ABT CUPRA XE races in the Atacama Desert
Extreme E is coming to South America: on September 24 and 25 the series for purely electric off-road SUVs will hold its fourth round of the season in Chile. The location could hardly be more extreme: The venue for the Copper X Prix is a mine in the middle of the legendary Atacama Desert in the west of the country – one of the driest places on the planet. ABT CUPRA XE with Jutta Kleinschmidt and Nasser Al-Attiyah wants to join the other teams in drawing attention to the challenges of the region and at the same time fight for the first trophy of the current season.
Even though the German-Qatari duo was quick in the first three events and put one or two exclamation marks on the results: Countable successes like a trophy are yet to come. Again and again, minor setbacks prevented a finish on the podium. “Of course, we can’t be satisfied with the season so far in terms of results. Our ambition is to be racing for the podium at every race,” clarifies ABT CEO Thomas Biermaier. “On the positive side, the drivers, team and car clearly have what it takes to win races. So it’s up to all of us to call on that potential on two flawless days and turn it into a good result.”
The Copper X Prix is the debut of Extreme E in South America. The venue is a mine site just under 100 kilometres from the nearest town of Calama, on which the approximately 3.4-kilometre circuit is designed. Just one millimetre of precipitation per year is common in the inhospitable Atacama Desert. Accordingly, water waste and pollution as well as the loss of biodiversity due to mining are two of the issues that drivers and teams want to draw attention to away from the sporting action. On the track, Kleinschmidt and Al-Attiyah will be competing for their first trophy in their CUPRA Tavascan XE in the fourth of five rounds of the season.
In Extreme E, ten teams – including those of former Formula 1 world champions Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg – are competing for the championship. One woman and one man each take turns at the wheel. After the season opener in Saudi Arabia in February, the two races in July on Sardinia and the premiere in Chile, the final race will be held on the coast of Uruguay in November.