Extreme E has announced further format changes ahead of the Arctic X-Prix at the end of August.
After mechanical issues put several cars out of final-winning contention early on at the Ocean X-Prix, the most recent XE round in May, changes had been mooted that would allow more opportunities to score strongly.
As such, there will now be a chance to get to the final from all races, and that final will be a five-car affair, up from four in Senegal and three at the season-opening Desert X-Prix in Saudi Arabia.
Qualifying will now run with rallycross-like intermediate points being awarded across both sessions rather than combining the times recorded in each session. First place will gain nine intermediate points, down to one point for ninth. Those points will be used to determine the qualifying results and therefore the grids for the preliminary races.
The championship points available from qualifying remain the same, with 12 for the crew that tops qualifying overall down to four points for the team in ninth and last.
Semifinal one will consist of the crews who occupied the first, fifth and sixth positions in qualifying, and second, third and fourth progress to semi-final two. The bottom three crews go into the ‘crazy race’ which returns after being dubbed semifinal two in Senegal.
From there, the five-car final will consist of the top two teams from each semifinal, plus the winner of the crazy race who scores an additional six points. That means the maximum points haul from Greenland can only now be achieved by coming seventh in qualifying, then winning the crazy race, final and going fastest in the Super Sector.
“As a series we are always ready to evolve in order to create the absolute best result, and we believe these changes to the sporting format will offer greater competition and even more exciting racing for our global fanbase,” said XE’s chief executive officer Alejandro Agag.
“The [Arctic] course itself looks incredible and I’m sure it will offer some close battles, but it is important to note we are racing on an area which was once a glacier, but has retreated at an accelerated rate due to the climate crisis.”
This change to XE’s format, the fourth in three rounds, has been anticipated since the Ocean X-Prix in Senegal when multiple teams were left without a chance to compete for a top result after being hampered by issues.
It led to a gathering of drivers, team and series personnel on the Saturday evening of the event to discuss potential changes going forward.
While Andretti United’s Catie Munnings wasn’t present in those discussions, she was one of those left languishing in the bottom three positions after a stoppage in qualifying.
“I actually had that conversation with someone and said there needs to be a second chance because when we’ve got so little time in the cars anyway, hardly any testing or [with] reduced power, and then to go out and it be ‘let’s qualify’,” she told DirtFish at the time.
“We all want to do well, we all want to wake up on the Sunday morning with a shot of reaching the final and I think that slight change there would be really good and give all the teams hope because everyone works really hard to be here and it’s a lot of investment and it’s a big deal so I think that change would be welcomed by me!”
She added: “I think it’s just giving you a shot when you might have just been unlucky in one of the qualifying heats.”
Also confirmed for Greenland is the participation of Cristina Gutiérrez for Lewis Hamilton’s X44 outfit.
Gutiérrez’s seat for the next round was in doubt after rupturing two vertebrae en route to victory during June’s Rally Kazakhstan.
The 12-week gap between the rally raid and the next XE round has been sufficient time for her to recover, and she will once again partner Sébastien Loeb at the Prodrive-run X44 team.