Extreme E: X44 secures pole ahead of season finale

X44’s Sebastien Loeb and Cristina Gutierrez claimed top spot in qualifying at the Jurassic X Prix, securing a 100% pole position record for the season.

Championship leaders Rosberg X Racing line up leaders of semifinal 2 as we gear up for what looks like a Championship showdown in tomorrow’s races.

The season finale of the inaugural Extreme E season got underway this morning on the Jurassic coast in Dorset. In classic British fashion the weather was wet and overcast but that didn’t stop the on-track action from providing some really close racing.

It was X44’s Sebastian Loeb and Cristina Gutierrez who got off to a great start, topping qualifying one and then going on to top qualifying two. The pairing looked in great shape throughout the day, and look set to challenge championship leaders RXR, who lead the championship by 18 points heading into the weekend.

The gap between all the qualifiers over the course of the season has been getting smaller and smaller as the season progresses, and the first qualifying session followed this pattern. The whole field was spread by the smallest margin of the season, with the top four covered by just a few seconds over the three qualifying laps.

Championship leaders RXR ended the first qualifying session just 1.901s behind the Loeb and Gutierrez pairing. But the pair just missed out on getting into the first semifinal when they were pipped by Sanz and Sainz by just over 0.7 seconds.

It was all plain sailing for RXR, which is more than could be said for one of the broadcast drones, which got shot out of the sky by a stray rock from the back of the RXR Odyssey 21.

The JBXE team came out fighting in their battle for third in the championship, Kevin Hansen and Michaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky lead for the large part of the second qualifying session until being pipped by X44’s qualifying stars. They did however pick up a seven-second penalty for speeding in the switch zone in qualifying one.

Andretti United’s championship battle for third took a hit in qualifying two when Timmy Hansen crashed heavily in an attempt to nick the Continental Traction Challenge, the fastest sector challenge which rewards the teams with an extra 5 points. He did however manage to dig the car out and finish the qualifying.

Carlos Sainz and Laia Sanz once again showed their rallying prowess when the pair managed to close up the qualifying gap, between their ACCIONA | Sainz Extreme E team and the two title challengers X44 team.

Once again it was the Chip Ganassi Racing which faced bad luck again in qualifying two. After Sarah Price put in an impressive first lap but it all started to unravel on the change over when there were issues in getting the belt fastened. This left Kyle Leduc with time to make up and it all went downhill from there. The power steering failed and Leduc had to wrestle the car back to the pit lane.

The very first championship will be decided tomorrow, will it be X44 or RXR racing? Tune in tomorrow at 10:00 local time to find out who will be the very first Extreme E Champion!