The second season of Extreme E started in Saudi Arabia with a dramatic moment in the first round of qualifying for the Desert X Prix. The reigning Extreme E champions Rosberg X Racing started its season with an impressive qualifying run, but the team wasn’t out of reach of the field. Veloce Racing was in contention to be the fastest in the session until Christine GZ (Giampaoli Zonca) crashed the team’s Odyssey 21.
Near the end of her qualifying lap, Christine GZ was traveling at high speed after driving down a descent. As she flew around a corner to set up for the lap’s final climb, her electric vehicle slid into a violent roll. The left-side wheels lifted off the ground, the car immediately pitched over and somersaulted through the air. The bodywork came loose from the Odyssey 21 as it tumbled, and the vehicle came to a rest upside-down, bringing the session to a halt.
Christine GZ favored her right foot as medical personnel assisted her to the on-site medical center. She was later transported to a hospital. In a release, Veloce confirmed that GZ fractured her left foot in the crash, ruling her out from driving on Sunday. Veloce stated that she is in good spirits and will attend tomorrow’s races. The team’s reserve driver Hedda Hosås will fill for GZ for the rest of the weekend’s competition. Hosås initially entered motorsport as a motocross rider before transitioning to rallycross competition in recent years.
Swedes Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky and Johan Kristoffersson put Rosberg X Racing at the top of the classification after Qualifying Round 1. Qualifying Round 2 would conclude with Lewis Hamilton’s X44 team leading the weekend’s standings after the heat races, defending the team’s perfect qualifying record. The semi-finals and the race proper will take place tomorrow.