Ma Qinghua will replace Salvador Duran at Team Aguri for the remainder of the 2015/16 Formula E season, beginning with the next round in Paris, the team has confirmed.
The 28-year-old Chinese driver rose to prominence in his role of a test driver for both the HRT and Caterham Formula 1 teams before going on to compete in the FIA World Touring Car Championship, winning the 2014 Race of Russia – his debut in the series.
Qinghua will race alongside team-mate Antonio Felix da Costa, who currently sits 12th in the championship standings.
“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,” commented Qinghua.
“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 thanked Duran for his time with the team and welcomed Qinghua: “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.
“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.”
Meanwhile, the team also confirmed it is the subject of a takeover bid by a yet unnamed investment company and has entered a period of consultation about its future ownership.
If the takeover is successful, it would see the end of Aguri Suzuki’s affiliation with the team, which would become a UK registered entrant.
“Aguri Suzuki played a fundamental role in the formation of the team and we would like to thank him for his continued support. We are now entering a new phase for the team and are in advanced discussions with new investors, but will not be able to comment further at this time.
“We will make subsequent announcements in due course.”