Jutta Kleinschmidt has been announced as the second advisor and Championship driver for the inaugural Extreme E Championship season, with the former Dakar Rally winner joining Timo Scheider in the role.
Should one of the female drivers be unavailable for any reason, Kleinschmidt will be available to step in, with Scheider doing the same if one of the male drivers are unable to compete. This back-up plan has been put in place as teams will not have back-up drivers of their own on site.
Kleinschmidt will also act as an advisor for the championship, with the 2001 Dakar Rally winner thrilled to be supporting the all-electric Rallycross series.
“Simply put, it’s absolutely amazing to be part of the Extreme E family as an adviser and ‘Championship Driver. It’s an incredibly exciting role that will require all of my experience,” said Kleinschmidt.
“I’m also going to really enjoy supporting the sporting team on a range of things. Environmentally friendly new technologies are the future of motorsport so I can’t wait to join this innovative and revolutionary new Electric Off-Road series, which also provides an important equal gender racing format to showcase the best in female driver talent.
“It is a great opportunity for women to team up with men, compete together on the same material. Extreme E combines future motorsport technology with gender equality. Nothing comparable exists in motorsport up to now.”
James Taylor, the Chief Championship Officer at Extreme E, has welcomed the appointments of both Scheider and Kleinschmidt, with the latter the ‘perfect person’ to take on the advisor and Championship driver roles.
“We’re all absolutely thrilled to have Jutta [Kleinschmidt] and Timo [Scheider] on-board,” said Taylor. “We have a huge amount of respect for both of them and what they have achieved in motorsport.
“Jutta really needs no introduction as the only female driver to ever win the Dakar Rally – she is a legend in off-road racing and is a passionate supporter of the move to new and innovative technologies, which makes her the perfect person to take on this role.”
The ‘Joker Driver’ role is pretty cool” – Timo Scheider
As well as Kleinschmidt, former DTM Series champion Timo Scheider will be an official championship driver, as well as a role of race course director. The German, a two-time DTM champion in 2008 and 2009, is delighted to be a part of the inaugural Extreme E season in 2021.
“It’s a pretty new experience for me and I was super excited about the Extreme E team and the challenge to design a course in the middle of nowhere,” said Scheider. “I really enjoyed the first recce in Saudi Arabia and designing a course in the desert, there are so many things to consider, but the course is going to provide incredible racing. I’m really looking forward to getting behind the wheel of the ODYSSEY 21 and be the first to drive the official Extreme E course in just a few weeks’ time, it’ll be a moment in history.
“The ‘Joker Driver’ role is pretty cool too and I’m delighted to be available for all the teams and fulfil a driver role should it be required.
“Extreme E marks a new era of motorsport and its environmental ethos is something very special. I think the idea to create a motorsport series to raise awareness of the environment and the impact we as humans are having is an important one. I think the series is going to change the face of motorsport and that’s why I’m really looking forward to being on this journey.”