Sunday’s Extreme E action got underway in Saudi Arabia with the opening two semi-final events, which decided the teams that progress through to the main event to determine the podium positions.
First up was the semi-final in which Saturday’s winners, the X44 team of Sebastien Loeb and Cristina Gutierrez and the runners-up Sainz XE of Carlos Sainz and Laia Sanz and Rosberg X Racing of Molly Taylor and Johan Kristoffersson, race head-to-head to determine which of the two will make it to the final.
Lining up on the favourable side was Loeb after leading on Saturday. To his left was Sainz and then Kristoffersson. The start was frantic with Sainz initially taking the lead with Kristoffersson second. Loeb took a shorter line allowing him to catapult himself into the lead coming to the first gate, whilst Sainz dropped to the back.
Kristoffersson then got alongside Loeb as they approached the second gate and took the inside line and the lead. The race was somewhat decided at that moment as the dust kicked up by the car ahead makes visibility almost non-existent for those following, forcing Loeb and Sainz to back off and accept second and third.
Taylor, Gutierrez and Sanz completed their laps with little drama, maintaining positions to finish in the same order as their team-mates.
Rosberg X Racing and X44 will go through to Sunday afternoon’s final alongside the winner from the Crazy Race semi-final.
Andretti United Extreme E won out in the Crazy Race semi-final to secure its place in the Extreme E final after a brilliant start by Timmy Hansen.
The reigning World Rally Cross champion is used to quick starts and he used that knowledge to get a jump on Oliver Bennett in the Hispania Suiza and F1 champion Jenson Button in the JBXE machine.
Hansen then built up an impressive 30-second lead after his opening lap, easing the pressure on Catie Munnings following the switch, although she kept up the pace to bring the Odyssey 21 SUV across the line in first to secure their place in the final.
Christine Giampaoli Zonca crossed the line second, 36 seconds ahead of Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky in the JBXE. Neither will progress any further with only the winner moving to the next stage.
The shoot out to decide eighth and ninth took place between the Chip Ganassi and ABT Cupra outfits, but ended in disaster after Kyle Luduc ran into the rear of Claudia Hürtgen, unsighted because of the dust.