Story By: EXTREME E – SCOTLAND – Extreme E debuted in Scotland today for its second-double header of Season 3. The championship’s ten teams put their ODYSSEY 21s to the test in Free Practice on one of the most extreme courses in the series to date, situated in the former opencast coal mine at Glenmuckloch.
The 2.67-kilometre course of the Hydro X Prix provides a new set of challenges for Extreme E’s world-class grid. The 20 drivers are contending with steep inclines, narrow racing lines, and a drastic change in terrain as they exit the old coal mine, which is soon to be transformed into a Pumped Storage Hydropower (PSH) plant and wind farm.
Alejandro Agag, CEO and Founder of Extreme E, said: “I think we have a great story to tell here. Similarly, to Chile with the copper mines, here we are in an old coal mine which will be converted into a hydro station that will help restore renewable energy.
“The beauty of this site is that you are surrounded by the actual generation of energy. You can see these wind turbines all around us. Scotland gets 97% of its energy from renewables so I think it’s a great place and great story to tell with Extreme E.”
After the Extreme E line-up got a feel for the exciting new course in Free Practice 1, the times began to tumble in the following session, with all teams achieving their best laps the second time around.
Fastest in Free Practice 2 were Veloce Racing with a time of 09:58.466mins. Off the back of a maiden victory at the Desert X Prix, Kevin Hansen and Molly Taylor laid down the marker as leaders in the championship, with the former setting the fastest lap of the day.
Kevin Hansen, Veloce Racing, said: “We had a really good day today and enjoyed the track. I think from the outside it looks maybe more insane than from the inside. When you are driving you are so focused on the line and everything, so you don’t really take in all the amazing scenery. But it is an incredible location – like I said it is probably the most incredible location we’ve been to in terms of surroundings.
“Veloce as a team has been working super hard over the past few years and really tried to achieve this performance. I think all that hard work came alive and it is such an incredible atmosphere for the team, such a family vibe. I come from a family racing team and it naturally suits me and Molly as well, so it’s a great spirit and that helps us to perform well.”
Defending champions X44 Vida Carbon Racing enter the Hydro X Prix outside of the championship top three, but were the only other team to break the 10-minute mark in Free Practice with a time of 09:59.988. Just over a second slower than Veloce Racing, Cristina Gutiérrez and Fraser McConnell secured the start they need, with McConnell going quickest through two of the four sectors.
ABT CUPRA XE’s Nasser Al-Attiyah went quickest through the first sector, while teammate Klara Andersson completed their commanding stint to put the team third with 10:01.567.
Coming in fourth were ACCIONA | SAINZ XE Team, despite a mechanical failure cutting their FP1 short, as they look to carry on the momentum from a long-awaited victory at the season-opener. NEOM McLaren Extreme E Team completed the Top 5 with a blistering lap from Tanner Foust which secured the best time through the last sector.
Andretti Altawkilat Extreme E and No.99 GMC HUMMER EV Chip Ganassi Racing finished sixth and seventh, respectively, with both teams experiencing issues. A puncture for Andretti Altawkilat Extreme E was kept under control by Timmy Hansen, while Amanda Sorenson recovered well from a trip off-course and a subsequent penalty for missing the waypoint.
Also receiving penalties were Carl Cox Motorsport in eighth and JBXE in ninth place. Jenson Button’s team welcome former Championship Driver Andreas Bakkerud for this X Prix, who built on his experience of the ODYSSEY 21 today as he prepares for his first Extreme E race tomorrow.
Finding themselves in unfamiliar territory at the bottom of the Free Practice timesheet were Rosberg X Racing. Nico Rosberg’s outfit put forward a confident performance, setting the second quickest time in FP1, but a culmination of penalties for dropping waypoint flags impacted their time in FP2.
Free Practice combined timings:
1. Veloce Racing: 09:58.466 (FP2)
2. X44 Vida Carbon Racing: 09:59.988 (FP2)
3. ABT CUPRA XE: 10:01.567 (FP2)
4. ACCIONA | SAINZ XE Team: 10:05.714 (FP2)
5. NEOM McLaren Extreme E Team: 10:07.199 (FP2
6. Andretti Altawkilat Extreme E: 10:18.160 (FP2)
7. No.99 GMC HUMMER EV Chip Ganassi Racing: 10:21.197 (FP2)
8. Carl Cox Motorsport: 10:47.474 (FP2)
9. JBXE: 10:49.812 (FP2)
10. Rosberg X Racing: 10:54.845 (FP2)
The racing action can be viewed live on STV and ITV in the UK from 1300-1500 BST, over both Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 May.