Extreme E driver Claudia Hurtgen rolls her car FIVE times during qualifying in Saudi Arabia

Extreme E driver Claudia Hurtgen has walked away largely unscathed after a dramatic crash saw her car roll over five times during the opening session of qualifying in the competition’s inaugural race.

The German, who is competing for the Abt Cupra XE team alongside Swede Mattias Ekstrom, had just begun an her qualifying lap in the city of AlUla, Saudi Arabia, when her car skidded sideways in the sand before flipping up in the air. 

Despite the front suspension being broken and the bodywork suffering significant damage, the 49-year-old walked away with nothing more than a bitten tongue as the session was red-flagged before restarting shortly afterwards. 

Claudia Hurtgen suffered a heart-stopping crash during qualifying of Extreme E's opening race

Claudia Hurtgen suffered a heart-stopping crash during qualifying of Extreme E's opening race

Claudia Hurtgen suffered a heart-stopping crash during qualifying of Extreme E’s opening race

The German's car skidded sideways in the sand before rolling over five times and stopping

The German's car skidded sideways in the sand before rolling over five times and stopping

The German’s car skidded sideways in the sand before rolling over five times and stopping

Fortunately, Hurtgen only suffered a bitten tongue as the car protected her from the impact

Fortunately, Hurtgen only suffered a bitten tongue as the car protected her from the impact

Fortunately, Hurtgen only suffered a bitten tongue as the car protected her from the impact

Extreme E was an idea devised by Alejandro Agag and former driver Gil de Ferran to raise awareness of climate change around the world. 

After AlUla, the series moves on to Senegal, Greenland and Brazil, before the final race of 2021 takes place in Argentina in December. 

The series also promotes gender equality, with one male and one female driver competing for each of the nine teams. 

Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton both run their own teams in Extreme E's inaugural season

Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton both run their own teams in Extreme E's inaugural season

Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton both run their own teams in Extreme E’s inaugural season

Jenson Button will be driving for his JBXE team alongside Swede Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky

Jenson Button will be driving for his JBXE team alongside Swede Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky

Jenson Button will be driving for his JBXE team alongside Swede Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky

Williams development driver Jamie Chadwick is one of the other standout names in the series

Williams development driver Jamie Chadwick is one of the other standout names in the series

Williams development driver Jamie Chadwick is one of the other standout names in the series

Each driver enjoys equal driving responsibilities, with a driver swap taking place in the middle of each race. 

There are some big-name backers of the new venture, with seven-time Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton, former Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg and Hamilton former McLaren partner Jenson Button the founding members of Team X44, Rosberg X Racing and JBXE respectively. 

Button is competing for his team, with other notable competitors including the most successful driver in World Rally Championship history, Sebastien Loeb, and 2019 W Series champion and Williams F1 development driver Jamie Chadwick. 

Link hienalouca.com

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