Mattias Ekström, a champion in both Rallycross and the DTM Series, is relishing the opportunity to compete in the inaugural Extreme E Championship in 2021, with the series getting underway with the Desert X Prix in Saudi Arabia this weekend.
Ekström and Claudia Hürtgen are representing the ABT CUPRA XE Team this weekend in the largest continuous sand desert in the Al Ula region of Saudi Arabia, and the Swedish racer is excited for the challenge in the all-electric e-CUPRA ABT XE1.
“Only a few days left before the very first Extreme E race start, and Claudia and I cannot wait to be on the starting grid,” said Ekström. “We’re very excited to be part of this competition with a very innovative format: 100% electric, racing the most astonishing locations in the world and driven by gender-balanced teams.
“If you consider all the elements and you add the car’s heavy weight, its low-grip tyres and a good amount of power, the whole combination will be very interesting, and we’re ready for it!”
The Desert X Prix is the first of five scheduled Extreme E events in 2021, with jungle, glacier, ocean and arctic events all planned between now and December.
CUPRA have been a part of Extreme E since its inception and after joining forces with ABT Sportsline has given them the platform to compete in this weekend’s Desert X Prix in Saudi Arabia, much to the delight of Wayne Griffiths, the President of CUPRA and SEAT.
“CUPRA is an unconventional challenger brand that wants to contribute to reinventing the future of racing with progressive experiences while bringing a message of electromobility, sustainability and gender balance around the world,” said Griffiths.
“Extreme E is the best platform to spread this impulse because it is the first sport to ever be built out of a social purpose. It gives us an opportunity to think how we can make a difference but also the chance to look more closely at electric propulsion and how we can transfer it more smoothly into the real world.”