ABT CUPRA XE collected their maiden Extreme E victory in style at the Uruguay Natural Energy X Prix, with Klara Andersson and Nasser Al-Attiyah claiming top spot at the Season 2 finale. It was the perfect end to a campaign of ups and downs.
The pairing of Andersson and Al-Attiyah have proven to be a success from the outset – after taking ABT CUPRA’s XE first Season 2 podium at the previous round in Chile. Andersson was retained for the finale in Punta del Este as Jutta Kleinschmidt continued her recovery following an accident at the Antofagasta Minerals Copper X Prix in September.
The Swedish-Qatari pair were amongst the frontrunners throughout in Uruguay. What’s more, despite her minimal experience with the team, Andersson’s times in each session were among the fastest among the female drivers.
Nasser Al-Attiyah, ABT CUPRA XE, said: “I’m just happy that we finally have our first win under our belt. We’ve been fast all season, but it has never all come together. Klara did a fantastic job, was fast, aggressive at the right moments and always stayed cool.”
However, the road to victory in Punta del Este was not without challenges. This began on Saturday; while Andersson and Al-Attiyah finished both qualifying sessions in first place, post-session time penalties dropped them back to fifth place in overall qualifying classification.
Nevertheless, ABT CUPRA XE remained in a strong position to reach the Final as they were to take on Veloce Racing and No.99 GMC HUMMER EV Chip Ganassi Racing in Semi-Final 1.
In a closely-fought race, ABT CUPRA XE were classified third on course. However, multiple penalties accrued by No.99 GMC HUMMER EV Chip Ganassi Racing throughout their run ensured that so long as Andersson and Al-Attiyah kept out of trouble they would compete in their third Final in succession. That they did, thus entering the Uruguay Natural Energy X Prix Final as one of the favourites for victory.
As the lights went out in the Final, Al-Attiyah stormed to the front and into the lead of a race that neither he nor Andersson would surrender. The pair comfortably managed a gap over nearest challengers NEOM McLaren Extreme E to take ABT CUPRA XE’s first win in the series.
Klara Andersson, ABT CUPRA XE, said: “Today is a day full of emotions for me. I’ve been following Extreme E for a long time and was hoping for my chance – now I’ve got it in this great team, and I’ve given everything to make the most of it. The success belongs to the entire team, who welcomed me so warmly and supported me together with Nasser.”
Thomas Biermaier, ABT CEO, added: “Congratulations to Klara, Nasser and the entire team in Uruguay. This triumph was overdue and highly deserved. Our whole company watched the race at home and cheered along. This was the perfect conclusion to our second Extreme E season. It’s nice to see how the series is always evolving, breaking new ground and attracting more and more attention.”