Aurélien Panis has switched to the FIA World Touring Car Championship for 2017 after seemingly putting a halt on his single seater career.
The Frenchman, son of former Formula 1 racer and Monaco Grand Prix winner Olivier Panis, raced for two years in the Formula V8 3.5 championship, taking two wins on his way to fifth in the standings in 2016, but will now move to touring car racing after signing with Zengo Motorsport.
“I’m very proud to join the WTCC,” said Panis. “It is a very strong international championship and a great step in my career. There are many experienced and successful drivers in the series so it will be a very exciting and tough challenge for me; I had better roll up my sleeves from day one.
“I’m proud to drive for a great team like Zengő Motorsport, which has won races in the past, and I am very honoured to join the Honda Racing Family. Everything will be new for me this season and the goal will be to learn and gain experience quickly, in order to be able to fight at the top as soon as possible.
“I take this opportunity to thank my personal sponsors for their ongoing support and my manager, Didier Coton, for a job well done. I’m looking forward to starting the season and I hope my father has some good things to say about me when commentating on the WTCC on Eurosport France!”