Extreme E

Christine GZ fractures foot in Q1 wreck, Hedda Hosas to sub for X Prix

2 Mins read
Credit: Carl Bingham

Veloce Racing‘s Christine “GZ” Giampaoli Zonca will miss the Desert X Prix after a scary wreck in Saturday’s first round of qualifying that resulted in a fractured foot. Her injuries thankfully do not extend beyond that, but nevertheless team reserve and guest Championship Driver Hedda Hosås will take over her spot for the X Prix.

About two minutes into her qualifying run, Giampaoli Zonca was navigating a lefthand turn when her Odyssey 21 dug into the sand, causing the vehicle to go airbourne. The car landed on its roof before catching air once more and finally coming to a rest upside-down. Giampaoli Zonca was taken to the medical centre before moving to a local hospital, where she was diagnosed with the foot injury. She has since been discharged.

Giampaoli Zonca posted in an Instagram Story, “Just a broken foot, all good, thank you everyone!!!”

The crash forced Veloce to miss its heat race later on Saturday. Since the team placed last in both rounds of qualifying even if due to unfortunate circumstance, it has the fewest Intermediate Classification points and will therefore run the Crazy Race on Sunday; the top two in that event advances to the Final.

Later in the day, Hosås was able to complete a shakedown lap in Veloce’s car and ensure the team will race on Sunday. Besides being a reserve for Veloce specifically, she and Romain Dumas are guest Championship Drivers for the Desert X Prix; Championship Drivers are employed by Extreme E as advisors and substitutes in the event of a regular not being fit enough to race. The series’ main female backup Tamara Molinaro is filling in for Klara Andersson, who tested positive for COVID-19, at XITE Energy Racing, meaning Hosås would have to help out Veloce.

A 20-year-old Norwegian Rallycross Championship driver, Hosås was hired by Veloce in 2021 on the recommendation of FIA European Rallycross Championship racer and mentor Ulrik Linnemann. Ironically, a wild crash for Veloce’s car (then driven by Stéphane Sarrazin) at that year’s Island X Prix forced her and the team to miss the series’ Rookie Test.

“Veloce Racing driver Christine GZ has left hospital with a confirmed fractured foot following her accident during Qualifying 1 of the Desert X Prix earlier today (19 February),” began a statement from the team. “Christine is in good spirits, although disappointed that she will be unable to compete for the remainder of the event, but plans to attend the race site tomorrow to support her Veloce Racing colleagues.

“Reserve driver Hedda Hosås was able to complete a shakedown lap in the team’s repaired #5 car earlier this evening, and will contest the remainder of the Desert X Prix for Veloce Racing. We are looking forward to fighting again tomorrow, proud of our Q1 pace and most importantly very happy that Christine is OK!”

Hosås will team up with Lance Woolridge in the X Prix. Woolridge set the fourth-quickest time in single-car qualifying.

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Justin is not an off-road racer, but he writes about it for The Checkered Flag.
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