Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky wins Island XPrix II in Extreme E
Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky wins again in Extreme E: after losing out to a penalty on Thursday, Rosberg X Racing were back on the highest step of the podium. But the second Sardinia event wasn't drama free: here's a recap of what happened.
The mid-week event had just finished and Extreme E was already ready for another race weekend for the second Island X Prix in Sardinia. Sara Price and Chip Ganassi Racing celebrated their maiden victory on Thursday, but it was already time to look ahead for another action-packed event. Carlos Sainz Sr. was back from the hospital and behind the wheel of the Acciona Sainz Odyssey21 after his massive accident with Johan Kristoffersson in the previous final.
Qualifying started with a yet another dominant show by Rosberg Xtreme Racing: Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky and Johan Kristofferson smashed the fastest time in the dust of Sardinia and were followed by trouble-free runs by McLaren, Acciona, Andretti United, ABT, Chip Ganassi, X44 and JBXE.
XiTE Energy had some more issues, as Tamara Molinaro suffered from pain after a shoulder dislocation. She lost her car over a bump, caught back the Odyssey 21 before rolling over – but lost plenty of time during her run.
Veloce was the other team with a massive time loss, as Christine GZ struggled in her run.
Heats started in the second qualifying: the first session saw XiTE, Andretti, X44, RXR and JBXE with their male drivers tackling the start. Kristoffersson had the best start once again while Timmy Hansen decided to go for the alternate line but spun after an unfortunate contact with Timo Scheider shortly after.
RXR was first in the switch zone and Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky headed out followed by Cristina Gutierrez, Hedda Hosås and Tamara Molinaro. Mikaela pulled away and took the finish line first, preceding Cristina and Tamara.
Heat 2 featured Acciona, McLaren, Veloce, Chip Ganassi and ABT. Sainz had the best start to lead the early pace – followed by Tanner Foust and Christine GZ, who chose the alternate line to challenge Sainz, to no success.
Kyle LeDuc was close to this group but got lost, missed a corner flag and was last at the time he had to perform the driver switch.
Laia Sanz managed to retain the lead untroubled to come home first, ahead of Emma Gilmour and Jutta Kleinschmidt.
It was then time for the Semi-Finals: the first one saw RXR, Acciona Sainz and Chip Ganassi Racing going head to head: while Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky was unchallenged, Sara Price tried to catch up with Carlos Sainz, but after picking up damage to the rear of her Chip Ganassi Racing SUV, she needed to give up – which promoted RXR and Acciona Sainz into the final.
Semi Final 2 was a battle between X44, ABT Cupra and McLaren. Cristina Gutierrez fired into the lead and pulled away, while Jutta Kleinschmidt and Emma Gilmour battled during their entire lap. After the driver switch, Tanner Foust lost plenty of time due to technical issues to his McLaren SUV and Sebastién Loeb took victory from Nasser Al-Attiyah – as both teams advanced into the final later in the day.
The Crazy Race was indeed crazy once again: Veloce, Andretti, XiTE and JBXE fought for the final spot in the Final. While Catie Munnings had a great start, Lance Woolridge chose the alternate line and made contact with Catie; the British lady was forced to go wide, but held first from the Veloce car.
Munnings had some tough time to defend her lead against Woolridge and during their battle the South African lost control and touched a waypoint. Behind them, Tamara Molinaro lost her way due to the dust and had to turn around.
After the driver change, Timmy Hansen managed the lead to come home first and won the final spot into the Final. Behind him, Kevin Hansen passed Christine GZ for second place. Timo Scheider retired from the race, unseen from the live TV coverage.
The much anticipated Final began with the male drivers on the starting line: Nasser Al-Attiyah led Johan Kristoffersson coming from the alternate lines, followed by Sebastien Loeb. Carlos Sainz's bad luck continued as the Spaniard was soon forced to stop his car due to technical issues. Al-Attiyah held first place until the switch zone, preceding Kristoffersson. But drama hit the ABT team when Jutta Kleinschmidt couldn't fasten her seatbelts but started her lap anyway. Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky was close behind and overtook the German offroad legend to take home another victory for Rosberg Xtreme Racing. Second at the finish line, ABT was disqualified due to the seatbelt incident and therefore X44 earned the second spot, with Andretti United moving up to the final podium position.
In the overall rankings, RXR's Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky and Johan Kristoffersson have a good gap on top of the standings, having scored 80 points after the first three races. Chip Ganassi Racing follows in second (43 points), X44 (41) in third and Acciona (40). The next Extreme E event will take place from 24th to 25th September, for the first ever edition of the Copper X Prix in Chile.