Hamilton's X44 team on course for Extreme E Island X-Prix pole after Q1

Sebastien Loeb and Cristina Gutierrez put Lewis Hamilton’s X44 team on course to maintain its 100 per cent Extreme E qualifying record in the morning Island X-Prix session in Sardinia.

Hamilton's X44 team on course for Extreme E Island X-Prix pole after Q1

The nine-time World Rally champion and his Dakar Rally regular team-mate were by some way the class of the field on Saturday morning at the Teulada NATO base as they bolted to the top of the times with their combined run of 11m05.105s to lead by over 12 seconds.

As occurred on Friday in practice, a high rate of attrition came to impact the nine teams.

The points-leading Rosberg X Racing crew suffered a roll while Andretti United racer Timmy Hansen endured his shoulder popping out three times as he battled a power steering fault.

In a very slow start to the first of the two qualifying runs, the opening three crews all suffered incidents, with both Xite Energy Racing and Chip Ganassi Racing retiring on track.

Three-time World Rallycross champion Johan Kristoffersson was the first driver to take to the 4.37-mile course at the wheel of his RXR machine before handing over to Taylor.

But for the second event in a row, the Australian rally champion rolled before landing upright and being able to complete her run in spectacular fashion.

The Saudi Arabia and Senegal Extreme E event winner ran sideways over a crest and as the Odyssey 21 skidded off the clear racing line and into the deeper unused dirt, the wheels dug in and she flipped.

Taylor, whose slide had likely been initiated by hitting a stone that forced the steering wheel in her hands, was able to land on the wheels and continue with only rear bodywork damage.

She brought the entry home with a 11m37.557s benchmark before Chip Ganassi Racing’s run was ended after just the fourth of 28 gates on Sara Price’s lap by a suspension failure.

The American squad’s torrid fortunes continued when the rear of the car was unsettled over a series of crests and Price clipped a marker that was signposting a boulder.

Kyle Leduc, Chip Ganassi Racing

Kyle Leduc, Chip Ganassi Racing

Photo by: Andrew Ferraro / Motorsport Images

Price caught the hidden rock to cause the left-rear corner to collapse and she retired on the spot to leave her team-mate Kyle Leduc without a run.

Next on the course was Xite Energy Racing, which also had to abandon a flying run when Christine Giampaoli Zonca endured a steering break through her run.

The car’s set-up appeared wide of the mark as her and team-mate Bennett were unsettled by bumps prior to the toe-link finally giving way and forcing the front-right wheel to bend in.

That preceded the X44 entry, which again did not pass without drama.

Spare-time orthodontist Gutierrez lost the rear and span through the bushes in the tight ‘super sector’ section but was able to continue before handing over to a rapid Loeb.

Her 4m25.503s single lap was comfortably quickest to give the team an initial 32s advantage over RXR in an effort Loeb told Autosport that he reckoned he would not be able to match.

The duo would remain on top when Andretti United’s Hansen hit a small bump very early into his lap to trigger the latest in a string of electrical power steering failures for the grid.

The extra forces exacerbated a pre-existing injury and his shoulder popped out three times before he entered the driver changeover zone to hand over to stablemate Catie Munnings.

Munnings reset the systems to resolve the issue for her trouble-free run to score seventh.

Two-time WRC champion and three-time Dakar Rally winner Carlos Sainz battled through flapping rear bodywork before passing the Acciona Sainz entry onto Laia Sanz to secure second place, as they combined for an 11m17.388s pass – 12.283s adrift of X44.

Kevin Hansen and Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky guided Jenson Button’s JBXE car to fifth behind the third-fastest run of the Veloce Racing entry of Stephane Sarrazin and Emma Gilmour, the latter standing in for W Series racer Jamie Chadwick.

Last to run Abt Cupra’s newly crowned Pure ETCR champion and 2001 Dakar Rally winner Jutta Kleinschmidt clocked fourth fastest.

shares
comments

Related video

X44 heads Island X-Prix practice amid further mechanical concerns
Previous article

X44 heads Island X-Prix practice amid further mechanical concerns

Next article

X44 maintains perfect Extreme E qualifying record in Sardinia

X44 maintains perfect Extreme E qualifying record in Sardinia
Load comments
How motorsport’s new eco series fared in its debut season Plus

How motorsport’s new eco series fared in its debut season

A brand new motorsport series with a disruptive credo will inevitably suffer teething problems. But the electric off-road series put on a spectacular show in its debut season and laid a positive foundation for the future, if manufacturers decide to follow suit

Extreme E
Jan 5, 2022
How Rosberg triumphed over Hamilton in 2021's final showdown Plus

How Rosberg triumphed over Hamilton in 2021's final showdown

The last hurrah of the 2021 motorsport season boiled down to another Nico Rosberg versus Lewis Hamilton head-to-head. As in 2016, it was the former who won out, his RXR Extreme E team prevailing in a tiebreaker following a tense final round of the all-electric off-road series at Dorset's muddy Bovington military base

Extreme E
Dec 20, 2021
How technical troubles detracted from Extreme E's Sardinia encounter Plus

How technical troubles detracted from Extreme E's Sardinia encounter

Extreme E has provided thrilling plot lines in its inaugural season, but numerous mechanical failures on the ODYSSEY 21 have detracted from the closely fought battles across various terrains. Sardinia's Island X-Prix set up a championship finale, but also underlined what Spark must do to fix the car for next season

Extreme E
Oct 26, 2021
How Extreme E’s Arctic adventure gave a chilly reminder of the fixes to find Plus

How Extreme E’s Arctic adventure gave a chilly reminder of the fixes to find

Extreme E’s third round provided the very definition of extreme conditions in the Artic Circle, and despite settling on a successful format and Andretti United taking a maiden win, there remains plenty of work to do with the spec cars that froze in action

Extreme E
Aug 30, 2021
Why McLaren’s surprise electric path can benefit everyone involved Plus

Why McLaren’s surprise electric path can benefit everyone involved

McLaren's announcement that it will enter the Extreme E series for electric SUVs next year came as something of a surprise. But it brings benefits that other championships it could seek to enter cannot, while providing a timely boost to a start-up that has had to cancel two of its South American rounds

Extreme E
Jun 13, 2021
Why Extreme E's Senegal round hints at the series' true potential Plus

Why Extreme E's Senegal round hints at the series' true potential

Extreme E's second round on the sands of Senegal refined some the more clunky aspects of the series' debut event in Saudi Arabia. Even though its star-studded finale between Lewis Hamilton's X44 team and Rosberg X Racing proved anticlimactic, the pieces are in place for the series to only get better

Extreme E
Jun 1, 2021
The key area where a start-up series is outdoing F1 Plus

The key area where a start-up series is outdoing F1

While there are those – including several major car manufacturers – who think Formula E has had its day, FE founder Alejandro Agag is continuing to innovate with the new Extreme E series. MARK GALLAGHER sees one element in which it has Formula 1 beaten

Extreme E
May 26, 2021
The key figure who sells Extreme E's environment dream Plus

The key figure who sells Extreme E's environment dream

Extreme E enjoyed a largely successful start in Saudi Arabia, but questions remain over how the series can achieve its lofty environmental goals. For answers to why and where XE races, an expert voice lends vital credibility

Extreme E
Apr 6, 2021