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Race report
Extreme E Scotland X-Prix

Hydro X Prix: X44 and Veloce share spoils during dramatic weekend in Scotland

Veloce Racing took its second Extreme E victory of the season in Scotland, with Lewis Hamilton’s X44 team also taking a win after a penalty denied Andretti.

Emma Gilmour, Tanner Foust, NEOM McLaren Extreme E, Laia Sanz, Mattias Ekstrom, Acciona | Sainz XE Team, Hedda Hosas, Andreas Bakkerud, JBXE, and Molly Taylor, Kevin Hansen, Veloce Racing

Fraser McConnell and reigning champion Christina Gutierrez took victory for X44 in Saturday’s grand final before being hampered by a crash on Sunday, with Kevin Hansen and Molly Taylor prevailing for Veloce in the second final.

Qualifying on day one was reduced to a single pair of heats after heavy fog led to the cancellation of the opening heats.

Acciona Sainz and Veloce, who took one win apiece at the season-opener in Saudi Arabia, both missed out on the final.

Sainz struggled in its heat, which was led throughout by X44 ahead of Chip Ganassi Racing, while Andretti faced an anxious wait after missing out on an automatic final berth in third.

A broken upright put Veloce out of the subsequent heat, which was red-flagged after a huge roll for Abt Cupra’s Klara Andersson, who was squeezed into a hay bale but emerged unharmed.

Rosberg X Racing won the restarted contest ahead of Carl Cox Motorsport, which was promoted to second at the finish after McLaren was penalised five seconds for being out of its bay in the Switch Zone. Andretti pipped McLaren to the last final spot by having a faster combined sector time in the Traction Challenge.

Andretti was handed first choice of grid spot for the final and opted to start on the favourable inside line for the approach to the opening corner. Timmy Hansen utilised that to snatch the lead for Andretti despite Johan Kristofferson’s attempts to sweep around the outside for RXR.

Arriving at the first corner in fifth, McConnell used his hyperdrive boost perfectly on the exit to surge to the front but then ran wide and allowed Hansen to reclaim the advantage. Contact between the pair pushed McConnell wide and down to third behind Kristofferson. However, unsighted by a dirty windshield, Kristofferson drove into a wall and rolled off the course into retirement.

Hansen arrived at the changeover with a seven-second lead, with Catie Munnings maintaining that advantage on the second leg from Gutierrez, who took over from McConnell. But a time penalty at the finish for leaving the Switch Zone fractionally too early demoted Andretti to second, denying British driver Munnings a home triumph.

Carl Cox took a maiden podium finish in third with Timo Scheider and Christine Giampaoli Zonca, while an early puncture left Ganassi’s RJ Anderson and Amanda Sorensen a distant fourth.

Sainz prevailed in the Redemption Race, with Mattias Ekstrom and Laia Sanz coming home ahead of Veloce’s pairing.

Cristina Gutierrez, Fraser McConnell, X44 Vida Carbon Racing, Amanda Sorensen, RJ Anderson, GMC Hummer EV Chip Ganassi Racing, and Laia Sanz, Mattias Ekstrom, Acciona | Sainz XE Team

Cristina Gutierrez, Fraser McConnell, X44 Vida Carbon Racing, Amanda Sorensen, RJ Anderson, GMC Hummer EV Chip Ganassi Racing, and Laia Sanz, Mattias Ekstrom, Acciona | Sainz XE Team

Photo by: Charly Lopez / Motorsport Images

Ganassi and Sainz won the first round of qualifying heats on Sunday, with a broken driveshaft leaving Andretti a distant fifth in the second of those contests.

The second round provided plenty of drama, with both heats red-flagged. Andersson had her second crash of the weekend after driving through the hay bales in avoidance of Scheider, who had spun into retirement in front, while McLaren’s Emma Gilmore escaped her own spin and rejoined with rear bodywork damage. Tanner Foust brought McLaren home ahead in the restarted race, but a penalty for speeding in a slow zone gave Ganassi another heat win.

Contact between Sanz and RXR’s Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky off the line in the second heat put both into a spin, the latter becoming airborne and collecting Gutierrez, who was able to continue despite her X44 car sustaining a lot of damage. Both the Sainz and RXR machines retired with suspension damage, but both teams made the final.

Veloce also progressed after winning the restarted heat, while a problem in the Switch Zone put paid to Andretti’s slim hopes of making the final, with X44 also missing out.

Hansen grabbed the lead for Veloce in the final on a rain-soaked course, with wet clay on drivers’ windscreens making visibility almost impossible.

Foust wrested second from Ekstrom with a stunning overtake around the outside. However, Sainz and RXR again came to blows following the driver change, with the unsighted Sanz and Ahlin-Kottunlinsky making further contact as they tried to rejoin before both retired.

Taylor completed a commanding victory for Veloce, coming home 6.4s ahead of Foust, while Anderson and Sorensen took third for Ganassi.

Andreas Bakkerud and Heda Hosas ended a difficult weekend with victory in Sunday’s Redemption Race for Jenson Button’s JBXE squad ahead of Andretti, while X44’s McConnell crashed out.

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