Reigning FIA Formula E champion Nelson Piquet Jr is set to continue with NEXTEV TCR next season despite their poor performances, according to team principal Martin Leach.
Leach also announced that the team will be handling it’s own operations and engineering from season three as they will split from the Campos outfit.
Campos ran the team since its inception in 2014, helping them to the drivers’ title in the inaugural season of the series. The new UK based team will have an engineering cell led by Gerry Hughes, and will be formed of several former Team Aguri personnel.
Leach told motorsport.com, “We will run the team for season three but we maintain a great relationship with Campos. Whether they are involved at all [in season three] it is too early to say. They were a major part of securing the victory for Nelson in season one so we have a good understanding together.”
“We have a team of about fifteen people working on the season three car. We are in discussions with a property around Oxford to form a base. Gerry Hughes is setting that up and running the engineering operation from the UK.”
“We successfully passed the crash test just before Long Beach and we will be testing soon,”
It had also been rumoured that Nelson Piquet Jr might be set to leave the team following the poor pace and reliability from the NEXTEV car this season. The Brazilian has been unable to put up any sort of defence of his title, with only one points finish to his name and two retirements in the last two races.
But despite interest from the new Jaguar team, Leach insisted that Piquet is set to stay, and offered some encouragement for his team-mate Oliver Turvey, in stating that the team is under no pressure to run a Chinese driver. He commented, “We’ve got a multi-year deal with Nelson and we have discussed things and I think everyone in the team is very happy and motivated going forward.”
“It would be nice (to run a Chinese driver) but to be honest we are very happy with the drivers that we have got. There is no pressure to have a Chinese driver. We are a global company and we have 37 different nationalities working for us in the company, so we just want the best global talent available to us.”