Chip Ganassi Racing was the fastest team during free practice for the first Island X Prix on Tuesday as Extreme E finally resumed after a lengthy hiatus.
The Hummer-branded team of Kyle LeDuc and Sara Price topped both practice sessions, going quickest in the opening one despite being hit with a two second penalty for exceeding the 40 kph switch zone speed limit by 2 kph.
The duo’s combined two-lap time of 9m56.082s was the only one under the 10 minute barrier in first practice, bettering Andretti United’s Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen, and the McLaren entry of Emma Gilmour and Tanner Foust.
In an eventful first practice, Xite Energy Racing’s new driver pairing of Timo Scheider and Tamara Molinaro both hit trouble. Scheider mistakenly hit the ‘hyperdrive’ boost button when approaching the driver change area, then subsequently hit a rock that resulted in a puncture. After the tire was changed, Molinaro was able to resume the session but crashed too.
Veloce Racing wasn’t able to complete FP1 after its nominated male driver Lance Woolridge struggled with illness. That meant only Christine Giampaoli Zonca completed a lap – a lap in which she was hit with a 10 second penalty for knocking down a waypoint flag. Woolridge was able to contest the second practice session, however.
The Acciona Sainz duo of Carlos Sainz and Laia Sanz were slapped with a sizeable penalty during their FP1 run, getting handed a 15 second penalty plus an additional two seconds added onto their session time after Sanz put the car into gear while a team member was still in the switch bay. Sanz’s day got worse in second practice after she was judged to have missed a waypoint and sped in the switch zone.
In FP2, Ganassi improved to 9m25.523s, with reigning champions Rosberg X Racing (Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky and Johan Kristoffersson), McLaren, Andretti United – which overcame a software glitch that was limiting them to 11 kph before their run on-track – and Xite Energy Racing rounding out the top five with session times under 10 minutes.
Originally forced to postpone its second round of the season in Sardinia – which takes place on a NATO military base that was unavailable due to the Ukraine war – the series is now running back-to-back races on the Italian island after the schedule delay made a planned third round in either Senegal or Scotland logistically impossible.