Extreme E: X44 wins Saturday race at Hydro X Prix in Scotland, rollovers for ABT & Rosberg
Roughly nine weeks after its season opener in Neom (Saudi Arabia), Extreme E held its third race of 2023 in Scotland: the Hydro X Prix at the former Glenmuckloch coal mine. F1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton's Team X44 won the final thanks to a time penalty against Andretti, who had actually crossed the finish line first. The two German teams, ABT Cupra and Rosberg X Racing, were each eliminated after rollovers.
The first heat of Qualifying 1 on Saturday morning was to pit GMC Hummer EV Chip Ganassi Racing, Acciona Sainz, Andretti Altawkilat, JBXE and X44 Vida Carbon Racing against each other. However, the start of the session, scheduled for 7:30 am local time, was initially postponed due to dense fog in Scotland. After there was still no improvement more than 30 minutes after the scheduled time, the first qualifying session was finally cancelled for safety reasons. The rescue helicopter would not have been allowed to take off due to poor visibility, the series announced as the reason. So only the 2nd qualifying decided the teams' entry into the final.
Due to low-lying fog, Q1 is canceled this morning as the medical helicopter is unable to fly.- Extreme E (@ExtremeELive) May 13, 2023
The safety of our drivers and personnel is paramount. Q2 is due to start as scheduled.
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Heat 1: X44 wins, JBXE far behind
The 2nd qualifying session at 11:55 am UK time finally went ahead as planned. The first heat featured the five teams that had already been scheduled to start the 1st qualifying session. All teams had scheduled their female drivers for the start. After two laps, it was the turn of the men, who also drove two laps.
Cristina Gutierrez took the lead at the start with an aggressive maneuver in the first turn ahead of Amanda Sorensen and Laia Sanz. Catie Munnings was in fourth place ahead of Hedda Hosas. As a result, Gutierrez was able to increase her lead: Sorensen was already four seconds behind after the first lap. Sanz and Munnings followed close behind, with Hosas already almost twelve seconds behind the Spaniard.
On the second lap, Munnings pushed past Sanz with a hard braking maneuver just before entering the switch zone, while Gutierrez and Sorensen had already pulled clear before that. After the driver change, the positions remained unchanged. Fraser McConnell was even able to take out a little speed in some sections and activated his Hyperdrive in the Continental Traction Challenge. He easily took the win for X44 Vida Carbon Racing. RJ Anderson kept Timmy Hansen behind. Behind him Mattias Ekström crossed the finish line in fourth place. Andreas Bakkerud finished a distant fifth. JBXE was more than 20 seconds behind the fourth-placed Acciona Sainz car.
Heat 2: RXR wins, ABT Cupra & Veloce crash
The second heat saw a more mixed field, with two male drivers competing in Tanner Foust (McLaren) and Timo Scheider (Carl Cox Motorsport), while ABT Cupra (Klara Andersson), Rosberg X Racing (Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky) and Veloce Racing (Molly Taylor) each had a female driver contesting the start.
Ahlin-Kottulinsky directly took the lead ahead of Scheider and Andersson. Shortly thereafter, Andersson rolled over after making lateral contact with Scheider - race control showed the red flag and announced it would investigate the collision after qualifying. Andersson was fortunately uninjured in the accident, according to her team. However, the ABT Cupra team's Odyssey 21 suffered such extensive damage in the accident that a start in the Redemption Race was not possible.
Foust was in third place at the time, but had earlier collided with Veloce Racing's Odyssey 21. This was damaged on the rear axle, Molly Taylor had to park the car on the track. A bitter setback for the championship leaders. After about 30 minutes of interruption, the session continued with the three remaining cars. Ahlin-Kottulinsky retained the top position against a hard-pushing Scheider, but went into the switch zone less than half a second ahead. Foust was also less than a second behind the German.
At the driver change, the positions remained unchanged. However, the race stewards found a violation at McLaren in the switch zone: Foust had placed his car at an angle in the changeover zone, which meant it was not completely in the designated box. The race stewards subsequently handed McLaren a five-second time penalty.
