Stéphane Sarrazin says his enormous crash in Extreme E’s Island X-Prix began when he drove just 6mph quicker than before through a section of the Sardinia course.
Hunting down JBXE’s Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky for first and the final transfer spot for the main event during the ‘crazy race’, Sarrazin was initially held up by Christine Giampaoli Zonca when he rejoined after the driver change in which he had taken over from Veloce team-mate Emma Gilmour.
But after disposing of Giampaoli Zonca, who retired with mechanical failure, Sarrazin unleashed a strong turn of pace.
That pace allowed him to close in on the leading JBXE entry, but it would also prove to be his undoing after an awkward landing from a previously harmless jump pitched him into a violent flip, totally destroying the Veloce Odyssey 21.
“I’m all OK, just a bit of pain everywhere but it was a heavy crash,” Sarrazin said.
“It’s a shame, I was pushing to catch the car in front.
“A small bump but big effect. I started to roll and roll.
“I was waiting to overtake Christine and when I overtook her I started to push, I carried my speed and they were giving me the time difference and I was catching the car so I was pushing.
“I was pushing but what can I do? This jump, yesterday I didn’t have any problem on this one. Maybe I arrived at 10kph [6.2mph] quicker and I completely flew.
“So a difficult situation but I’m so disappointed for all the team. I gave my best but it didn’t pay.”
This isn’t the first time Sarrazin and Veloce have endured a weekend-ending roll.
At the season opener in Saudi Arabia the former World Rally and World Endurance driver suffered another tumble, which resulted in rollcage damage that the team’s first event before it had covered a single lap.
That shunt also meant that the team’s regular female driver Jamie Chadwick didn’t get to turn a competitive lap until the Ocean X-Prix in Senegal, the second round of the season.
Chadwick has also been absent for the last two rounds of Extreme E due to W Series commitments.
She retained the title in the open wheel series at Circuit of the Americas in Texas this weekend.