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Team Aguri in takeover talks, Ma Qinghua to make Formula E debut


Mexico City e-Prix, Mexico, Central America. Saturday 12 March 2016 Photo: Andrew Ferraro/LAT/FE ref: Digital Image _FER5090

Andrew Ferraro

PARIS - Team Aguri has confirmed that it is in takeover talks ahead of this weekend’s Formula E race in Paris, France, where Chinese racer Ma Qinghua will make his debut in the series.

Team Aguri enjoyed a close association with insurance company Amlin in season one before parting company, the latter switching to sponsor Andretti.

Aguri has endured a turbulent season thus far, having retained the season one powertrain and gone through three different drivers in the first six races.

However, in a statement issued on Wednesday, it was confirmed that the team is in talks with an investment company regarding a possible takeover.

“Team Aguri has confirmed that the outfit is subject to a bid from an investment company and has subsequently entered a period of consultation about its future ownership,” a short statement from the team read.

It was also confirmed that team founder Aguri Suzuki is set to leave the team at the end of the season, with Team Aguri switching to a UK racing license for its Formula E entry.

“Aguri Suzuki played a fundamental role in the formation of the team and we would like to thank him for his continued support,” a team spokesperson said.

“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.”

The team also confirmed that Ma Qinghua will make his debut in Formula E this weekend in Paris, replacing Salvador Duran for the remainder of the second season.

Qinghua worked with HRT and Caterham in Formula 1 before moving into the World Touring Car Championship in 2014, where he became the first Chinese driver to win an FIA world championship race.

“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.

“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.”

The Paris ePrix takes place on Saturday April 23.

Follow @LukeSmithF1