The Arctic X Prix saw a new winner this season: Andretti United. Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen nabbed a victory, taking advantage of trouble with X44 and Rosberg X Racing.
The track was changed overnight, removing the hill that caused Molly Taylor to flip. That meant that the drivers would be starting their semi-final races with no previous experience on this particular layout as they tackled their two most important lap of the day. An abundance of rain and standing water also drastically changed the track surface.
The first semi-final took place between X44, Veloce Racing, and Acciona Sainz — the latter of which saw issues from the start as Carlos Sainz struggled to get his car started, but he did get lined up before the start.
Gutierrez in the X44 took an immediate lead, but Emma Gilmour of Veloce got a good lead. Carlos Sainz passed the both of them to move into the lead, and it appeared that Gutierrez was struggling as she fell back quite significantly.
Sainz was first in the switch zone, but Laia Sanz was up against Sebastien Loeb and Stephane Sarrazin, two incredibly experienced drivers. Loeb passed Sarrazin for second at the end of the lake section, then quickly caught up to Sanz. Near the end of the lap, Loeb used his hyperdrive to pass Sanz, but Sanz also used hers. All three drivers hit the rock garden in rapid succession.
Sarrazin took a calculated gamble by running wide over the rock garden and quickly took the lead, but he paid the price with broken suspension after hitting a large rock. Loeb and Sanz both left him behind.
- X44 - Cristina Gutierrez and Sebastien Loeb
- Acciona Sainz - Carlos Sainz and Laia Sanz
- Veloce Racing - Emma Gilmour and Stephane Sarrazin
Semi-Final 2 was set to take place between Abt Cupra, RXR, and
Andretti United. It was a close start with all three drivers — Kristoffersson from RXR, Kleinschmidt from Abt Cupra, and Hansen from Andretti — running side-by-side. The Cupra team progressively fell back due to a broken driveshaft, never being a true competitor in the event.
The lead swapped between RXR and Andretti, with Hansen nabbing the lead just before the rock garden but with Kristoffersson braking late and passing Hansen into the switch zone.
Kristoffersson sustained a 10-second penalty after touching a flag, but with Cupra’s slow second lap, it never came into question. Instead, we saw a solid battle between Molly Taylor, who led for RXR, until she was passed by Catie Munnings from Andretti. They remained in that order until the end.
- Andretti United - Timmy Hansen and Catie Munnings
- Rosberg X Racing - Johan Kristoffersson and Molly Taylor
- Abt Cupra - Jutta Kleinschmidt and Mattias Ekstrom
With only the winner set to move on from this round, the Crazy Race promised to be an exciting one between Chip Ganassi Racing, JBXE, and Xite Racing.
JBXE started the Crazy Race out in the lead, which was much needed because the team was going to have a 30-second time penalty to be served during the switch. Mikkaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky nabbed a solid lead over the competition, but it wasn’t enough for the team to guarantee a win.
Christine GZ kept up with Ahlin-Kottulinsky after passing CGR’s Sara Price. Price turned out not to be much of a challenge, since the CGR car broke a steering arm. She was able to get the car moving to pull it off the racing line, but their day was done.
That left it down to Oliver Bennett, who led the Xite Energy Racing team after the switch because JBXE’s Kevin Hansen had to wait to serve that penalty. Hansen, though, did a great job quickly cutting down the gap between them. He did clip a flag, which threatened to cost him the time he’d clawed back. But Bennett dropped the nose of his car hard after a large jump, giving Hansen time to catch up to under six seconds.
Bennett appeared to suffer a car problem, which sent JBXE flying past him. Hansen took victory while his competition failed to finish.
- JBXE - Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky and Kevin Hansen
- Xite Energy Racing - Christine GZ and Oliver Bennett
- Chip Ganassi Racing - Sara Price and Kyle LeDuc
The top two teams from Semi-Finals 1 and 2 will transfer to the Final, along with the winner of the Crazy Race. Those teams were:
- Acciona Sainz
- Andretti United
- Rosberg X Racing
GridPlay determines which team gets to select its grid spot first, second, third, and so on. This is how the grid will line up:
- Acciona Sainz
- Andretti United
The two-lap Arctic X Prix final saw X44 and RXR dive ahead of the rest of the field, while Catie Munnings of Andretti soon ran around all of them to take the lead. Loeb tried to pull through the middle, taking the lead, with Taylor running slowly and holding up traffic before RXR got back into things. A bit of contact saw JBXE lose out on an attempted pass on Andretti as they filed into the single-file section of the track. Laia Sanz of Sainz Acciona appeared to struggle, slipping back to the rear. Loeb, for his own part, secured an incredibly solid lead.
Munnings almost flipped her car with a nose-heavy jump, but she quickly made up her time and tailed Molly Taylor, attempting a pass that didn’t quite happen, leaving Kevin Hansen to tail the Andretti.
Loeb made it to the pits first, followed by RXR, Andretti, JBXE, and Sainz Acciona.
Unfortunately, Loeb had to repair a punctured rear tire during the switch by swapping the wheel. Rosberg X Racing with Kristoffersson got out first, but because of his far back pit stall, he ended up incredibly close together with Andretti and JBXE. Timmy Hansen led out of the pits, followed by Kristoffersson and then Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky. Gutierrez and Carlos Sainz departed soon after, both rubbing against each other.
Kristoffersson closely tailed Andretti, waiting for Hansen to slip so he could move. Kristoffersson ran out wide to try to get the inside line after the hairpin. He managed to edge Hansen, though Hansen quickly re-passed him. Kristoffersson took too big of a risk, however, with his car coming to a stop after a large jump knocked a piece of his car off. The team with two wins would not go on to win a third in a row.
The grid spread out after that point, with Andretti maintaining the lead. JBXE followed, with Acciona Sainz taking up the third podium position – just nearly pipping X44 by four-tenths of a second.
- Andretti United Racing - Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen
- JBXE - Kevin Hansen and Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky
- Acciona Sainz - Laia Sanz and Carlos Sainz