally kicked off today at 09:00 local time, and the first opener was a tense affair, while at the same time delivered a massive excitement that kept us on the edge of our seat. Drivers have to set the fastest time while also trying to balance the car’s performance in the seemingly untamed external condition makes the fun double.
Johan Kristoffersson and Molly Taylor of Rosberg X Racing set the fastest time in the first set of series with 10:43.565, knocking out Sébastien Loeb and Cristina Gutiérrez of X44 who managed to set the quickest lap for a while. The team worked together flawlessly with Taylor on the ragged edge, flying over rocks. She managed to get the car safely home in the quickest way possible, bringing their team into the first position.
Other desert legends such as X44 and Acciona teams made it into the second and the third position respectively, both teams showed great strength and pace which probably stemmed from their experiences in racing around the area. Gutiérrez worked with no mistake to cover Loeb’s tiny slip earlier, finishing in 10:48.067. Carlos Sainz followed after, still displaying his massive strength and Laia Sanz managed to drag her team to the finish line as she gets used to the car.
Andretti United Extreme E was the first team that sent us into a big spiralling moment of tension. Following a puncture in the right rear in Catie Munnings‘ run, the 23 year-old driver manage to deliver a solid finish the fourth place despite of the fear of never getting into the finish line.
Unfortunately, Hispano Suiza XITE had to swallow a massive loss after their team was investigated to be speeding on the driver’s switch, receiving 75 seconds penalty which immediately pushed the team onto the sixth place.
The same thing was felt by the Chip Ganassi team, having not entirely recovered by the massive crash in the shakedown yesterday, looks like they experienced a problem in the power steering.
Kyle LeDuc was seen re-adjusting the cars settings in the driver change over as they tried to fix the issues, spending longer in the pits than the minimum time needed. As a consequence they fell way back among others. It was obvious that Sara Price had a great difficulty in handling the car afterwards.
Things went extremely downhill for Veloce Racing and ABT Cupra XE as both cars rolled, unable to get into the finish line and putting both teams into the bottom two places. ABT’s Claudia Hürtgen experienced a violent crash right before the last turn. Jamie Chadwick was unable to set a lap time due to Stéphane Sarrazin’s crash after rolling a few metres off the first dropoff, immediately putting them out of the running with a non-finish.
|1||Johan Kristofferson/Molly Taylor||Rosberg X Racing||2||10:43.565|
|2||Sébastien Loeb/Cristina Gutiérrez||Team X44||2||10:48.067|
|3||Carlos Sainz/Laia Sanz||Acciona Sainz XE Team||2||11:16.231|
|4||Timmy Hansen/Catie Munnings||Andretti United Extreme E||2||11:21.603|
|5||Jenson Button/Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky||JBXE||2||12:22.426|
|6||Christine Giampaoli Zonca/Oliver Bennett||Hispano-Suiza Xite Energy Team||2||13:09.038|
|7||Kyle LeDuc/Sara Price||Segi TV Chip Ganassi Racing||2||13:33.674|
|8||Mattias Ekström/Claudia Hürtgen||Abt CUPRA XE||1||4:42.210|
|9||Stéphane Sarrazin/Jamie Chadwick||Veloce Racing||0||–|