Chip Ganassi took their maiden event victory after a post race penalty for championship leaders Rosberg X Racing. At the start Kristofferson collided with Carlos Sainz which sent the Spaniard into a roll and out of the race.
The second round was rescheduled to be held on the same week and location as the third event. Both rounds would be part of the Island X-Prix and be held at the same location in Sardinia as last season. Round 2 took place on Wednesday and Thursday.
Tamara Molinaro became the permanent driver for Xite Racing, having stepped in when Klara Anderson was isolating with COVID-19 during round 1. Anderson is now the championship driver. The other male championship driver, Timo Scheider, replaced team boss of Xite, Oliver Bennett. Fraser McConnell is the new reserve driver.
Season 1 champion Molly Taylor missed her first event after being dropped by JBXE for Hedda Hosas. Hosas replaced an injured Christine GZ in Saudi Arabia but only raced in the Crazy Race.
The 5 bonus points for the fastest time in the traction challenge will be based on combined time between each driver. Previously the fastest individual driver scored those points for their team.
For the first time in Extreme E history Team X44 failed to qualify at the front. Instead it was RXR who came out on top with a perfect score. After winning the solo timed Q1 they dominated their heat race in Q2. Acciona | Sainz also won their race but after finishing just 11.9 seconds back in Q1 ended qualifying in second overall.
There was a three way tie for third with Team X44 heading the trio. After a puncture in Q1 they were last of the finishers but came back to finish second in their heat. Their combined traction challenge time was the best out of Andretti United and Xite Racing which promoted them to third.
Munnings & Hansen were third in Q1 but lacked pace in Q2. Hansen was overtaken by Loeb when the 9 time World Rally champion closed up in a slow zone, Hansen lifted off as he passed a stricken car. Loeb had drawn alongside then was quicker to deactivate the pit speed limiter and overtook. The Frenchman even made another overtake later in the lap while Hansen struggled back in fourth.
Xite and ABT Cupra were next while the bottom 3 teams all failed to finish in Q1. McLaren suffered a suspension failure as did Veloce. Both were then able to finish second in their Q2 appearance, for Gilmour this was thanks to defending her position late in the race. However, for Veloce it was due to releasing early from their pit box for which they were penalised and dropped down to fourth.
Chip Ganassi failed to score any points in qualifying after a double DNF. In Q1 they were left stranded at the changer over thanks to a software issue. In Q2 another technical issue ground them to a halt less than half a lap into the race.
In the first 3 car semi-final it was RXR who made the best launch and held off Timmy Hansen. After taking a different line at the start Molinaro dropped into second place. Going to the next gate Hansen took a wide line and went right around the outside of the Xite Racing driver. He looked to get the cutback once again and made side to side contact. Hansen was forced to back off though due to the rough ground away from the racing line.
Once the track opened up he took an alternate wide line and successfully got the cutback. With just a few corners left until the switch zone he only pulled a small advantage.
When Catie Munnings took over the lead car she was quickly dispatched by Kristofferson. The Andretti car quickly dropped to last with the car down on power. This left RXR and Xite Racing to qualify for the final, Xite taking their maiden final appearance.
Team X44 were eliminated after a safety net issue at the driver swap. Laya Sanz took the lead initially before JBXE’s Kevin Hansen and then Sebastian Loeb got through. There was just a 6 second gap between the top 2.
However, Cristina Gutierrez came out of the switch zone in last place and couldn’t close in on the leaders. Hedda Hosas won from Sainz. This was the first time X44 had failed to make the final.
At the start McLaren and Chip Ganassi came together which sent Emma Gilmour into a roll. The New Zealander landed back on her wheels but was out. Price kept pointing forward and slotted into second at the merge.
Price made a mistake early in the lap and needed to back out of a hedge. Lance Woolridge managed to avoid the reversing Odyssey 21 and still squeezed through the gate to claim second on the road. Moments later Woolridge took a slightly wrong line and was forced to go around a bush to take the correct line through a waypoint.
All this gave Al-Attiyah a big lead of 19 seconds with Price another 5 back. McLaren’s stranded car caused a slow zone at the start. Once the drivers cleared the speed limited area LeDuc looked to retake second from Christine GZ. In the same place Loeb made a move earlier, LeDuc dived up the inside of GZ to take second.
LeDuc then set about to close on Jutta Kleinschmidt. As this was going on the Stewards announced a series of investigations into the leader for knocking down a waypoint marker, speeding in pitlane and minimum switch time.
Kleinschmidt held the lead and won by 9.8 seconds from LeDuc. Post race the stewards gave Abt Cupra a 22 second penalty, 15 seconds for moving too early in the switch zone and 7 more for the advantage gained from this. The penalty dropped them to third and out of the only qualifying spot. Instead Chip Ganassi advanced to their second ever final.
At the initial start the drivers slotted cleanly into 2 lines. Carlos Sainz led Kyle LeDuc on the left lane while Johan Kristofferson headed Timo Scheider and Hedda Hosas. It was when the lanes merged together that drama occured.
Acciona Sainz entered gate 2 just ahead but RXR made heavy contact on the rear right. Sainz’s car was picked up and thrown into a roll, being deposited on his side off the racing line. The 60-year old was able to exit the car after assistance from the medical team.
The race continued with Kristofferson out front from LeDuc and Scheider. Last of the runners was Hosas and she dropped back after a half spin. The race was neutralised as the cars entered the switch zone due to the crew attending to Sainz.
At the restart the cars set off with their gaps maintained. Ahlin-Kottulinsky held a 10 second lead from Chip Ganassi’s Sarah Price while Tamara Molinaro was a further 10 back in third. The positions remained static until the checkered flag with RXR claiming yet another win on the road.
However, post race the stewards penalised Kristofferson for the start contact. They determined the RXR car had lost control of the rear which led to the collision. This promoted Chip Ganassi to their first ever victory, both Price and LeDuc having never scored a top 3 result before today. Xite Racing also earned their first ever podium in second while RXR completed the podium.
RXR have extended their championship lead and sit on 50 points with Chip Ganassi on 37 and Acciona | Sainz on 28. The drivers title fight is much closer as the 5 bonus points for the fastest time in the traction challenge are only awarded to teams. RXR were fastest at both of the first 2 rounds which means that Kristofferson and Ahlin-kottulinsky both sit on 40 while LeDuc and Price are on 37.
Racing for the series continues on Saturday and Sunday for round 3. Both McLaren and Acciona | Sainz were in a race against time to fix their cars and worked through the night to prepare them.