Extreme E: Jutta Kleinschmidt to race for ABT CUPRA XE

London: In the latest motorsports news, Extreme E today confirmed that Jutta Kleinschmidt will compete for ABT CUPRA XE in the series. The first, and so far the only woman to win the iconic Dakar Rally, will join the cockpit with Mattias Ekström with immediate effect and for the last three race events of the season in the series. “I’m really looking forward to this new challenge, the preparation with the ABT team and of course to work with Mattias,” says the German.

Kleinschmidt, who won the Dakar Rally in 2001, takes over the e-CUPRA ABT XE1 from Claudia Hürtgen. “Top performance in off-road events like Extreme E requires intensive preparation, including testing and rally participation. This high time commitment is unfortunately not compatible at the moment with my professional work at BMW, which I live for with the same passion,” says Hürtgen.

“But, a change also offers new opportunities for each of us, so I’m happy for the team that the constellation from Senegal will remain until the end of the season. I’m very grateful for the experiences that I’ve had within the Extreme E family and wish ABT, CUPRA and Jutta only the very best for the next races.”

Extreme E is a familiar field for Jutta Kleinschmidt as she served as Championship Driver and Advisor. She attended the first two races and provided her support to the organisers with her in-depth knowledge from 17 Dakar outings.

Jutta stepped in at short notice for Hürtgen, in Senegal, who was absent due to illness, and impressed with a formidable performance. “At first, I followed the series from the organisers’ point of view, then I got a spontaneous drive and now, together with Mattias, I’m actually a permanent member of the family of drivers. I’m very happy for the chance to compete at the highest level again,” says Kleinschmidt.

While she will be making her maiden appearance for the team at PR appointments for partner CUPRA next week, the  focus will be totally on the race in Greenland, which will take place during the last weekend in August. “Accidents in Saudi Arabia, a spontaneous driver change in Senegal – it’s time for us to now have a smooth weekend,” says Mattias Ekström. “We will thoroughly review the season so far, prepare more intensively than ever and try to make a fresh start in Greenland.” After his debut in a buggy in 2021, the Swede will contest the 2022 Dakar Rally for Audi. “Jutta is the ‘Queen of Dakar’ and I’m still almost a rookie. Having her in the team is also something special for me. I’m looking forward to the collaboration and her cumulative experience, which will serve us well in Extreme E.”

The Arctic X Prix in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland will take place on August 28 and 29.


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