Sébastien Loeb and Cristina Gutiérrez were the fastest in the X-Desert double qualifying session, the first event of Extreme E. With a final time of 21 minutes, 55 seconds and 998 thousandths, the pair of drivers from Lewis Hamilton’s X44 team has set the standard in a ‘qualy’ that has been contested under a timed-lap format and not in the side-by-side racing format envisioned by airborne dust. Carlos Sainz and Laia Sanz have been second with the Odyssey 21 of the Acciona team, while Johan Kristofferson and Molly Taylor have been third.
The first Extreme E event has started in a somewhat decaffeinated way. Sleeveless in which the pilots compete directly for safety reasons, the classification has been built with a double timed lap session. Each driver had to complete a turn of the circuit, two per team with a change of drivers in between. A scenario in which Sébastien Loeb and Cristina Gutiérrez have made their experience count on the Dakar. In fact, the French-Spanish duo has signed a final time of 21: 55.998, a record with which they have surpassed Carlos Sainz and Laia Sanz by more than 40 seconds.
Carlos Sainz and Laia Sanz finished second in the X-Desert standings.
Johan Kristofferson and Molly Taylor finished third with the RXR Odyssey 21, Nico Rosberg’s team, after leading qualy 1. In this way, the vehicles of X44, Acciona and RXR will fight for the two tickets for the final that are at stake in the first semifinal to be played on Sunday. For its part, Andretti United’s Odyssey 21s (Timmy Hansen and Catie Munnings), Hispano-Suiza (Oliver Bennett and Christine Giampaoli) and JBXE (Jenson Button and Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky) they have finished from 4th to 6th place, managing to pass to the ‘Crazy Race’, in which there is only one place at stake for the final.
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Out of the positions that still allow them to fight to enter the final of the X-Desert, the Odyssey 21s of Chip Ganassi, Abt Cupra and Veloce Racing have finished. While Kyle LeDuc and Sara Price have had problems in their 4×4 SUV and have not been able to complete the four laps in which the double classification was divided, the cars of the two remaining teams have been involved in accidents. And is that Veloce Racing’s debut has resulted in a roll-over of Stéphane Sarrazin, while Claudia Hürtgen has suffered a severe accident after losing control of Abt Cupra’s Odyssey 21 and go around the bell several times.
Extreme E 2021 Season X-Desert Combined Ranking
Sébastien Loeb / Cristina Gutierrez
10: 48.06711: 07.93121: 55.998Carlos Sainz / Laia sanz
Acciona Sainx XE
11: 16.23111: 20.864 + 41.097 Johan Kristoffersson / Molly Taylor
Rosberg X Racing
10: 43.56512: 03.258 + 50.825 Timmy Hansen / Catie Munnings
Andretti United Extreme E
11: 31.60311: 32.931 + 1: 08.536 Oliver Bennett / Christine Giampaoli
Hispano-Suiza Xite Energy
13: 09.03812: 01.694 + 3: 14.734Jenson Button / Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky
JBXE12: 22.42614: 28.452 + 4: 54.880 Kyle LeDuc / Sara Price
Mattias Ekström / Clauida Hürtgen
4: 42.2104: 55.892 + 3 Laps
Stéphane Sarrazin / Jamie Chadwick
4: 55.892 + 4 Laps