ABT Cupra XE surged into the top of timesheets, setting the pace in free practice with a total time of 13:588:499. That leaves 20 seconds clear of other cars. Andretti United XE were next to set the second-fastest time, followed by X44 squad who continued their consistent form and posted the third quickest lap. XITE Energy Racing managed to improve their time and sitting comfortably in fourth. Their driver Christine GZ expressed her thoughts on the tricky course and seemed to enjoy the whole thing despite the rock garden zone is considered to be punishing for some drivers.
“The track is really hard and super technical. There are areas with a lot of sand and areas with a lot of rocks and you have to switch really fast but I just loved it so much, it was really cool and hope tomorrow will be even better.
“I don’t think the rock garden was that bad, some people seemed to struggle there but I thought it was ok!”
Meanwhile, things didn’t work out so smoothly for the championship leader Rosberg X Racing as they encountered an early setback with mechanical issues hampering their progress.
“You walk on the course and you don’t really know what to expect. Overall it was nice just to have a run in the car.” said Molly Taylor.
“Anything could happen so you need to get the speed and all those one-percenters and sometimes you need a bit of luck as well. We’re just going to the best job that we can and take each session as it comes which will hopefully put us in good place. But everything’s feeling good.”
Various terrain conditions proved to be a little bit difficult for the rest of the teams. JBXE’s Kevin Hansen endured a puncture during his run resulting in the sixth fastest overall time. Acciona Sainz XE Team, SEGI TV Chip Ganassi Racing and Veloce Racing encountered technical gremlins and were forced to stop on track.
“I enjoyed it a lot. For sure, it was challenging but I wouldn’t have it any other way!” said Hansen.
“I’m keeping that secret [where the puncture happened] to myself so I know where it was and the others won’t expect that!”
Sara Price from Chip Ganassi revealed the technical issue but remains optimistic for qualifying.
“We were unfortunate — the battery had overheated.
“We’re now figuring out what the next plan is for the team to execute a successful weekend so we are going to go back to the pits and work on our strategy.”
Qualifying round 1: 13.30 -15.30 CEST
Qualifying round 2: 18.00 – 20.00 CEST
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