Johan Kristoffersson quickly extended his lead on the track to a comfortable level of more than ten seconds, behind him Christine Giampaoli-Zonca had to defend herself against the attacks of Emma Gilmour. On the final lap, the McLaren driver managed to overtake the Spaniard in Hyperdrive.
Kristoffersson drove unperturbed at the front to win by nearly 20 seconds. Behind, Gilmour failed to open up the necessary five-second lead over Giampaoli-Zonca, leaving Carl Cox Motorsport to inherit second place. The team retained this even after the investigation into the collision with Klara Andersson - the race stewards saw the contact between Scheider and Andersson as a racing accident and did not issue a penalty.
Qualifying result at Hydro X Prix I
|Pos.||Team||Points Q1||Points Q2||Total Q-Points|
After ABT Cupra's accident in the semi-final, only four cars started in the Redemption Race: Acciona Sainz, JBXE, McLaren and championship leaders Veloce Racing. Acciona Sainz driver Mattias Ekström took the lead at the start ahead of Veloce driver Kevin Hansen. Emma Gilmour in the McLaren was in third place, but was unable to match the pace of the two leaders and lost more than ten seconds on the first lap. JBXE newcomer Andreas Bakkerud had even greater difficulty getting used to the Odyssey 21 and was well behind Gilmour.
After Ekström and Hansen had driven two clean laps, they drove into the switch zone for the driver change. Gilmour was already more than 19 seconds behind the two leaders at this point. Bakkerud was able to close to within three seconds of the McLaren with a good second lap. Laia Sanz returned to the track as the leader but was only just ahead of Molly Taylor. The winners of the first two races in Saudi Arabia then engaged in a battle for the top spot. Taylor, however, did not get close enough to seriously attack Sanz. Tanner Foust managed to pull away from Hedda Hosas behind.
On the final lap, Sanz pulled away from Taylor to win the race by nearly four seconds. Tanner Foust managed to close the gap on the leading duo by a few seconds, but was way too far behind to be in contention for the win. Hosas finished fourth, well behind.
Fraser McConnell initially got the worst start in the final, but took so much momentum into turn 1 with the Hyperdrive that he passed all four of his competitors. Behind him was Andretti driver Timmy Hansen, who attacked the X44 driver a few corners later. Contact ensued that pushed McConnell off the track, meaning Johan Kristoffersson in the RXR racer also passed the Jamaican.
But the joy for the Swede lasted only a short time: a few meters later he came off the track and rolled over. This meant that the third team, which had finished on the podium twice at the season opener in Saudi Arabia, was also out of the race.
Hansen extended his lead over McConnell to eight seconds at the front. Third was RJ Anderson, but he caught a front left tire puncture. Christine GZ was much further back, however, allowing Anderson to steer the car into the switch zone in third place.
Catie Munnings exited the switch zone in the lead, but Cristina Gutierrez narrowed the gap over the next two laps. After an extremely fast tire change, Amanda Sorensen was still in third place. However, only a few seconds separated her from Timo Scheider. The German passed Sorensen shortly afterwards and was thus on course for the podium.
Gutierrez increasingly reduced the gap to Munnings, but did not get within striking distance. Then a message from race control appeared on the time monitors: Andretti was being investigated for an unspecified incident during the driver change. Munnings crossed the finish line with a 6.3-second lead, already celebrating victory for the U.S.
Then came the bad news: the team had failed to meet the minimum standing time in the switch zone and received a time penalty of 15.3 seconds. The win therefore went to McConnell and Gutierrez of X44 Vida Carbon Racing. Hansen and Munnings still finished second. Christine Giampaoli-Zonca and Timo Scheider for Carl Cox Motorsport completed the podium.
In the overall standings, X44 narrowed the gap to Acciona Sainz and Veloce Racing significantly with the win, while Rosberg X Racing is now fourth. The fourth race of the 2023 Extreme E season will already take place on Sunday, as the off-road series is exclusively running "double headers" this season. The first qualifying session will begin at 8 am CEST. The broadcast of the second qualifying session and the final race will start at 2 pm.