Veloce Racing misses out on Jurassic X Prix Final after most competitive weekend yet
Lance Woolridge and Jamie Chadwick fought hard to come close to a place in the Final of the Extreme E season finale.
Veloce Racing showed great fighting spirit today (19 December) during the Jurassic X Prix, as the all-new driver line-up of Woolridge and Chadwick gave it all they had in search of that elusive second Extreme E podium.
The London-based squad arrived in Dorset with nothing to lose. Having shown strong speed in the penultimate round in Sardinia, but ultimately failing to reach the Final, it was all or nothing today for the team.
A revised racing format for this weekend meant that all rounds of the Jurassic X Prix were run over three laps instead of the usual two. The first in the driving seat completed two laps before handing over to their team-mate to cross the finish line.
Extreme E also decided which drivers would start each round. Free practice saw all teams starting with their female driver, with their male counterpart taking on the start of the next round.
This meant that a strong start in Qualifying 1 was left in the hands of debutant Woolridge. The South African put in an encouraging first two laps, and the returning Chadwick showed no sign of nerves as she followed up with another competitive lap. Thanks to the efforts of both drivers, Veloce Racing ended the session in a respectable fifth place, just over 10 seconds behind leaders X44.
Qualifying 2 followed a similar story, but this time with Chadwick leading the way from the starting line. Coming to the end of a good two laps Chadwick did well to control the car as the rear end bucked aggressively. Woolridge then brought the #5 car home and secured the fifth-fastest stint on the table once again. With a time of 9:26:744 the team was four seconds faster than their first qualifying attempt.
The first Semi-Final saw the Veloce team up against Championship contenders X44 and the JBXE team fighting it out with Andretti United Extreme E for third in the standings.
Woolridge lost time on the first lap of the Semi-Final, dropping back after a jump caused the car to spin. The Veloce driver then showed breath-taking pace to close the gap, and his driving masterclass ensured that all three teams were nose to tail going into the Switch Zone.
Chadwick followed Woolridge’s lead, with both drivers achieving amazing heights over the knife edge in a bid to catch and overtake the other teams. Despite running closely together throughout the final lap, Chadwick was unable to get past JBXE’s Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky for a spot in the Final.
Lance Woolridge, driver, Veloce Racing commented: “Just past waypoint 10, chasing Seb [Loeb] I kept a bit inside to try to get the inside line, but the jump was a lot bigger, and it kicked the car all the way up and actually completely around. So, I had to turn the car all the way round again and get going. I think I lost six seconds there. So, very frustrating but we had good pace in the second half so there are positives there.”
Jamie Chadwick, driver, Veloce Racing added: “We are obviously a bit disheartened, naturally, but we were up against two of the fastest teams there so to have beaten them would have been a bit of a challenge. Lance did an amazing job after a little mistake. He was so fast, and I think to show that speed in this car and to have a clean weekend was good for the team.”
Rupert Svendsen-Cook, Team Principal, Veloce Racing added: “It’s been by far our most competitive weekend from a performance perspective and all of the team can hold their heads high for that. We’ve learnt a huge amount this year, with what was a brand-new team built from the ground up. We will now take all those crucial lessons into the off season to ensure we come back the best prepared we can be for 2022.
“Thank you to all the team who have been herculean at times as well as our drivers, sponsors and investors. We’re really excited to build on the foundations we have laid, and in true Veloce style we’re going for it!”
With many positives for Veloce Racing to take away from the inaugural Extreme E season, the team is excited for what next year will bring. Extreme E returns in February with an X Prix in Saudi Arabia.