Top-three finish keeps championship hopes alive for British XE squad
Veloce Racing claimed third in Round 7 at the Island X Prix (16 September) in Sardinia, after the team put forward strong performances throughout the day to keep the championship title within reach.
Kevin Hansen and Molly Taylor were in the mix from the start of Qualifying, as the #5 ODYSSEY 21 stormed into second place in Heat 2 of Qualifying 1, ahead of championship rivals Rosberg X Racing thanks to a quick reaction from Taylor amid Slow Zone confusion.
Kevin Hansen showed race winning potential early in the bout, closing in on X44 Vida Carbon Racing and RXR up front to keep Veloce Racing in a three-way battle before a DNF for Lewis Hamilton's outfit.
Needing a good finish in the second Qualifying session to enter the Grand Final, both Taylor and Hansen produced good performances to take second again in their Heat.
Sitting third in the championship standings, the duo needed to deliver once again in the Grand Final. Fans were treated to an amazing overtake by Hansen, as the Swede hit the brakes late to cut inside Timo Scheider through a left-hander for second place.
Once the teams were in the Switch Zone, all eyes were on Veloce Racing as the team identified that the wipers were broken. The team dropped back behind Carl Cox Motorsport as the cars left the Switch Zone and Taylor would have to battle visibility issues throughout her two laps.
The challenge seemed insurmountable, as Taylor veered off course with zero visibility, but the Australian stuck it out to the end to cross the line in third. Despite missing a Way Point, Taylor was ahead of RXR enough to keep her spot and her determination secured a fourth podium of the season.
It was a fitting end to a well executed day, as the squad keeps the title fight alive from third in the championship standings. Veloce Racing sit just 8 points behind RXR, with ACCIONA | SAINZ XE Team at the top of the standings with 136 points, ahead of the second day of racing action in Sardinia tomorrow.
Daniel Bailey, CEO, Veloce Racing, said: “To finish on the podium for Round 7 is a strong start to our weekend in Sardinia. We had the pace in our last visit here in July but were unable to truly show it, so to finish third is a great comeback for the whole team.
“Kevin and Molly showed true grit in the Grand Final to secure that third place, a result which keeps us well and truly in the championship fight. The speed is definitely there, and so we are all eager to get back out on course to achieve another positive result tomorrow.”
Molly Taylor, Veloce Racing driver, said: "Kevin did a great job, and handed over to me in second. His overtaking move to take P2 was really impressive, but the bad news was that the windscreen wipers were not working. A bit of an issue with the mixture of lots of water and sand. Visibility was non-existent and I was literally directed to the finish line by the team's instructions. All in all a podium was an incredible result and a great team effort."
Kevin Hansen, Veloce Racing driver, said: "P3 is a great result. This one was a real team effort. We worked really hard on everything from the last race to improve our general team operations and our race craft. The podium was well deserved, but I think we deserved more than third place.
"I did a really nice overtake on Timo [Scheider] but the wipers started to fail on the first lap and completely failed on the second. Molly did an incredible job to finish the race, especially when there was so much else happening, and I'm proud of the team for helping her through."