Rosberg X Racing claimed a record-extending fifth Extreme E victory in the second part of the Island X Prix double-header in Sardinia.
The team of Johan Kristoffersson and Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky faced a tense battle with Abt Cupra’s Nasser Al-Attiyah and Jutta Kleinschmidt in the final, a battle that was ultimately needless after the latter got disqualified for a safety system infringement.
The Cupra entry, driven by Al-Attiyah at first, made the best start, cutting off Andretti United’s Timmy Hansen off the start.
RXR’s Kristoffersson tucked into second after initially taking an alternate line down the middle along with X44’s Sebastien Loeb, which grabbed third. Al-Attiyah pulled out right away, and held a 1.5 second lead by the 10th Waypoint and by the mid-race driver switch, held a 5.579s advantage.
The switch, however, was where Abt Cupra’s day would fall apart, with Kleinschmidt leaving the pits with one of her safety belts not properly secured. Nevertheless, she initially maintained first, but Ahlin-Kottulinsky was hounding her.
At the Waypoint 10 watersplash, a key overtaking spot throughout the week, Ahlin-Kottulinsky forced her way up the inside for the lead, and from there she never looked back.
Abt Cupra’s second-place finish on the road proved to be of little relevance with the team being disqualified from the full event after the conclusion of the race. That gave second to X44’s Loeb and Cristina Gutierrez, who had closed right up to Kleinschmidt by the end of the race and was scored 8.227s behind the race winners.
RACE WINNING MOMENT:
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Andretti United’s Hansen and Catie Munnings took third as a result of Abt Cupra’s disqualification, while Acciona Sainz’s Carlos Sainz and Laia Sanz were classified fourth despite failing to finish, Sainz pulling off the course at Waypoint 19 on the first lap with a mechanical issue. McLaren’s Tanner Foust and Gilmour were classified fifth.
RXR’s final victory came after a relatively routine semifinal win earlier in the day.
As a contest, the first semi was done by Waypoint 3 when Chip Ganassi Racing’s Sara Price made contact with Sanz while trying to pass.
While the move did gain her a place, moving her up to second, a right-rear suspension failure as a result of the collision left her disappearing into the undergrowth, ending the round two winners’ race early. The incident was investigated, but quickly deemed a racing incident by race control. Meanwhile, RXR was untroubled out in front, locking in its spot in the final.
The second semi was a much more entertaining affair, with Kleinschmidt and McLaren’s Gilmour engaged in a thrilling fight for second on the opening lap as Gutierrez took off out in front.
Gilmour remained roughly within a second of the Dakar veteran until Waypoint 21 when she briefly got by but couldn’t make the move stick. The pair were covered by just 0.84s, both being 10s behind the leading X44 car. But the winner of the race was far from decided.
Al-Attiyah immediately went on a charge, more than halving X44’s lead, Loeb apparently suffering from a power issue.
In the end, he was able to keep in front, albeit with just a 4s advantage. The McLaren entry, piloted by Foust for the second lap, ended the race 19.453s off the lead.
Andretti United secured its final berth in a thrilling Crazy Race.
Munnings made the strongest start, but Veloce’s Lance Woolridge — who took an alternate line off the start — pressed her hard throughout the opening lap. After making contact on the merge from the differing start routes, Munnings ran wide at Waypoint 3 but remained resolutely out in front.
Woolridge took another alternate line into 21, but despite halving the lead to just 0.2s, still wasn’t able to find a way past.
Four gates later, the pair made contact again, with Woolridge going off course and taking out the Waypoint flag. He kept hold of second, but Munnings’ lead was secured.
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After the driver change, an all-Hansen duel for the win was set up, but while pushing his elder brother for the lead, Kevin Hansen lost control on the exit of Waypoint 13, the spin also taking out a flag at the next gate. That would result in a 10s penalty for the JBXE team, but with the same penalty also applied to Veloce for Woolridge’s off-track excursion, it didn’t change the result.
XITE Energy Racing failed to finish the Crazy Race, with Tamara Molinaro going off-track in Woolridge’s dusty wake. Timo Scheider later stopped on track in the final sector on the second lap with a mechanical issue.