- Laia Sanz and Mattias Ekström repeated yesterday’s second-place finish in the second round of the Island X Prix, which was tricky again due to the start and the lack of visibility.
ACCIONA | SAINZ XE Team leaves Sardinia as the leading team of the Extreme E Championship with a 4-point edge after the second round of the Island X Prix, where Laia Sanz and Mattias Ekström made it to the podium with another second-place finish for the team.
The Spanish team arrived in Sardinia trailing the Championship leader, Veloce Racing, by 11 points and now goes back home on top of the general classification with 4 points over Rosberg X Racing, which becomes its new closest competitor.
Laia and Mattias made it to the Grand Final of the Island X Prix with a race victory in Qualifying 2, a result that, combined with a third-place finish in Qualifying 1, translated into 16 Qualifying points out of 20 available.
Just as in yesterday’s event, visibility and track position were everything in the Grand Final.
Mattias Ekström did a really solid start, to the point that he was fighting for the lead with another two cars side by side as the track got narrower. The cars touched wheels and the machine of Rosberg X Racing, which was running in fourth, seized that fight to slide into the lead.
The Swedish race driver held on to the second place and stayed in the rear-view mirrors of the leader, but the lack of visibility due to the mud on the track prevented him from going forward. Laia Sanz, who took the wheel at the driver change, managed the same issue and clinched the third second-place finish of the year for the team.
The Island X Prix, the third of the five double-header events in the Extreme E calendar, is now finished. The next round will take place on the 16th and the 17th of September in a location that is yet to be confirmed.
Laia Sanz, piloto:
“I think we can be very happy with the weekend we did. We were really consistent. The Grand Final was a shame, though, because we had the pace to fight for the win, but there was so much mud on the track that the moment you got closer you lost visibility. I think we drove very intelligently during the weekend, thinking about the Championship, and in the end, I think it’s a great result."
Mattias Ekström, piloto:
“We drove a solid race, but in the end, there was not enough for the win after an action-packed first corner. I thought for a short moment that it would end there, but I managed to get back on the road. Johan managed to pass me, so not much more to say. We were really fast, Laia did a good job and we finished second twice. We shouldn’t complain in this sport. We are leading the Championship and we can look forward to the last two races."
“Sardinia was a fantastic weekend for the team. Congratulations to everyone for today’s result and for the lead in the Championship. The standings have gotten tighter and the four races that remain will be crucial. Everything is so close, but it is better to tackle them as leaders than being behind. Laia and Mattias had a very good pace. Congratulations to the team for a good performance and let’s keep pushing."
Joan Orús, Team Principal:
“We are very, very happy with the result of this weekend and with the performance of the team and the drivers, with the pace that we have. Once again, we show that we are here to fight for the Extreme E Championship title. We are left with the bitter feeling of not having clinched a race victory this weekend, but this makes us even more eager for the next time. We are happy to be in the lead of the Championship and we want to win it, so we will keep fighting."