LONDON, England – Extreme E in the UK has announced that ABT Sportsline, a world market leader for tuned VW Group automobiles and title-winning Formula E outfit, will compete in the radical electric SUV off-road racing series.
The German tuning company has enjoyed multiple championship successes across disciplines at the very highest level of motorsport through seven decades. It sealed five Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) titles and it was the team behind Lucas di Grassi’s ABB FIA Formula E championship triumph in 2016-17 – having operated a top-three squad each season since entering the series in its inaugural 2014-15 season.
Alejandro Agag, founder and CEO of Formula E (operating partner of Extreme E ) told The Corner in a media release:- said: “ABT Sportsline was one of the first outfits to commit to what was then a new series and concept in Formula E some six years ago earlier and I’m delighted to welcome them as one of the first teams to join Extreme E.
“The team has seen great success in Formula E, DTM and other top-tier motor-racing championships. The unique challenge offered up by Extreme E with its formidable environments, racing format and the need for real engineering ingenuity undoubtedly acts as a major draw for those with competition at their core.
”I can’t wait to see how ABT Sportsline respond to that challenge.”
ABT Sportsline, as with all other entrants, will take delivery of one of 12 Extreme E E-SUVs in March 2020. From then it will be able to test and develop its own powertrain and select areas of bodywork – engine cover, front and rear bumpers, side skirt, and lights – in a bid to replicate everyday car models and gain a competitive advantage.
‘WE LOVE COMPETITION’
As one of the first teams to commit to Formula E back in 2013, and having competed at the sharp end of the grid since Season 1, the company is eager to replicate those successes – with Extreme E set to form the ‘newest chapter’ of its 70-year motor racing history.
Hans-Jürgen Abt, CEO of ABT Sportsline, said: “Everyone at ABT Sportsline loves competition, innovation, electric mobility and breaking new ground in motorsport and elsewhere. That’s why we were one of the first teams to join Formula E back in 2013 and why we chose to become a member of the Extreme E family at this early stage.
“We believe in the concept – both in terms of its ideas for racing and its marketing potential off the track.”
FRIENDS FOR YEARS
ABT’s team will race across Extreme E’s five formidable environments, already damaged by climate change or severely affected by human interference, with group testing to take place mid-way through next year before the teams board Extreme E’s unique floating paddock – RMS St. Helena, which used to sail out of Cape Town – ahead of the opening race in January 2021.
Thomas Biermaier, ABT Sportsline’s sport director, said: “The Extreme E team is made up of people we trust 100% and who have become friends over the years. Our company has been involved in all motorsport categories for 70 years. Now we look forward to opening the newest chapter with Extreme E.“
The ODYSSEY 21, Extreme E’s ground-breaking new E-SUV, was unveiled at the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed last weekend (5 July) to guests, major motor manufacturers, prospective entrants, the world’s media and an enthralled public.
Following the announcement, head of ABT sport marketing Harry Unflath will begin liaising with potential partners to support the company’s Extreme E project.