Turns out McLaren XE‘s Free Practice roll on Friday was not a one-time accident.
Saturday’s Qualifying Round #1 literally turned the championship battle upside down as the top two teams in points saw their cars roll over with Rosberg X Racing‘s Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky followed by X44 Vida Carbon Racing‘s Cristina Gutiérrez. Hedda Hosås of JBXE also suffered a rollover, which she rationalised was the presence of “a small bump, and it’s hard to save that when you’re going uphill.”
None of those involved were injured.
“I came up and had too much weight on the outer wheel and just rolled,” said Åhlin-Kottulinsky. “Hopefully our car should be ready for Q2, and timing wise we were fine, so we take the good parts with us, make some changes, and work from there.”
The track is notably very slippery, especially in the grassy section which is a terrain that the primarily-sand/dirt series is not too familiar with.
“We’ve seen three of the cars on the track roll, so I think the grip is too high for our centre of gravity and if you want to push in the corner, you roll,” theorised Åhlin-Kottulinsky’s team-mate Johan Kristoffersson.
Meanwhile, ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team kept their car’s wheels facing down the entire time en route to topping the session with a total time of 10:14.120. Veloce Racing was right behind by less than half a second, followed by Chip Ganassi Racing just over a second back.
“This track is quite tight, as we can see with the times, and I think it will be like this all the weekend,” commented ACCIONA | Sainz driver Laia Sanz.
“It won’t be easy to get those five championship points from the Continental Traction Challenge in the next session, as when we are racing with more cars it will be really tough to improve the times. We will see though. Anything can happen.”
ABT CUPRA XE was the lone team to receive a penalty after their car was not fully within the switch bay while changing drivers.
Qualifying Round #1 results
|Finish||Number||Team||Total Time||Driver #1||Lap #1 Time||Lap #2 Time||Driver #2||Lap #1 Time||Lap #2 Time|
|1||55||ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team||10:14.120||Laia Sanz||2:08.762||2:12.541||Carlos Sainz||2:05.163||2:07.918|
|2||5||Veloce Racing||10:14.682||Molly Taylor||2:12.875||2:14.739||Kevin Hansen||2:04.258||2:04.169|
|3||99||Chip Ganassi Racing||10:15.242||Sara Price||2:11.268||2:11.415||RJ Anderson||2:06.773||2:06.556|
|4||125||ABT CUPRA XE||10:15.461*||Klara Andersson||2:10.411||2:11.301||Nasser Al-Attiyah||2:03.770||2:05.599|
|5||23||Andretti United XE||1:16.26||Catie Munnings||2:11.948||2:12.794||Timmy Hansen||2:06.449||2:06.643|
|6||58||McLaren XE||10:24.767||Emma Gilmour||2:15.868||2:15.343||Tanner Foust||2:05.964||2:09.031|
|7||42||XITE Energy Racing||10:30.154||Tamara Molinaro||2:13.663||2:14.688||Ezequiel Pérez Companc||2:10.586||2:11.845|
|8||6||Rosberg X Racing||DNF||Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky||2:09.310||N/A||Johan Kristoffersson||N/A||N/A|
|9||44||X44 Vida Carbon Racing||DNF||Cristina Gutiérrez||2:07.584||N/A||Sébastien Loeb||N/A||N/A|
|10||22||JBXE||DNF||Hedda Hosås||2:11.715||N/A||Fraser McConnell||N/A||N/A|