Duran out; Qinghua in

Spacesuit-Media-Formula-E-Long-Beach-2016-Shivraj-Gohil-Salvador Duran smiles

Chinese racer Ma Qinghua will make his Formula E debut in Paris this weekend, replacing Salvador Duran for the remainder of season two at Team Aguri.

Qinghua forged his junior career in single seaters before spending time with HRT and Caterham F1 teams in reserve roles, taking part in practice for the Chinese Grand Prix for the latter in 2013.

A move to the World Touring Car Championship followed in 2014, where he became the first Chinese driver to win an FIA world championship race at the Russian round.

Qinghua will return to single-seaters this weekend with Team Aguri as a precursor for a possible takeover by a Chinese investment firm, with talks confirmed by the team on Wednesday.

“Joining Team Aguri is a great opportunity for me and I am very excited to be racing in Formula E, as the series has attracted some of the best drivers from around the world,” Qinghua said in the team statement. “I’m looking forward to racing in a single seater series again and to managing the unique demands of a Formula E car, which is renowned for its handling and energy management demands.”

Team principal Mark Preston said: “We’d like to thank Salvador for his commitment to the team and his hard work in developing the car. We wish him the very best in his future career,” Preston said. “Ma has shown his prowess in tin tops and we are excited to give him the opportunity to return to single seater racing as we drive the team forward.”

Qinghua will race the number 77 car in Formula E.

Luke Smith

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