First-ever South American X Prix ends with damage in the Crazy Race
Veloce Racing bowed out of the penultimate race of Extreme E Season 2 following an unfortunate run in the Crazy Race of the Antofagasta Minerals Copper X Prix in Chile on Sunday (25 September).
A great launch saw Christine GZ surge to the front on the starting straight, before settling into third position for the first lap. The Veloce driver entered the Switch Zone level with XITE ENERGY RACING’s Tamara Molinaro, but as the two drivers pulled into their respective bays Molinaro cut across the front of GZ.
The race ending damage came when Lance Woolridge took evasive action as he approached an incident between NEOM McLaren Extreme E and JBXE. The South African went off line where he hit a rock, which resulted in a steering arm failure and denied us any glimpse of the pace he showed in the Qualifying stages of Extreme E’s first South American X Prix.
Veloce Racing finished fourth in the four-car Crazy Race, despite the stewards awarding a penalty to XITE ENERGY RACING for the collision in the Switch Zone. Subsequently, this brought an end to the British squad’s challenge in Chile.
Following the misfortunes suffered at the NEOM Island X Prix double-header in Sardinia, Veloce Racing recovered well to finish sixth overall in Friday’s Free Practice, hinting at a promising start to proceedings in Antofagasta.
Woolridge and GZ looked to revive their season with a strong Qualifying performance, and a trouble-free session put the team in seventh place ahead of championship contenders ACCIONA | SAINZ XE Team.
In their five-car Heat of Qualifying 2, another blistering start for Veloce saw Woolridge slot into second place, despite tough competition from Rosberg X Racing’s Johan Kristoffersson and Genesys Andretti United Extreme E’s Timmy Hansen.
A mistake from race leader Timo Scheider for XITE ENERGY RACING saw him miss the gate, and Woolridge followed the German wide of the waypoint, opening the door for the cars behind.
The ensuing chaos resulted in contact for Woolridge as Scheider rejoined the track, leaving Veloce’s ODYSSEY 21 with a broken driveshaft that brought the team’s hopes of reaching the Semi-Finals to an end.
With Sunday’s Crazy Race ultimately ending in frustration, full focus turns to the season finale in Uruguay (26-27 November) with Woolridge, GZ and the rest of the squad looking to end their campaign on a high.
Lance Woolridge, Driver, Veloce Racing, said: “It was obviously frustrating to suffer such bad luck over the weekend. We had a really good start with a trouble-free Q1, but then the issues came thick and fast. Our pace is a big positive though, so we are looking forward to showing our full potential at the season finale in Uruguay.”
Christine GZ, Driver, Veloce Racing, said: “We were looking to make a big comeback after missing out on the Final in Sardinia, but things were against us. The weekend was tough to take, particularly after some really good starts from both me and Lance, but we are fully focussed on regrouping ahead of the last event of the season.”