Extreme E has announced the second of its experienced off-road racers who will be supporting the series in advisory roles and be on site as a driver should any of the teams require them during the inaugural season.
Jutta Kleinschmidt joins the championship in an official advisor capacity, a role in which her wealth of experience in more than 30 years in cross-country motorsport as successful driver and advisor will be fully utilized. Her appointment follows the announcement of Timo Scheider as a “joker driver” and Extreme E’s course advisor.
Due to the nature of the locations Extreme E is visiting in 2021, teams won’t have a back-up driver on site at the events. Therefore, Kleinschmidt will be on hand as the female back-up should any of the teams require her to get behind the wheel during the season.
The German boasts an impressive pedigree in off-road racing. Her first appearance at the world-renowned Dakar Rally was in the bike category in 1988 but by 1994 she had switched to four wheels and the car category. Three years later she became the first woman to record a stage win and 1999 yielded a third place overall.
In 2001, she wrote her name into the history books as the first female Dakar Rally winner. A further two podiums in 2002 and 2005 cemented her place as the most successful female driver in the category to date.
James Taylor, Chief Championship Officer at Extreme E, said: “We’re all absolutely thrilled to have Jutta and Timo on-board. We have a huge amount of respect for both of them and what they have achieved in motorsport.
“Jutta really needs no introduction as the only female driver to ever win the Dakar Rally — she is a legend in off-road racing and is a passionate supporter of the move to new and innovative technologies, which makes her the perfect person to take on this role.”
Kleinschmidt said: “Simply put, it’s absolutely amazing to be part of the Extreme E family as an adviser and ‘championship driver.’ It’s an incredibly exciting role that will require all of my experience.
“I’m also going to really enjoy supporting the sporting team on a range of things. Environmentally friendly new technologies are the future of motorsport so I can’t wait to join this innovative and revolutionary new Electric Off-Road series, which also provides an important equal gender racing format to showcase the best in female driver talent.
“It is a great opportunity for women to team up with men, compete together on the same material. Extreme E combines future motorsport technology with gender equality. Nothing comparable exists in motorsport up to now.”
Extreme E’s inaugural X Prix takes from place from April 3-4 in AlUla, Saudi Arabia.