Formula EGT World Challenge

Maro Engel to replace Conway at Venturi for 2016/17 season

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Maro Engel - Photo Credit: CGPM
Maro Engel - Photo Credit: CGPM

German Maro Engel will race alongside Stephane Sarrazin at Venturi for the 2016/17 Formula E season.

The GT driver penned the deal after testing for Venturi in 2015, and having undertaken some of the development of their season three challenger this Summer.

The move will mean that Engel will return to single-seater racing for the first time since 2007 when he competed in British Formula 3 with Carlin.

Following Formula 3 Engel started a long-term association with Mercedes, driving for them in DTM before making the move across to GT racing.

He won the first ever FIA GT World Cup last year in Macau, and also won the Nurburgring 24 hours this year.

Speaking after his move was announced, Engel told that he was looking forward to returning to single-seater racing.

“I have really enjoyed the testing and then one thing led to another, and I am happy to become a Venturi driver today and to partner Stephane in the team.”

“Formula E is something I have followed very closely since the first ever race and I always wanted to be a part of it.”

“The championship really appeals to me: great venues, great competition and it just seems a fantastic place to be for a driver.”

“I have good memories from my single-seater career and the great thing is all of the races in Formula E are on street tracks which I love. It is pure racing to me and the challenge is very high.”

“I have always really enjoyed it and I think that shows in the success I have had at Macau.”

Despite his links to Mercedes, Engel also stressed that the deal was not part of a future tie-up between the German car maker and Venturi, although the Monegasque team are rumoured to be looking to partner with a major manufacturer.

He commented, “It is separate to my programme with AMG. It is important for me thank Mercedes and AMG for letting me have the opportunity to join Venturi and add it to my programme with them. I am very grateful.”

The move means that Mike Conway will end his association with the team. The Brit stepped in for Jacques Villeneuve after an acrimonious split, and in the last seven rounds managed to get into the points three times.

With most seats on the 2016/17 grid now being filled it will be a tough ask for him to find another drive before the season opener in October.

Venturi team coordinator Franck Baldet said that the team were sad to see Conway leave, telling Autosport, “Mike was a fantastic driver and we appreciated a lot the way he was with the team.”

“It was not a pleasure to say he would not continue with us, but it’s mixed because Maro will be a very exceptional driver for us.

“He knows the car but he doesn’t know the tracks and how difficult it is to fight during the FE races. This will be the challenge for him to succeed.”

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