ABT CUPRA wins small Extreme E final in Sardinia

A win in the small final on Sunday and a narrowly missed podium finish the day before: In terms of points, ABT CUPRA had its best weekend so far at the Extreme E event in Sardinia. And yet Klara Andersson and Sébastien Loeb, who stood in for regular driver Nasser Al-Attiyah in Italy, are traveling home disappointed: throughout the weekend, the duo were among the fastest on the almost three-kilometer circuit, but were robbed of the “big points” by bad luck and punctures through no fault of their own.

"Having Seb in our team this weekend was a great honor and a lot of fun for the whole team. With his performance, his coolness and his outstanding starts, he proved that he is one of the greatest in our sport,” said ABT CEO and Team Principal Thomas Biermaier. “Klara and Seb would clearly have deserved trophies with their pure performance but had to accept setbacks again and again. All the stronger that they always fought on and at least found a conciliatory end of the weekend with victory in the small final on Sunday.”

The rules of the off-road series for purely electric SUVs are unforgiving: the starting position for the first qualifying session on both race days, which is one of the deciding factors, is determined by lot – with a bit of bad luck, the team starts on an unfavorable line and then runs behind this disadvantage for the entire day. This is exactly what happened to ABT CUPRA in Sardinia, as they had to start the races from the outermost positions on both Saturday and Sunday.

Thanks to their class, Andersson and Loeb did damage limitation: on Saturday they fought their way into the Grand Final, where an early puncture buried all hopes of a podium finish. On Sunday, after another puncture in the second qualifying session, only the small final remained, which the Swedish-French duo then clearly won. “This was a weekend with many ups and downs,” says Klara Andersson. “The pace was there all weekend, the car felt great and the team did a perfect job – at least we could show what we’re capable of on Sunday afternoon.”

Reigning Extreme E champion Loeb received a warm welcome in the paddock on his comeback. “I felt very comfortable at ABT CUPRA, everyone in the team works absolutely professionally and with full passion,” says the nine-time World Rally Champion. “We gave everything to always make the best out of difficult starting situations. The performance for victory was there, but unfortunately we were rarely able to show what we are really capable of. Nevertheless, the days with the team and Klara have been great fun.”