The pride of being the first

Cupra was the first manufacturer of Extreme E. "We want to contribute to electrification and different formats", explains Xavi Serra, its boss, to AS.


"The format is absolutely so new, there is such an important challenge and so many different things that there is really a lot of desire in the whole team." That is how excited they are in Cupra just three days after Arabia premieres, two years after its presentation, Extreme E. The electric SUV competition will be different from everything and the Seat sports brand did not hesitate to bet on it "from the first minute". "We are nonconformists, we look for unexpected challenges, and being part of this change is already a very powerful message", explains Xavi Serra.

AS talks to the person in charge of Cupra Racing to find out the reason for his bet and to place it together with ABT. "It is a partner with a proven reputation in competitions such as DTM and Formula E. It was a good fit to carry out the project and we are proud to be the first manufacturer to decide to bet on the championship," says the Catalan, who assures that "" there was no possibility "of entering alone:" The new categories are characterized by having a lot of initial uncertainty and it is necessary to rely on good partners so as not to have a too large team ".

Waiting a little longer to get into Extreme E "was a possibility to see how it would consolidate, but motorsport is a very important pillar within Cupra". "We want to contribute to the development of sport towards electrification and towards formats that are different, and the values that Extreme E proposed to us were a perfect fit with those of Cupra, especially in three points: electrification, sustainability and, perhaps the most importantly, gender equality, which in Cupra we value very much, "says Serra.

He knows that "the sports part is going to be important, although not everything will be focused on that", but that does not detract one bit from his ambition: "Cupra enters here to win". "We can do the basic settings of a racing car: heights, falls, convergences, tires ... There is a more classic set up part and at the software level they have given us more freedom, there will be notable differences. In addition, the most important thing is it will be how to adapt a car to two different drivers ", Xavi points out about the work that the teams can do in the Odyssey 21, the common car for all.Level of the grid and its riders

"Incredible, the level is incredible, but far from that being a fear, it is great news that it starts with this strength and that we can measure ourselves with rivals of that level," he comments on the quality of the riders on the grid, including his own: Mattias Ekstrom ("his versatility is one of the keys, so I think he will be one of the drivers to beat") and Claudia Hurtgen ("I knew his speed, but his way of working has surprised me, he is tireless "). And finally, a prediction: "The championship will curdle due to its values and its format, visually it will be very beautiful and it will give us different action" .

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