Dramatic end to an exciting finale: After Jutta Kleinschmidt and Nasser Al-Attiyah had taken second place in the Extreme E event in Sardinia, the German-Qatari duo was disqualified afterwards. The reason for this: The safety belt was not fully fastened when Kleinschmidt returned to the track in the lead after the driver change. Thus, the strong performance of the ABT CUPRA XE once again went unrewarded. Al-Attiyah in particular was one of the most impressive drivers in Sardinia: In the final he completed the fastest starting lap of the entire week in the CUPRA Tavascan XE.
“My lap in the final was almost perfect and was really fun against guys like Sébastien (Loeb), Johan (Kristoffersson) and Carlos (Sainz),” said Al-Attiyah. Once again, ABT CUPRA XE had clearly won the GridPlay vote of the fans and in return was allowed to choose the best starting position for the final. “I took the lead, extended the gap and handed the car over in first place – unfortunately then the mistake happened that cost us the podium.” Nevertheless, the four-time Dakar winner also takes positives from Italy: “We know since today at the latest that we can win races in Extreme E if we have a zero-mistake day. The car was perfectly prepared and great to drive all week. All this gives us extra confidence for the rest of the season.”
Sardinia was the first time that two races in the all-electric SUV series were held in the space of a week. In the first edition on Wednesday and Thursday, which set new records in the live broadcast on German television, Kleinschmidt and Al-Attiyah had to admit defeat after a hard-fought qualifying in the so-called Crazy Race and thus did not reach the final.
After the season opener in Saudi Arabia and the two events in Sardinia, Extreme E returns to the race track in September: On September 24 and 25, the Copper X Prix will be held in a mine site in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile. Then, on November 26 and 27, the finale of the second season is scheduled in Punta del Este (Uruguay).