ABT CUPRA XE makes it to the semi-finals at the Arctic X Prix

Actually ABT CUPRA XE wanted to celebrate the birthday of its driver Jutta Kleinschmidt on Sunday with champagne on the podium. However, after a brilliant performance in qualifying, where Jutta Kleinschmidt and Mattias Ekström finished second overall, the team was stopped in the semi-final on Sunday morning. The reason was a technical issue on the drive shaft of the all-electric single-spec car.

“Unfortunately, we experienced another unfortunate semi-final today because the drive shaft gave up after just a few seconds. So we fought the competition with blunt weapons and had no chance for a spot in the final,” says Mattias Ekström. Together with his teammate, he had caused a stir on Saturday with a strong performance in qualifying: after both runs, the Swedish-German duo finished second.

“The race day was then absolutely not what we had hoped for. What remains are the impressions from our visit to Greenland and of course lots of data. We will analyse everything very carefully and then attack again in Sardinia at the end of October,” says Ekström. Just six seconds after the start of the second semi-final against the teams of Nico Rosberg and Michael Andretti, the race car with Jutta Kleinschmidt at the wheel suffered a defect on the rear right drive shaft and was subsequently barely drivable. Although the 2001 Dakar winner and also Mattias Ekström fought bravely over the eight-kilometre circuit, a spot in the final remained out of reach.

“It’s my birthday today, but unfortunately we all didn’t get the present we had hoped for,” said Jutta Kleinschmidt. “The track here in Greenland was extremely demanding for the cars, we saw that in many incidents over the past few days. It hit us in the semi-final after just a few metres, it was simply out of our hands. On the positive side, we’ve seen that we’re right on track when everything runs smoothly. We want to and will prove that in Sardinia.”

The next Extreme E event is on the calendar on October 23 and 24: The nine teams will then fight for the next victory at the Island X Prix in Sardinia (Italy).