ACCIONA | SAINZ XE Team take victory in a dramatic Extreme E Rd 7 Finale
ACCIONA | SAINZ XE Team took the win in Round 7, marking the team’s second victory of Season 3 and first victory at an Island X Prix, co-organised and coordinated by the Automobile Club d’Italia and Regione Sardegna.
Laia Sanz and Mattias Ekström took the win having dominated the day’s racing action with two Heat victories in Qualifying, and the Spanish team extends its lead to 18 points in the championship standings.
Laia Sanz, ACCIONA | SAINZ XE Team, said: “Today was a perfect day, one of the best we have enjoyed so far in Extreme E. This doesn’t happen very often, because everything can happen in this Championship. Mattias made a massive start in the Final. Both of us did really well in the Qualifying heats. We did a good job. We are happy and today we will enjoy it, but at the same time, we are still focused on tomorrow. We want this Championship and we must keep fighting.”
Mattias Ekström, ACCIONA | SAINZ XE Team, said: “I think it was a really good day. We felt good yesterday in the dry and today with the watered track. We had a good set-up, good strategy, and two good Qualifying heats. I think the key to the race win was the first corner at the start. I made a move around the outside and went from P4 to P1, and after this, I had a clean windscreen and a beautiful, enjoyable few laps. I enjoyed it a lot. Laia made no mistakes, she was very clean. We did a really good job today.”
In a Grand Final that saw considerable to damage to four of the five cars competing, ABT CUPRA XE crawled across the line in second ahead of Veloce Racing, as the British squad struggled to find the finish line with broken wipers.
Rosberg X Racing (RXR), who had appeared out of contention when Johan Kristoffersson came to a stop on his opening stint, gained crucial championship points with fourth place despite broken power steering.
A DNF for Lia Block and Timo Scheider, having run in second place for most of the race, denied the pair their first podium together for Carl Cox Motorsport.
Winners of the Redemption Race and the Continental Traction Challenge were Timmy Hansen and Catie Munnings, as Andretti Altawkilat Extreme E ended the day on a high following a DNF in Qualifying 1 and a DNS in Qualifying 2.
Find out where to watch tomorrow’s racing action here as Extreme E heads into Round 8 at the Island X Prix in Sardinia.
As the teams charged towards the first corner, an out of the box move from Ekström saw the ASXE driver storm around the outside of the pack. The Spaniard held the inside line into the next corner to take the lead from Carl Cox Motorsport’s Scheider.
Viewers were treated to another amazing overtake, this time from Veloce Racing’s Hansen, as the Swede hit the brakes late into the corner to cut inside Scheider for second place.
Meanwhile, RXR’s hopes of another Sardinian podium were dashed when their ODYSSEY 21, having slowed to a halt, rejoined the race far behind with broken power steering.
Once the teams were in the Switch Zone, all eyes were on Veloce Racing as the team identified that the wipers were broken. This allowed Carl Cox Motorsport to exit the driver change in second, and meant Taylor would have to battle visibility issues throughout her two laps.
Up ahead, the Carl Cox Motorsport car also ended up in the bushes and, unable to restart, the team suffered a DNF and missed out on a debut podium for Block.
Taylor ultimately lost out to ABT CUPRA XE’s Klara Andersson, but the Swede spun shortly after getting through, as damage to the rear of the car sabotaged her control. Taylor was unable to capitalise however, as the Australian veered off course with zero visibility.
ASXE crossed the line in first, comfortably ahead of the struggling pack. Next across the line was ABT CUPRA XE, while the Veloce Racing ODYSSEY 21 seemed to be everywhere but the track, missing Way Points on the way to the finish line and third place.
The British outfit closes the gap on RXR in the three-way championship tussle, as Nico Rosberg’s team crossed the line fourth and hold onto second, 18 points adrift of ASXE and just 8 points ahead of Veloce Racing.
The five teams activated their ENOWA Hyperdrives to try to steal the early lead over the jump. As they came together, battling for the best line into the first corner, NEOM McLaren Extreme E Team’s Tamara Molinaro entered a big roll.
The medical team has deemed that Molinaro has no apparent injury but the Italian was transferred to the medical centre for precautionary checks. X44 Vida Carbon Racing also ended the day with a DNF, sustaining damage as the teams tussled in the early stages.
Powering on, RJ Anderson held the lead for No.99 GMC HUMMER EV Chip Ganassi Racing, ahead of JBXE’s Hedda Hosås and Timmy Hansen in the repaired Andretti Altawkilat Extreme E ODYSSEY 21.
Hansen managed to get around Hosås as the teams approached the slow zone by Molinaro’s ODYSSEY 21. A miscommunication for Anderson saw him slow down a Way Point too soon, allowing Hansen and Hosås to storm ahead before the American regained second for No.99 GMC HUMMER EV Chip Ganassi Racing.
Following the driver change in the Switch Zone, Andreas Bakkerud begun his charge for JBXE, slotting into second ahead of the water splash and pulling away as Amanda Sorensen struggled with visibility in third.
1. ACCIONA | SAINZ XE Team 09:14.173
2. ABT CUPRA XE +42.766s
3. Veloce Racing +1:05.976s (PENALISED)
4. Rosberg X Racing +3:42.025s
5. Carl Cox Motorsport DNF
1. Andretti Altawkilat Extreme E 10:35.722
2. JBXE +7.492s
3. No.99 GMC HUMMER EV Chip Ganassi Racing +11.998s
4. X44 Vida Carbon Racing +21.893s DNF
5. NEOM McLaren Extreme E Team DNF
1. ACCIONA | SAINZ XE Team: 136 points
2. Rosberg X Racing: 118 points
3. Veloce Racing: 110 points
4. No.99 GMC HUMMER EV Chip Ganassi Racing: 84 points
5. Andretti Altawkilat Extreme E: 65 points
6. X44 Vida Carbon Racing: 61 points
7. ABT CUPRA XE: 59 points
8. NEOM McLaren Extreme E Team: 45 points
9. Carl Cox Motorsport: 36 points
10. JBXE: 32 points