German driver Claudia Huertgen is the latest racer to commit to the inaugural season of Extreme E, the new electric off-road racing series. She joins Mattias Ekstrom to complete the ABT CUPRA XE driver pairing.
With successes in various touring car and sports car championships, several endurance races and other events under her belt, Huertgen ranks among Europe’s most successful female racing drivers. In 2005 she won the VLN Endurance Championship, making her the first female to do so since 1998.
Along with her Swedish teammate, Huertgen has already completed her first Extreme E shake down, familiarizing herself with the 400-kW all-electric SUV — which the team has named e-CUPRA ABT XE1 — ahead of next week’s pre-season test with all other teams in Spain, before the car will be loaded onto the championship’s floating headquarters, the St. Helena, at the beginning of January.
“Even after 25 years in motorsport Extreme E is an all-new and exciting challenge for me that I’m very much looking forward to,” said Huertgen. “What makes this competition special among other things is the fact that this is an all-new adventure for all entrants that we’re jointly embarking on.”
Ekstrom, two-time DTM champion and a World Rallycross champion, enthusiastically endorsed his team’s choice of co-driver.
“Claudia and I have occasionally crossed paths with in recent years — we know each other and get along well,” he noted. “It didn’t take long for her to impress the entire team and me as well. Claudia is an extremely quick learner and immediately adjusts to all requirements. Given that she’s joining us with just a little experience in off-road racing, that’s even more impressive.”