Abt has announced Mattias Ekström as its first driver for the upcoming inaugural Extreme E season, reuniting a driver and outfit that have enjoyed considerable success in the past.
Ekström rejoins an Abt team that has partnered with Seat performance offshoot Cupra for Extreme E, having already aligned with sister brand Audi for Formula E, where it was also one of the founding teams.
“It feels a bit like coming home,” said Ekström. “Twenty years ago, the DTM was a great challenge which we mastered together. Now, it is high time for a new adventure – Extreme E.
“I think the concept is ingenious, and I am sure that we have a strong team together with Cupra and ABT.”
Ekström spent more than 17 years with the team in the DTM, winning 25 races and two championships with the organization.
He retired from the touring car category at the beginning of the 2018 season after a brace of cameo appearances at the start of that year. He also saw out that season in World Rallycross before Audi ended its factory involvement, having already become World RX champion in 2016 while competing across both championships.
He has since continued to race sporadically in rallycross, competing in Nitro Rallycross at the Nitro World Games in 2018, plus one round of the 2019 World RX season, and the opening four rounds of this season.
The Swede’s move to Extreme E follows the announcement of his involvement with Cupra’s ETCR electric touring car program. He is set to compete for the Spanish brand in the category’s first season alongside Seat factory driver Jordi Gené.
Ekström is the third driver to be announced for the Extreme E roster following Chip Ganassi Racing’s signing of off-road stars Sara Price and Kyle LeDuc. The identity of Ekström’s female teammate will be announced at a later date.