Sunday, May 19, 2024

2023 Island X Prix track touted as fastest in Sardinia to date

In terms of track length, the 2023 Island X Prix will be half of that from 2022 at just 2.9 kilometres versus the 6.2 km of last year. However, what it might lack in distance is compensated with plenty of speed.

“It’s a really fun course and quite different compared to last year,” said Championship Driver Tamara Molinaro. “After Waypoint #7, we used to take a tight right hairpin, but now we have a slight right followed by a left over the crest, which is way faster behind the wheel.

“The new part of this course is comparable in some ways to Chile, which had more of a rallycross feel to it which I’m sure a lot of the drivers will like. The first part is probably bumpier: the surface has changed a little since we were here last year, which could be interesting.”

The general route design has remained the same since the inaugural race in 2021, but it has received a facelift for 2023. For example, the starting location and run through multiple available lanes are now located further south from usual. Once the cars merge, they have more ground to cover before making the sharp left onto a terrain change. This is followed by an easy right rather than a hard hairpin, while the the second and third sectors are not as technical as in the past.

Credit: Extreme E

These changes are intended to maximise car speed.

“It’s a shorter course to allow two laps for each driver compared to the seven-km track last time we were in Sardinia,” Molinaro continued. “The fact that the track is much faster and there are two laps will create a lot more opportunities for overtaking.

“We have seen in Extreme E that nearly anywhere is an overtaking spot. I would say there are not specific places to pass here, as I think there will be lots of chances to create a move to overtake, so we’ll just have to see what the drivers and their teams come up with.”

Scheduled for 8/9 July, the Island X Prix is the third round of the 2023 Extreme E Championship. It is held in Sardinia on the Italian Army Capo Teulada Major Training Area.

Roberg X Racing dominated both races in 2022, but was penalised in the first event which allowed Chip Ganassi Racing to win.