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X44 and Andretti lead the way in qualifying in Greenland

X44 and Andretti share semi-final victories in Greenland.

Championship leader Rosberg X Racing will go through to the Final, but only after finishing second in the second Semi Final.

There were track changes made overnight at the start of the lap to make for better racing. Drivers were allowed to walk the new layout yesterday evening, but would only see it in a car for the first time while racing wheel-to-wheel.

It was Veloce, X44 and Sainz XE team who would experience the new layout first, out in the first Semi Final.

The three cars were neck and neck on approach to Turn 1 but it was Carlos Sainz who led the way through the first half of the race. Veloce took second while Christina Guttierez in the X44 became stuck behind in the narrow section of the track surrounding the lake.

Sainz had a 13 second lead as he handed the car over to Laia Sans, but with Sebastien Loeb now behind the wheel of the X44 the lead wouldn’t last long.

Loeb found a way past Stephane Sarrazin in the Veloce as they reached the lake, a place where overtaking was thought to be out of the question. He then set about closing the gap to the Sainz car.

All three drivers were together as they reached the rock garden at the end of the lap. Sarrazin attemted an alternate line in a last ditch attempt to make it through the Finals, but suffered suspension damage and couldn’t climb u into the top two.

X44 would come out just 0.7s ahead of Sainz, but both teams making it through to the Finals.

Andretti and RXR were joined by Abt in the second Semi Final. The Abt team hit troubles early on with a drive shaft problem, though managed to finish the race not too far back from the dueling Andretti and RXR.

Johan Kristoffersson got the initial lead, but took down a flag at one of the way points and was handed a 10 second time penalty. Timmy Hansen in the Andretti would not settle for taking second on track, though, and took the position not long after.

Kristoffersson was just able to sneak past Hansen as they reached the braking zone for the Switch Zone. When Molly Taylor took over the car she had a two second lead to Catie Munnings in the Andretti. Like Hansen, Munnings fought for the victory on track and managed to find a way past the championship leader.

Andretti took the victory by a little over a second on track, which was converted to an 11 second lead when the RXR time enalty was added.

One more team will make it through to the Final. The winner of the Crazy Race, which features the three teams that finished last in qualifying, will join the four Semi-Final winners and runner-ups in the Final.

Image courtesy of Extreme E

Bethonie Waring

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