Extreme E: X44 first overall after RXR penalty in Q2

Sébastien Loeb and Cristina Gutiérrez of X44 qualified first in the first ever day of Extreme E after Rosberg X Racing were handed a penalty.

All drivers running had to deal with a track that had developed deep grooves throughout the day due to the marks left in the sand by cars in the previous runs in Round One.

Cristina Gutiérrez went first in the purple and black X44 car and went round very well albeit with a couple of corrections needed to her steering here and there. After the switch, Gutiérrez said she felt less confident with her second lap as a result of there being less power in the car.

Teammate Sébastien Loeb had a much better lap than his own earlier in the day, making some slight adjustments to his racing line and managing to avoid making the same mistake he did in Round One. They secured a time of 11m07.931s, not bad at all considering them having less power.

Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky was next for JBXE, hoping for a better run than the one earlier in the day that saw her stopped mid-lap for nearly 30 seconds. She kept it very tidy around the track but there was a bit of trouble into the Switch, with her speed limiter button not working as it should and the worry of investigation by the Stewards.

Jenson Button looked equally smooth on his lap, securing a joint time of 11m32.952s, significantly better than in Round one. As suspected though, the Stewards handed out  a massive penalty of 175.5 seconds.

Catie Munnings had a much easier lap than her last, this time completing it with all four tyres still on the car and a nice smooth Switch to bring in Timmy Hansen who was very speedy. They finished Round Two with a time of 11m32.931s.

Laia Sanz really pushed her Odyssey 21 for Acciona Sainz XE on her second lap despite admitting she took it easy afterwards. Carlos Sainz was rapid again and really threw the car around with great confidence, going second quickest with 11m20.864s.

The drivers at Rosberg X Racing really took the fight to X44, going quicker by four and a half seconds with a time of 11m03.258s. Despite the efforts of Johan Kristoffersson and Molly Taylor, the eagle-eyed Stewards handed them a 60 second penalty for speeding 44kph over  in the Switch zone, relegating them to second place.

Steady clean laps from Hispano Suiza EXITE’s Oliver Bennett and Christine Giampaoli Zonca gave them a joint time of 12m01.694s and sixth, although with the huge penalty to JBXR they will be promoted to fifth.

There were no Round two runs for ABT Cupra XE, Chip Ganassi Racing or Veloce Racing due to Round one issues that could not be remedied in time for the second round.

All of the times from the first round of qualifying are added to the times from this round to determine which teams get into the semi-final and which go into the Crazy Race.

With Round One and Two times added together and penalties applied, the final Qualifying order and championship points distribution looks like this:

1. X44 (12 points)

2. Acciona Sainz XE (11 points)

3. Rosberg X Racing (10 points)

4. Andretti United (9 points)

5. Hispano Suiza (8 points)

6. JBXR (7 points)

7. Chip Ganassi Racing (6 points)

8. ABT Cupra XE (5 points)

9. Veloce Racing (4 points)

The top three teams will go racing in the semi-final, with the middle three racing in the Crazy Race and the bottom three racing in the Shoot Out. The first and second place finishers from the semi-final and the first placed car from the Crazy Race will go head to head in the Final.

Coverage of tomorrow’s races begins at 7am BST.