ABT CUPRA experienced a turbulent finale to the third Extreme E season with a mixture of drama, small successes and a premiere. Although the team was left without a trophy at the weekend in the Chilean Atacama Desert, its new driver pairing delivered a number of thrilling duels on the track despite a few setbacks. Alongside regular driver Klara Andersson, CUPRA ambassador and ETCR champion Adrien Tambay made his off-road debut in the championship.
« My heartfelt thanks go to the entire team, which has mastered all challenges throughout the season under the most difficult conditions – this includes not only the drivers, but above all the mechanics and engineers, » says ABT CEO and Team Principal Thomas Biermaier. With Dakar legend Nasser Al-Attiyah, record rally world champion Sébastien Loeb and now Adrien Tambay, the Swede Klara Andersson competed with three different teammates. She finished on the podium twice with Loeb, taking second and third place at the event in Sardinia.
« This weekend was another good example of how unpredictable and brutal this series can be, which is exactly what makes it so attractive, » says Biermaier. On Saturday, after setting strong times in the first qualifying session, Klara Andersson was hit by a competitor in the next race and rolled several times. The team made a huge effort to rebuild the #125 overnight. On Sunday, however, the team could not do better than eighth place in qualifying and second position in the small final, the so-called Redemption Race. Understandably, the experience advantage of the male competitors was too great compared to rookie Adrien Tambay, who bravely held his own with full commitment and plenty of data and video analysis.
« Thanks to CUPRA and ABT for allowing me to have this really extreme experience this weekend, » says Adrien Tambay. « My goal: I didn’t want to make any mistakes, get used to the car as quickly as possible and of course be quick – I think I managed that quite well. »
« Like the whole season, this weekend was a rollercoaster ride. After the accident yesterday, the success in the small final was at least a little reward, » says Klara Andersson. « Thanks to the whole team – not just for their commitment here in Chile, but throughout the season. I feel incredibly well in this family and have experienced some of the best moments in my motorsport life together with these people. »