X44 Vida Carbon Racing’s Fraser McConnell and Cristina Gutierrez claimed victory in the first part of the Hydro X Prix in Scotland after on-track winners Andretti Altawkilat were handed a penalty.
Timmy Hansen and Catie Munnings led much of the four-lap final after Hansen swept past the fast-starting McConnell on the opening lap, but a 15.3-second penalty for failing to meet the minimum driver switch time took away the team’s first victory since Round 3 of the 2021 season.
Four of the final’s five starters opted to use their one shot of Hyperdrive power boost off the start line, with Rosberg X Racing’s Johan Kristoffersson looking like the best-placed to prevail with a sweeping move around the outside, but McConnell saved his boost for the exit of the first turn which catapulted him to the lead. However, moments later, an unsighted rut forced him off-line at Waypoint 6, opening the door for Hansen to sneak through at the next gate.
Behind them, Kristoffersson — who dropped back after his unsuccessful first turn pass attempt — was battling for third with GMC Hummer EV Chip Ganassi Racing’s RJ Anderson when he suffered a slow roll amid visibility issues at Waypoint 13.
Hansen maintained Andretti’s lead until the mid-race driver change, but once Gutierrez took over from McConnell in the Lewis Hamilton-owned X44 entry, she began to hunt down Munnings in the lead car.
Munnings responded to Gutierrez’s early charge to maintain a seven-second gap on the final lap, but with her team’s penalty being 15.3s (15s penalty, plus 0.3s gained by their switch zone infringement), it wasn’t enough. They nevertheless finished second, ahead of Carl Cox Motorsport’s Timo Scheider and Christine Giampaoli Zonca, competing in the team’s first final.
The Carl Cox duo had a slow start to the final, but a puncture for the Ganassi entry on the second lap allowed them to close the gap and make a first rostrum appearance in only their third series start.
X44’s win means that Extreme E has now had four different winners in the last four races, stretching back to last season’s Energy X Prix in Uruguay — a run that would have extended to seven in seven, going back to Round 2 last year had Andretti’s on-the-road victory stood.
It was also a maiden victory for McConnell, who took over from Sebastien Loeb alongside Gutierrez — now a three-time winner — at the start of the year.
Hydro X Prix I Final
1. X44 Vida Carbon Racing 10m 12.670
2. Andretti Altawkilat +8.986s
3. Carl Cox Motorsport +38.977
4. GMC Hummer EV Chip Ganassi Racing +1m 01.716
5. Rosberg X Racing DNF
The day started with thick fog covering the track, resulting in the cancellation of the first round of qualifying. That left just two heat races, with half the field in each, to decide the final lineup rather than the usual four.
X44 won the first heat, beating Ganassi’s Amanda Sorensen and Anderson into the first corner then taking off to win unchallenged.
Andretti was third, with Acciona Sainz (Laia Sanz and Mattias Ekstrom) and JBXE (Hedda Hosas and Andreas Bakkerud) completing the Heat 1 field.
The second qualifying heat was a much more dramatic affair. RXR’s Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky muscled past Scheider into the first corner, but then Schieder tagged Klara Andersson as the Abt Cupra driver used her hyperdrive to try and get by on the exit of the first corner. The contact forced Andersson into the hay bales lining the straight, pitching her into a violent flip. She emerged from the car unaided and unhurt, but the car was destroyed and the race red flagged.
On the restart, RXR continued to lead comfortably, with McLaren’s Emma Gilmour and Tanner Foust behind. They were relegated to third post-race, however, after it was deemed that their car was not entirely in the designated area in the switch zone, some loose bodywork from a race-start collision with the Veloce Racing car of Molly Taylor and Kevin Hansen hanging outside the confines of the team’s switch box.
That contact broke an axle on the Veloce car, ensuring that they would miss a final for the first time since the team signed 2021 champion Taylor and the younger Hansen brother ahead of last year’s finale.
Andretti took the fifth and final spot in the main by having the fastest time through the “Traction Challenge” sector on the track of the two second place finishers.
That put Acciona Sainz into the Redemption Race too alongside fellow Saudi Arabia winners Veloce. Both locked out the top two positions in the consolation race, beating McLaren and JBXE, with Abt Cupra failing to start after their earlier crash.
Hydro X Prix I Redemption Race
1. Acciona Sainz 9m 49.303
2. Veloce Racing +3.650
3. McLaren + 16.200
4. JBXE + 32.779
5. Abt Cupra DNS