Klara Andersson will retain her seat in the Abt Cupra Extreme E team for the season finale in Uruguay later this month as Jutta Kleinschmidt continues to recover from a back injury.
Kleinschmidt, the team’s nominated female driver alongside fellow Dakar rally winner Nasser Al-Attiyah, was driving in the second practice session for the Copper X Prix in Chile when she suffered a hard landing from a jump.
While she was able to complete her lap — which began with a pace-setting first sector — she was taken to a local hospital following the incident. Andersson, on-site as one of the series’ designated reserve drivers, subsequently stepped in and helped the team to a breakthrough first podium of the season.
“We are in constant touch with Jutta and sincerely wish her a continued good recovery,” said Thomas Biermaier, ABT CEO. “At the same time, we are pleased that we managed to have Klara [Andersson] in the team for the season finale after her strong debut in Chile.
“After the podium finish, our goal is clear: we want to end our second season in Extreme E, in which there have been some ups and downs, on a high.”
Andersson, who also became the first female driver to finish on the podium in a World Rallycross event the week prior to her Extreme E outing, said she was looking forward to having more preparation time ahead of the Energy X Prix in Punta del Este following her eleventh hour call-up last time.
“It was great how the entire team pulled together and gave me such a warm welcome. The fact that we were on the podium 48 hours later was a great finish for everyone in the team and for me, of course,” she said. “The organisers continue to develop all areas: the events are becoming more and more professional, and the technology of the cars has also improved significantly within one season.
“I’ve never been to Uruguay before, so even the whole journey is an adventure. We now can sort ourselves out in advance, clarify open questions and prepare in a structured way. Onsite, I’ve got the course walk to get to know the track and two Free Practice sessions to get used to everything before Qualifying – a normal race weekend, in other words.”
“I’m delighted that ABT and Cupra have put their trust in me and that we will be competing in the final [event] together. It’s a great challenge and I’m already a bit excited. We’re pushing together for a good end to the team’s season. We saw in Chile that we have the pace for this. We’ll build on that.”
Andersson’s Extreme E debut came in remarkably similar fashion to Kleinschmidt’s own at the Ocean X Prix in Senegal in 2021.
Also a series reserve at the time, Kleinschmidt was shuffled into the Abt Cupra team after the first day of running when Claudia Hürtgen was taken ill. Like Andersson, Kleinschmidt’s arrival brought improved forties for the team, which has retained her services since.