Extreme E is taking off: In its third season, the series for purely electric off-road racing cars presents itself with fresh and action-packed regulations, a top-class field and exciting locations. The series kicks off this weekend (March 11 and 12) in the NEOM region in eastern Saudi Arabia. ABT CUPRA XE will start into its third season with Klara Andersson from Sweden, the Qatari Nasser Al-Attiyah and high expectations.
The opener will be held on the Red Sea coast, near the site of the 2022 NEOM Beach Games, which attracted over 500 athletes from 25 countries. At the Desert X Prix 2023, Extreme E also showcases visions for sustainable living in the region, focusing on renewable hydrogen solutions and biodiversity conservation in this remote desert region. Around 3.46 kilometres long, one lap of the new course will be completed twice by each driver in every session.
ABT and CUPRA will form a team for the ten races again this year and will activate the partnership extensively off the tracks. In addition to their fledgling collaboration in Formula E, both brands are founding members of the off-road series.
The race days on Saturday and Sunday will both start with qualifying at 8:30 a.m. local time (6:30 a.m. CET), followed by the two final races from 4:15 p.m. (2:15 p.m. CET). A list of all the channels broadcasting the season opener can be found here: www.extreme-e.com.
Thomas Biermaier: “Have the right team in the cockpit and in the garage”
“Even more racing action and double header events are important steps, because that’s what the fans want to see,” says Team Principal and ABT CEO Thomas Biermaier. “For teams and drivers, however, the new format means an even greater challenge in terms of workload, precision and coolness – I’m sure we have the right team in the cockpit and in the garage for this.” In sporting terms, ABT CUPRA XE is now looking to emerge from its changeable years. Biermaier: “After two years full of ups and downs, we now want to be consistently at the top. With Klara and Nasser, we have the ideal team on board. Anyone who has ever seen the two of them together at the track knows how focused they are and how much fun they have working together. I’m sure we’ll also see this spirit in good results.”
Klara Andersson: “Looking forward to working hard with Nasser and the team”
For Klara Andersson, it is her first full season as a regular driver in Extreme E. The anticipation is correspondingly great. “I’m in Saudi Arabia for the first time in my life – that alone is an adventure for me,” says the 23-year-old Swede. “I’m looking forward to a lot of hard work with Nasser and the whole team. We saw in the closing stages of last season that we can win races. That’s exactly the spirit we’re going into the new season with and we’ll give everything to make the best possible start to our year together.”
Nasser Al-Attiyah: “Happy to have Klara by my side”
Nasser Al-Attiyah comes to Saudi Arabia as the “King of the Desert” with five Dakar victories under his belt. “I have a lot of experience on this surface and feel very comfortable there,” says the 52-year-old Qatari. “I’m very happy to have Klara by my side all season, because we have already fit perfectly together when we won in Uruguay.” Al-Attiyah is by no means taking his job in Extreme E lightly: “We will have to work very hard to get off to a good start to the season. Our goal is clearly to put an exclamation mark on the very first weekend.”
New design for the CUPRA Tavascan XE
The new season sees the team’s car sporting an updated livery to match the team’s Formula E car, UrbanRebel and CUPRA e-Racer: a multi-layered and chameleon-like body colour that combines a deep purple and neon yellow. The all-electric off-road racer hints at the design language of the future Tavascan production car, the brand’s second all-electric model, which is being developed in Barcelona and will be launched in Europe and overseas in 2024.
Even more racing, even more excitement
Extreme E will present itself in 2023 with radically changed regulations: Two separate races will be held each weekend on Saturday and Sunday. This means that the third season will consist of five double-header events with a total of ten races. In addition, there will be even more racing action in qualifying instead of a single time trial. In detail: a Friday with two free practice sessions will be followed by two independent race days. The first and second qualifying sessions in the morning will each consist of two races in which five cars will compete against each other. This is where the participants for the “Grand Final” (top 5) and the “Redemption Race” (positions 6 to 10) will be determined.
GridPlay: How fans can support ABT CUPRA XE
GridPlay returns for the third season: the starting positions for the “Grand Final” are determined by fan voting. Fans can vote twice daily on the Extreme E website.The teams that do not make it to the “Grand Final” will give their votes to their preferred team. Starting positions for the “Redemption Race” will be determined by the results of the qualifying sessions, with the sixth-place team voting first.