Little ‘go’ for Alexander Rossi, Conor Daly, Sergio Perez in biggest go-kart race in world

(Photo courtesy Alexander Rossi official Twitter page)
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What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.

And for IndyCar drivers Alexander Rossi and Conor Daly and Formula One pilot Sergio Perez, good riddance for that.

Reigning Indianapolis 500 winner Rossi, fellow Verizon IndyCar Series driver Conor Daly and F1’s Perez took part in the 20th annual SKUSA SuperNationals in Las Vegas, the largest go-kart race in the world.

In Sunday’s main event of the week, the 25-lap KZ2, all three world-class drivers exited early and finished in the final three spots of the 30 drivers entered.

But look at the bright side for drivers like race winner Paolo De Conto and runner-up Anthony Abbasse: in addition to their strong finishes, they also have tremendous bragging rights that they bested Daly, Rossi and Perez.

All three drivers made early exits in the race due to a variety of mechanical failures:

* Perez, who drives for Force India in F1, was making a detour between last week’s race in Brazil and next weekend’s season finale in Abu Dhabi. He finished 28th of the 30-driver field, completing just seven of the scheduled 25 laps. It was Perez’s first SuperNationals since 2002, where he finished 11th in a field that included present IndyCar stars Graham Rahal and James Hinchcliffe.

* Daly, who signed last week to race for A.J. Foyt Racing in 2017 in IndyCar, finished 29th (second-to-last), managing to complete just five laps before retiring.

* Rossi finished last, completing just four laps before he also called it quits.

But on the other hand, the three drivers shouldn’t feel all that bad in the whole big scheme of things: Twelve other drivers also recorded DNFs, meaning just half (15) the drivers in the starting field took the checkered flag.

Here’s a compilation of a number of social media posts from all three drivers and others that capsulized the five day event:

 

 

 

 

 

 

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X44 Racing win 2022 Extreme E championship as Abt Cupra score first race victory

2022 Extreme E Uruguay
Extreme E
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Abt Cupra Racing’s Nasser Al-Attiyah and Klara Andersson scored their first win in the Extreme E Energy X Prix in the 2022 finale in Uruguay as Lewis Hamilton’s X44 Vida Carbon Racing drivers Sebastien Loeb and Cristina Gutierrez survived a chaotic finale to edge the 2021 champion Rosberg X Prix team of Johan Kristoffersson and Mikhaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky, by two points.

“There are so many emotions,” Andersson said in Extreme E’s coverage. “I’ve been waiting for this for so long. In my second race, first full weekend to be at the top of the podium: it’s big.”

Andersson was behind the wheel at the finish.

Rosberg Racing entered the event with a 17-point advantage over X44, but the standings were close enough that four teams remained in contention in Round 5.

“It’s a crucial weekend for us,” Loeb said in Extreme E’s coverage prior to the race. “We are not in the best position to win the championship, but the only thing we can do is try to win the race and score as many points as possible.”

The top two title contenders each crashed in qualification and were relegated to the Crazy Race, Extreme E’s version of the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ). For the moment, they had the steepest hill to climb, but then the other two championship contending teams, Chip Ganassi Racing and Acciona Sainz Racing failed to advance from their heats.

Only one team advances from the Crazy Race, so the X44 drivers were in a must-win situation to simply keep hope alive.

More: Extreme E 2023 schedule

Ahlin-Kottulinsky and Gutierrez ran wheel to wheel into the first turn at the start of the LCQ.

The Rosberg racer experienced crash damage in that turn that damaged her front steering, but managed to limp back to the pits at the end of her two-lap stint. The team attempted to fix the steering, but incurred a penalty for having too many mechanics in the pit area.

Meanwhile, Gutierrez took the early lead, but knew she would need to sit through a five-second penalty for an incident earlier in the weekend. The female half of the gender equal pair erased the penalty by entering the Switch Zone with a five-second lead before turning the car over to Loeb.

That was all the nine-time World Rally Championship titlist needed to give him the advantage needed to win the Crazy Race.

But the championship was not over yet. X44 Racing needed to finish third or better in the five-car finale to earn enough points for the title and after advancing from the LCQ, they were forced to take the worst grid position.

A chaotic start to the Finale saw Loeb run as high the lead and low as fourth after getting pushed off course during his first lap. And that is how he entered to Switch Zone.

On her first lap, Gutierrez slammed into Molly Taylor. With one lap remaining, X44 and Gutierrez were still in fourth and the title hope was quickly evaporating, but it was announced halfway through the lap that the third-running Andretti United team would suffer a penalty for a Switch Zone infraction. The seven-second deduction for Timmy Hansen braking too late in the zone made the difference in the title.

Coming off a disappointing Copper X Prix when Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour crossed under the checkers first, but were relegated to fifth by penalty, the McLaren pair scored their first podium of the season in second.