Extreme E points leaders Veloce Racing continued its fine start to the 2023 season by topping practice for the Hydro X Prix in Scotland.
The pairing of Molly Taylor and Kevin Hansen – which won the season opener in Saudi Arabia – topped both sessions, setting a combined four-lap time of 9 minutes 58.466 in FP2. That run was 1.522s quicker than second placed X44 Vida Carbon Racing (Fraser McConnell and Cristina Gutierrez). Hansen also set the fastest single lap of the session, lapping the 2.67 kilometer course in 1m 55.336.
“We had a really good day, we enjoyed the track, we have a great spirit in our team and with a lot of partners coming this weekend it’s also nice to start off really strong and feel really good out there on the track,” said Hansen. “Molly also did an incredible second free practice but tomorrow is not about timing, it’s about the racing so we’ll stay humble and try to do our best.”
Third fastest was Abt Cupra’s Klara Andersson and Nasser Al-Attiyah, ahead of Acciona Sainz’s Laia Sanz and Mattias Ekstrom, who rebounded after suffering a mechanical failure in the morning.
McLaren’s Emma Gilmour and Tanner Foust rounded out the top five, despite a sketchy moment for Foust when he briefly ended up on two wheels as he went to the steep, high-speed dive back into the quarry section of the course.
“The difference in grip from the dirt to the gravel is pretty contrasting, it’s a pretty severe difference, so pitching over that corner, if you catch a little nub next to the flag it can kind of pitch it up on the side,” Foust said. “It would be a terrible place to roll, I’m going to knock on wood.
“It’s a super-exciting track. It’s like hanging on for life for a lot of the track, and you’re always kind of keeping some kind of safety buffer but at the same time you want to push hard enough to feel where the limit is and to understand, just in case it’s dry like this tomorrow, which it’s supposed to be.”
Andretti Altawkilat, the first team to take to the track in the afternoon, was sixth fastest despite a puncture for Timmy Hansen towards the end of his last lap.
Chip Ganassi Racing was seventh-fastest despite a brief off for Amanda Sorensen on the team’s first lap which resulted in her clipping a flag at Waypoint 14 and being handed a 10 second penalty.
The GMC Hummer squad wasn’t the only team to receive a penalty, with multiple teams clipping waypoint flags in the morning, and eighth-placed Carl Cox Motorsport (Christine Giampaoli Zonca and Timo Scheider) getting punished for both a switch zone infringement, and speeding in the switch zone in the afternoon.
JBXE (Hedda Hosas and Andreas Bakkerud) were similarly hit with a penalty for an issue in the driver change area.
Rosberg X Racing (Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky and Johan Kristoffersson) ended the day button of the time sheets after getting a combined 40 second penalty for dropping four waypoint flags. Without that added on, the team would have been sixth quickest in the afternoon.
Hydro X Prix Free Practice 2
Veloce Racing 9m 58.466
X44 Vida Carbon Racing +1.522
Abt Cupra +3.3.101
Acciona Sainz +7.248
Andretti Altawkilat +19.694
Chip Ganassi Racing +22.731
Carl Cox Motorsport +49.008
Rosberg X Racing +56.379