Nasser al-Attiyah has been confirmed as Jutta Kleinschmidt’s team-mate at Abt Cupra for the upcoming Extreme E season.
Al-Attiyah is one of the most successful drivers to have competed in the Dakar Rally in recent years, having won the event for a fourth time in January this year.
He replaces Mattias Ekstroem – who has driven with with Abt for 22 years. Ekstoem and Kleinschmidt finished fifth in the inaugural Extreme E season, with a best finish of second in Sardinia.
Al-Attiyah and Kleinschmidt both hope to improve on that second placed finish in 2022.
“I’m already a bit excited and believe that this will be a great experience for me,” he said. “Extreme E is an exciting series with the ambition to contribute to a better future.
“I am proud to be a part of the team now. Expectations are high: with the experience of Abt Cupra XE and Jutta by my side, we are determined to race for victories. I can’t wait to sit in the car and have fun.”
Kleinschmidt echoed her teammates sentiments, adding, “Last year we created a solid basis and fought for front positions. This year the challenge is to be even more consistent in taking wins and trophies, and we are ready for that.
“Being able to share my passion for off-road racing with such a great team and now a Dakar star like Nasser is fantastic motivation. I just want to start the season.”
Hans-Juergen Abt, the managing partner of Abt Sportsline, was sad to say goodbye Mattias Ekstroem, but was looking forward to the new season.
“Of course we are a bit sad to let Mattias go,” he said. “He did a great job in our team during the first season on and off the track and has been part of our family for 20 years – that won’t change, but of course we respect his priorities.
“With Jutta and Nasser we now have a new team at the start that is extremely strong again. Our goals remain the same: we want to fight for race wins and the title.”
Image courtesy of Extreme E