Extreme E opens new era of sustainable racing this weekend- overview of qualifying sessions- finals tomorrow

Extreme E opens new era of sustainable racing this weekend- overview of qualifying sessions- finals tomorrow

Extreme E opens new era of sustainable racing at Desert X Prix in Saudi Arabia this weekend. Qualifying sessions 1 and 2 gave 9 Teams equal opportunity to deliver best possible performance on marked desert track which provided 2 Team drivers a piece enough challenges to take on board heading into 5 Round Series 2021.

X44 Racing drivers Cristina Gutierrez and Sebastien Loeb lead Overall standings in Q

Unknown factors were just what all wanted to experience. From navigating sand-to-gravel track, to managing speed over bumps, to taking drop-off which reached 100 feet at 45 degrees, to switch over of drivers within regulated pit-lane zone- all tested smoothness of drivers capabilities to handle the new.

If fear of unknown was not enough to keep all those watching on what would happen, racing at it’s most extreme delivered just what Motorsport is all about- and more. Team drivers handling of Odyssey 21 SUV vehicles was outstanding. 1) take Molly Taylor’s fine performance in Q1 and 2 clocking fast lap-times over course of 8.8kms with paired driver Johan Kristoffersson. Both drivers confirm Rosberg X Racing Team will be hard to beat, standing 3rd Overall in Q table.

2) take Katie Munnings near impossible pulling off of completing Q1 with rear puncture, at speed finishing with paired driver Timmy Hanson 4th Overall heading into semi-finals tomorrow. 3) grab a leaf out of Sara Price’s race-craft book on how to man-handle a ‘no power steering’ beast to bring result at the finish for Segi Ganessi Racing with paired driver Kyle LeDuc.

4) marvel at the sheer consistency that Cristina Gutierrez brought to Team X44 Racing with paired driver Sebastien Loeb. Making a point that winning Stage One in Dakar Rally Car category earlier this year was no ‘in right place at right time’ opportunity, Cristina lives up to her skill racing under pressure. X44 leads table board in Overall Q standings.

5) utmost respect always follows Laia Sanz with massive amount of Championships to her name, but swapping 2 wheels to 4 pushes the Spaniard that much further. Paired with fellow country-driver, Carlos Sainz– 2x WRC Champion and 3x Dakar Rally Titles- Acciona Sainz XE Team produced fine result standing 2nd Overall in Q table.

Andretti United with drivers Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen Overall 4th in Q standings.

6) without a doubt, Christine Giampaoli Zonca proved skills behind the wheel are not just her finest asset, but clear-focused mind-set ranks #1 in her resume. Paired with Hispano Suiza Lite Energy driver Oliver BennettĀ – the Team face Andretti United and JBXE to get through to the final tomorrow.

3 Teams experienced all racing has to offer- best performances on track can quickly turn to dust, consequences of slight mistake can take toll on results and even best crew in the pits can struggle to solve vehicle issues in time for racing. Massive crash by ABT Cupra XE driver Claudia Hurtgen really did stop heart-rates watching- luckily Claudia escaped injury.

JBXE was docked harsh penalty for exceeding speed regulations in pit-lane change-over zone. And, not least, Veloce Racing driver Stephane Sarrazin shake-down roll-over- put the Team’s chance on the back burner of letting both Stephane and Jamie Chadwick race Extreme E Q Round One.

Take-outs from first day of Extreme E Round One has to be put in perspective on what was achieved. The principle of producing sustainable racing with all electric vehicles across 9 highly competitive Teams with drivers of equal gender has ticked green box. The deliverance of Motorsport action, in new race format, on diverse terrain has broken precedence on what racing means for the future. And, the competitive nature of first day Qualifying sessions not only attracted audience around the world, but also sent message that action on a track can be all consuming while releasing no carbon emissions too.

Header Photo: Rosberg X Racing.

Words: Sharon Cox.

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