ABT Cupra withdraws from electric off-road series Extreme E after 3 years
The finale of the third Extreme E season last weekend in Chile was the last race weekend in the off-road series for ABT Cupra for the time being, as the German team announced on Wednesday afternoon. In 2024, both brands want to concentrate on their joint involvement in the Formula E World Championship.
"We are proud to have been part of the Extreme E family for three years," says ABT CEO Thomas Biermaier. "Our thanks go to Alejandro Agag, Ali Russell, James Taylor and their whole team for the great cooperation and the support during ABT's first foray into off-road motorsport."
ABT and Cupra were founding members of Extreme E and have contested every race in the series since 2021. With Claudia Hürtgen, Jutta Kleinschmidt, Klara Andersson, Mattias Ekström, Nasser Al-Attiyah, Sebastien Loeb and Adrien Tambay, well-known drivers have competed for the team. However, the big success did not materialise: The team from Kempten failed to finish higher than 5th overall (2021) in three seasons. It did at least achieve one X Prix victory at the 2022 season finale.
"We continue to firmly believe in the Extreme E concept of combining exciting motorsport with responsibility for the environment," explains Thomas Biermaier. "In addition to trophies for victories and podium finishes, we will take home many unforgettable memories and impressions - from the glaciers in Greenland to the deserts of Saudi Arabia and the Atacama Desert in Chile."
The series remains on ABT's radar though: "Together with our current and potential partners, we are keeping a close eye on the transition from Extreme E to Extreme H - who knows what the future will bring with the hydrogen era," says Biermaier.
Switch to hydrogen a reason for withdrawal
Alejandro Agag, founder and CEO of Extreme E, thanks ABT and its title sponsor for their commitment to date: "Cupra have been great advocates for our championship and huge supporters of electric, sustainable racing. Since their business focus is on the electric car market, and we are transitioning to hydrogen-powered racing, it's a logical move for them to concentrate on their involvement with Formula E."
"Although ABT will sit out the 2024 season, (...) we are optimistic that they will return to the paddock with Extreme H," continues Agag. "The door is firmly open for manufacturers with a focus on hydrogen to collaborate and innovate with us as we transition to hydrogen-powered racing - a world-first - from 2025."
In 2024, the focus is now on ABT and Cupra's second year together in Formula E, where consistent results in the points are the goal after rare highlights with an inferior powertrain in the past season. Next year, ABT will also be competing in DTM and taking part in the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring with Lamborghini as a partner.