Extreme E drivers say their “life depends” on wipers in muddy Jurassic event
While no rain is expected for the event at the Bovington Army Base Tank Testing Ground, the naturally poor drainage and clay surface created a soggy, swampy start line for the course.
Even in one-car free practice, the drivers were temporarily unable to see between each wiper stroke as they encountered their own splash as they cruised through the deep puddles on lap 2, 36 miles.
As they progressed through the heats and the five-car final on Sunday, the drivers thought they might be “passed out”.
Asked by Autosport to assess visibility, Chip Ganassi Racing driver Kyle Leduc said: “The first 100 meters are going to be very difficult.
“It will be that one car will move forward and then hit a puddle of water, then another will move forward.
“It’s going to be really risky. Mud, I’m not sure you can express what it looks like.
“You are literally passed out. You hit a puddle, it moves forward, and you rush into your own splash.
“You’re just waiting for the windshield wipers. Your life literally depends on that wiper to clean that windshield.
“It’s a new element for the series and something to look forward to.”
However, Leduc didn’t think the visibility issues were as bad as the dust in Saudi Arabia, prompting Extreme E to abandon their multi-car qualifying races and cut their races to three cars.
Sara Price, Kyle Leduc, Chip Ganassi Racing
Photo By: Alastair Staley / Motorsport Images
The American short-haul off-road truck driver therefore believed that overruns were still likely.
He continued, “It won’t be worse than dust, like in Saudi Arabia. There, you run into a wall.
“These are fractions of a second of disaster, and you can handle it.
“This will allow us to get closer and do some movement.
“It could be a nightmare, totally chaotic but I see a good set of racing lines.”
The start line and paddock are the most waterlogged area, but Andretti United driver Catie Munnings – who won the Greenland event alongside teammate Timmy Hansen – felt the cars could already be separated by the first turn due to the uneven traction of the different grids. slits.
She said: “The start line is at the muddiest part of the track. It’s really swampy.
“It’s uneven all over the track so some lines have really good grip on the outside and then in the middle it’s like a swamp.
“So there will be a big separation of the cars depending on the position on the track before the first corner. “