X44 driver Sebastien Loeb and his teammate Christina Gutierrez had a great opening day to the action of this weekend’s Extreme E Arctic X Prix in Greenland coming home ahead of ABT Cupra and Rosberg X Racing. Speaking following the action Loeb and Gutierrez commented saying:

Sebastien Loeb, X44 said: “Finishing in first place is definitely the start we wanted for the weekend. It wasn’t easy at all on a difficult course but we secured some important championship points so the team is happy. We’re against some very tough teams again tomorrow and even though we’re in first place at the moment, the starting positions are quite similar when it comes to the Semi-Final and Final so it’s still a big challenge. We’re not going to take anything for granted but we’ll be pushing again for a podium finish and I believe we can get there.”

Cristina Gutiérrez, X44 said: “Today was a good result for us. To finish top of qualifying again is a big success and I think it shows how strong we are as a team. Tomorrow could be totally different, and with this terrain in this weather it will be a very challenging course, so we’ll have to be careful and look after the car whilst also going fast enough to win. Having five cars in the Final will be a big challenge for the teams that make it but I’m confident we have what it takes.”

Mattias Ekström, ABT CUPRA XE said: “We had a decent first qualifying where we didn’t take too much risk. In the second run I had a puncture very early on the lap and then even another one in the famous rock garden. It was kind of a tough day but the good thing is, there is another one tomorrow with our Semi-Final where we will meet quite strong competitors. Our goal for this weekend remains the same, we will be going for our first Extreme E trophy.”

Jutta Kleinschmidt, ABT CUPRA XE said: “Greenland not only provides us with an amazing scenery but also with some drama on track. It was a day with ups and downs for us. After a great first session we had two punctures in the second run so we had to retire before I got into the car. But due to the good morning session we still made it to the second Semi-Final and fight for a place in the Final. So, it’s a new game tomorrow and we are hoping for a smooth day.”

Molly Taylor, Rosberg X Racing said: “What a day. We anticipated this would be an unpredictable race and we were correct. Qualifying 1 was really tough with the technical issues we experienced alongside the roll of the car. The team showed incredible tenacity to come back and get the car ready in time for Qualifying 2 so we are thrilled with the result.”

Johan Kristoffersson, Rosberg X Racing said: “Qualifying 1 was very frustrating with the three power shutdowns I had. The team did an incredible job to get the ODYSSEY 21 ready again for Q2 and I am pleased we managed to complete a much better performance and get the results the team deserves. Now we can move on and look forward to the Semi-Final tomorrow.”

Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky, JBXE said: “We did not get the result that we deserved today which is a shame but I mean sometimes you have the luck on your side and that was not the case for us today. So, we are taking the positives with us – we did good starts and we had good pace so we’re going to give it all for the crazy race tomorrow.”

Sara Price, SEGI TV Chip Ganassi Racing said: “We started out the day solid with a good run in the first qualifying session. We did have a 10-second penalty for hitting a flag, but overall a good run and we were in a good spot for the second round of qualifying. Unfortunately, a parts failure occurred early in the run that ended our session. We’re going to diagnose the issue and start getting the car ready for tomorrow to hopefully make it to the Final and turn things around.”

Kyle LeDuc, SEGI TV Chip Ganassi Racing said: “Qualifying 1 went pretty good, just a little hiccup with clipping the flag. The lap started a little aggressive but got the car back in shape and had a good, fast lap. I hadn’t seen the final sector until today, so that was a little sketchy but the car through there was pretty good. The second session didn’t go as well as the first, with a suspension issue early in the lap. The issue may have started in the first round, but it was pretty big and brought the lap to an early end. A tough break for the team, but with the updated structure we still have a shot to make the Final, so we’re going to get to work on repairs and keep the podium in our sites.”

Emma Gilmour, Veloce Racing said: “Qualifying was a big learning curve for me today – although I got to double my experience in Extreme E in first qualifying! Quali 2, Stephane had a problem with the car and then I also had a different problem which made it a bit of a challenge but we still battled through, but I think we’ll still have a pretty good overall result in Q2 as a lot of teams are also having problems. It’s all an amazing experience, although pretty hard being thrown in at the deep end but the Veloce team are great to work with, everyone has been so welcoming, and Stephane is also an amazing teammate.”

Stephan Sarazin, Veloce Racing said: “Positive Qualifying 1 this morning as we secured P4 with two good laps. Emma and I can still improve as we need to adjust some settings. Qualifying 2 was more complicated as I lost power steering right after the start. The time loss is important however we still managed not to damage the car. The site is simply amazing. This is nothing compared to Saudi and Senegal! And I look forward to the race tomorrow.”

Catie Munnings, Andretti United Extreme E said: “We didn’t have a good Qualifying 1, we lost some time so we were down in the points system. I think every car that went before us except for X44 had issues and so yeah, our strategy completely changed – just taking it easy as it’s a really challenging track lots going on, everyone seems to be running into different issues and the track is getting so destroyed now, it’s so rough out there so we decided to make sure that we brought the car back safely. It just wasn’t about pushing on this one.”

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