INDIANAPOLIS (July 26, 2023) – Catie Munnings’ late overtake on Amanda Sorensen secured a podium finish for Andretti Altawkilat Extreme E in Round 6 after an Island X Prix of highs and lows. Here’s how Munnings and team-mate Timmy Hansen ended the Sardinian double-header strongly ahead of the remaining four races of 2023.
Andretti Altawkilat Extreme E were amongst the front-runners in Free Practice for Rounds 5 and 6 at the Island X Prix and looked to build on their podium finish last time out in Scotland.
A Heat victory and a second-place finish in Qualifying secured a comfortable passage to the Round 5 Grand Final, with Munnings and Hansen amongst the favourites to take the race win – which would have been their first in 2023.
A strong start from Hansen, running second behind No. 99 GMC Hummer EV Chip Ganassi Racing’s RJ Anderson, meant the team looked set to claim their best result of the season so far.
But disappointment struck for Andretti Altawkilat Extreme E. Munnings’ ODYSSEY 21, who had brilliantly held onto second, entered a roll off the back of an overtake by Rosberg X Racing’s Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinksy on the final lap. Munnings came away from the accident unscathed, but the team were out of the Grand Final and had to settle for fifth in a race which had promised so much.
Catie Munnings, Andretti Altawkilat Extreme E, said: “We had some great pace throughout qualifying, with a win in the first Heat and a second place in the next Heat in tough conditions on the track. I was obviously very disappointed with our day.
“We had a lot of potential, but with the course very slippery and combined with the low visibility, it resulted in contact. I then ran wide on the right hander and unfortunately just struck a rock which put me into a slow roll.”
Timmy Hansen, Andretti Altawkilat Extreme E, said: “Unfortunately, our Grand Final race ended too soon. It’s one of those things. The racing is tough out there and we came off worse. We were looking strong though, and we kept our hopes up for Round 6. We showed, I think, plenty of strong performances and some great speed.”
After the tough end to Round 5 for Andretti Altawkilat Extreme E, the second part of the double-header would yield the results that backed up their speed.
Two second-place finishes in the Qualifying Heats demonstrated the team’s obvious pace and guaranteed another Grand Final spot and another shot at a maiden win of the campaign.
Off the start line, though, it initially looked like all was lost, as Hansen ended up in the bushes as the teams came together entering the narrow part of the course. From the back of the pack there was plenty of work to do, but the Swede had recovered to fourth by the end of his run.
This left Munnings to chase down Sorensen for the final spot on the podium and achieved it in dramatic style, with a late overtake on the last corner of the final lap.
The team’s second top-three finish of the campaign was just rewards following a weekend of ups and downs, with Team Owner Michael Andretti watching on from the garage and able to make his first visit to an Extreme E podium.
Andretti Altawkilat Extreme E are now sixth in the standings with 55 points.
On Round 6’s climactic ending, Munnings said: “I was very happy to take P3 as it was a really intense race. Timmy [Hansen] had contact at the start which put him in the bush. So a recovery from P5 to P4 in his first lap and then closing the gap back really made a difference. I managed to pass in the last corner on the last lap which was also very intense. I saw the gap and I went for it. The result was really great.
“I think the team needed that. It was nice to be on the podium with Michael [Andretti] and some of the team owners, so very happy with the weekend and it’s great to know that we have the pace to compete at the front.”
Hansen concluded: “We had a very strong weekend in Sardinia. We’ve had to race super aggressive and make some crazy moves to get to where we finished, but we made it into both Grand Finals. I so nearly had the lead in the Round 6 Final, but I just I got a hit from the right and that just put me into the bushes very hard.
“We came from the back and I managed to pass the JBXE car and handed over the car to Catie [Munnings] in fourth place. She managed to close the gap and make a last corner move on the Ganassi car and get us a podium.
“What a great way to finish our weekend here in Sardinia and although we have been so close to a couple of wins, it’s always great to be on the podium.”
To learn more about Extreme E, visit – www.Extreme-E.com