Sardinia : Extreme E set for first European round this weekend

KANGERLUSSUAQ, GREENLAND - AUGUST 29: Arctic X Prix final Molly Taylor (AUS)/Johan Kristoffersson (SWE), Rosberg X Racing Catie Munnings (GBR)/Timmy Hansen (SWE), Andretti United Extreme E Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky (SWE)/Kevin Hansen (SWE), JBXE Extreme-E Team during the Arctic X-Prix at Kangerlussuaq on August 29, 2021 in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland. (Photo by Colin McMaster / LAT Images)

The Enel X Island X Prix takes place this weekend (23-24 October) at Capo Teulada in Sulcis-Iglesiente in Sardinia. Following on from the thrilling racing in Greenland in August, the world-class teams and drivers are hunting down success on an all-new course on an island which is no stranger to the world of motorsport.

Last time out, RXR’s winning streak was broken by Andretti United Extreme E, who were joined on the podium by JBXE and ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team, which has shaken up the leaderboard. RXR still top the table on 93 points and, if things go right this weekend, could mathematically take the Season 1 Champion title, but X44 sitting second on 84 points and Andretti United Extreme E on 76 points will be racing hard alongside the remaining six teams to ensure that doesn’t happen.

Alejandro Agag, Founder and CEO of Extreme E, said: « Our Sardinian race is shaping up to be a true spectacle and I can’t wait to see the teams battling it out on the course for victory at our penultimate event of Season 1. Sardinia has a rich motorsport heritage and won’t be unfamiliar territory for some of our drivers, but the course will be one full of challenges.
« The island has been suffering at the hands of the climate crisis, and I’m really pleased our Legacy Programmes here will be two-fold, focussing on both the land and the ocean through reforestation in areas affected by wildfires, which are still so front of mind, and blue carbon through seagrass restoration and conservation.
« I would like to thank all of our partners for their continued support of the series, especially our friends at Enel X who are title sponsor of our first European event. I’m looking forward to hearing thought leadership talks from them, plus our Scientific Committee, as we strive to raise awareness of issues and solutions all while inspiring change. »

Motorsport heritage
Sardinia is the second largest island in the Western Mediterranean and is well known for hosting motorsport events, arguably most famously the Rally Italia Sardegna, which has been on the World Rally Championship calendar since 2004 and has been won by X44’s Sebastien Loeb four times.

The island hosted its first ever motorsport event back in 1922 – the Corsa Gentleman Sardi from Cagliari to Suelli – plus the Rally di Sardegna taking place from 1957 to 1968. In 1978, the first edition of the Rally Costa Smeralda was held and is widely recognised as the time when legendary rally brand Lancia showcased its latest models including the famous S4 and 037. This event last ran in 1992, however in 2018 the Costa Smeralda Rally dedicated to historic rally cars was introduced and is part of the Italian Championship.

The challenge
This course, like each one so far, will present a whole new set of challenges for car and driver. After a hot Italian summer, the ground will be baked hard compared to the soft sands teams have become accustomed to. Not only that, but the terrain will also be rutted and the course will feature fast, downhill sections, water splashes, and natural obstacles in the form of trees and bushes. The full course will be revealed later this week.

The only thing connecting the all-electric ODYSSEY 21s to the course are the tyres, and sometimes even those are off the ground, as the cars fly over various natural obstacles. Creating those tyres is the championship’s Founding Partner Continental.

Catarina Silva, Team Leader for Product Management Summer, 4×4 and Van Products at Continental said: « The particularly versatile track in Sardinia again places new demands on our tyres. It was a demanding challenge to develop a tyre that, as an all-rounder, can master not only the terrain in Sardinia but also in all other racing locations – especially since its intended use is not normal driving but racing. So far, the Extreme E Cross Contact has been convincing in all races, but we are particularly excited about the next race. »

Race rules recap
The Enel X Island X Prix will follow the same format as the Arctic X Prix with qualifying taking place on Saturday 23 October. There will be one session in the morning and one in the afternoon with each team completing two laps of the course, one per driver with a Driver Switch. The times recorded across the morning session will equate to classification points meaning first place receives 9 points, second place 8, third place 7 and so on. The same then happens in the afternoon with classification points awarded on the same scale.

The combined total of these classification points provides the intermediate standings, and the remaining races will take place as follows:
The teams will be listed 1st to 9th place based on the total combined points of each team’s two Qualifying runs.
Teams placed in first, fifth and sixth progress to Semi-Final 1, where the top two finishers claim spots in the Enel X Island X Prix Final.
Second, third and fourth from Qualifying go through to Semi-Final 2, where again the top two progress to the Enel X Island X Prix Final.
The bottom three teams (7th, 8th and 9th) head to the Crazy Race, with the winner reaching the Enel X Island X Prix Final.
The Enel X Island X Prix Final features five cars.

The ‘Continental Traction Challenge’ formally known as the ‘Super Sector’ was won by Arctic X Prix winner Andretti United Extreme E’s Timmy Hansen in Greenland, bagging an extra five points for his team. With the top of the table so close these points could prove vital. They are awarded to the fastest driver in a pre-determined section of the course over the weekend.

The nine teams and 18 drivers are as follows:
ABT CUPRA XE – #125 – Mattias Ekström / Jutta Kleinschmidt
ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team – #55 – Carlos Sainz Snr. / Laia Sanz
Andretti United Extreme E – #23 – Timmy Hansen / Catie Munnings
SEGI TV Chip Ganassi Racing – #99 – Kyle LeDuc / Sara Price
XITE ENERGY RACING powered by myenergi – #42 – Oliver Bennett / Christine GZ
JBXE – #22 – Kevin Hansen / Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky
Rosberg X Racing – #6 – Johan Kristoffersson / Molly Taylor
Veloce Racing – #5 – Stéphane Sarrazin / Emma Gilmour
X44 – #44 – Sébastien Loeb / Cristina Gutiérrez

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