Sardinia, the second: Preview of the next Island X Prix of Extreme E
Next weekend, Extreme E will once again race in Sardinia. The previous double-header of the electric series already took place in the south of the Italian island. After the cancellation of the planned races in Brazil/USA, the military site at Capo Teulada will once again stand in as a replacement - with a minimally modified track. In our preview you can find out when and where you can follow the sessions, which riders are taking part and who has the best chances.
Where does the Extreme E race take place?
Extreme E will already hold its races 6 and 7 in Sardinia - no other place in the world has seen more XE races. Capo Teulada is also the only venue that has always been part of the Extreme E race calendar since season 1. The track is located in the south-west of Sardinia on a military training area. The nearest town, Teulada, is about 20 kilometres to the north. Due to its undeveloped coastal landscape, the region is attracting more and more tourists.
What has happened since the last race?
Since the last race weekend in Sardinia in July, apart from the announcement of the replacement race, there has been one big news: in addition to Extreme E, there will be another all-electric off-road racing series from 2025. In the so-called Extreme H, vehicles with fuel cells powered by hydrogen will compete. The XH is to be given FIA World Championship status as early as 2026, and Extreme E will also officially become an "FIA Championship" from 2024.
On the driver side, one notable personnel has been announced so far: Sebastien Loeb will start for ABT Cupra XE in place of Nasr Al-Attiyah, as he did in July. "It's great to return to Sardinia for two more races with ABT and Cupra," says the season 2 champion Loeb. "I have good memories of last time. But we didn't get the results we had hoped for and expected. So we will do our best to do better this time."
The two championship drivers, i.e. cross-team substitute drivers, for the second Island X Prix of the year are once again Tamara Molinaro and EuroRX1 driver Patrick O'Donovan.
When are the sessions, who will broadcast them on TV & Livestream?
The schedule for the two Extreme E races at Capo Teulada is as follows (local time). The X Prix takes place as a "double-header" like every race weekend this season. While the first qualifying session of each race day will be broadcast live, the second qualifying session will be incorporated into the coverage of the finals.
|Saturday||16.09.2023||Qualifying 1/2||09:00-10:30||YouTube, extreme-e.com, Facebook, Twitter|
|Saturday||16.09.2023||Final programme||15:00-17:00||YouTube, extreme-e.com, Facebook, Twitter|
|Sunday||17.09.2023||Qualifying 1/2||09:00-10:30||YouTube, extreme-e.com, Facebook, Twitter|
|Sunday||17.09.2023||Final programme||15:00-17:00||YouTube, extreme-e.com, Facebook, Twitter|
What makes the circuit special?
The circuit in Sardinia had already been significantly shortened in July. For the second race weekend in 2023, Extreme E has again made slight adjustments. The starting area and the northern part of the circuit were changed. An additional loop was added there, extending the course from 2.9 to 3.1 kilometres. Two laps per driver will be completed before or after the driver change.
In general, the Island X Prix course is quite a fast one. Various racing lines - through the dry riverbed, for example - are bordered by bushes and trees and provide opportunities for overtaking. The ground in Sardinia is comparatively firm and consists mainly of dusty soil and stones.
What is the Legacy Programme?
Earlier this year, Extreme E and MEDSEA launched an initiative to replant an area with nectar-rich plants, shrubs and trees to create a forest to support bees and pollinators - the first of its kind in Sardinia. The planting of native, nectar-rich flora should help increase the number of bees in the region. Apparently, said programme is once again in focus.
In pictures: The Island X Prix 2022
What will the weather be like?
Currently, temperatures of up to 34 degrees Celsius are forecast for the coming Saturday. The teams expect nine hours of sunshine and few clouds over Capo Teulada. The chance of rain, however, is only 20 percent. Sunday will be even hotter: twelve hours of sunshine will ensure a maximum of 35 degrees. Rain is extremely unlikely. So Extreme E can prepare for its next heat battle.
Who are the favourites?
The German team Rosberg X Racing has won four of the five Extreme E races held in Sardinia so far. Even in the first round of the 2022 Island X Prix, the team crossed the finish line in first place, but subsequently received a penalty for causing a collision. The victory was thus inherited by Chip Ganassi Racing.
In the overall Extreme E championship standings, however, Acciona Sainz XE has the lead. It is followed by Rosberg and Veloce. It will also be exciting to see what Sebastien Loeb can achieve for ABT Cupra. In other words, clear favourites are difficult to identify ahead of the Island X Prix.