Despite fracturing her foot in Extreme E‘s season-opening Desert X Prix in February, Christine “GZ” Giampaoli Zonca will ultimately not miss a single race. On Wednesday, with testing approaching, Veloce Racing confirmed GZ has been medically cleared to return to racing ahead of the Island X Prix doubleheader in Sardinia on 6–10 July.
“We’re thankful that Christine is okay after her crash and we’re excited to have her back with us as the team gets ready for what will no doubt be a challenging week of back-to-back Extreme E races,” said Veloce Racing CEO Daniel Bailey. “We left the season opener on the back foot, but these days of testing provide a perfect opportunity to build on the speed we showed in the first race and make sure we’re back to competing at the front.”
During single-car qualifying for the Desert X Prix in Saudi Arabia, GZ rolled her Veloce Odyssey on a left turn and broke her foot in three different locations, resulting in hospitalisation and surgery. Hedda Hosås replaced her for the heat and Crazy Race the following day.
Perhaps making recovery easier for her was Extreme E dropping the Ocean X Prix on 7/8 May in favour of the Sardinia double. She continued to walk with crutches until this point, and participated in the series’ Legacy Programme in Senegal without much restriction.
GZ returned to motorsport in late May by driving autocross in Spain, while her formal racing resumption took place a month later with the Spanish outfit Ya-Car Racing.
“It’s great to see that my hard work has paid off and I’ve recovered in time for the next rounds of Extreme E,” GZ stated. “Everyone in the team has been doing an amazing job to make sure we are ready for action, and testing is going to be a big part of our preparations.
“I can’t wait to get back behind the wheel and to get back to driving with Lance (Woolridge) again. We worked together so well in Neom and I’m excited to see what progress we can make as the season goes on.”
Woolridge, who finished tenth overall in the Desert X Prix with Hosås, commented that although “the season opener in Neom wasn’t the way Christine and I wanted to start our first campaign for Veloce[,] the pace we both showed was promising and one of many positives to take from that weekend.
“I’m relieved Christine is okay and fit to race. Of course, we’ll both want to go all-out again in Sardinia, but it’s important that we work towards a consistent performance and some solid points from the upcoming double-header, and that starts with this testing.”
With less than a month before the next round, many teams are re-firing their machines with advance testing. Veloce is conducting a three-day session in southern France on 15–17 June. Teams are permitted 250 kWh (kilowatt-hours) of testing with 360 kWh as the maximum.