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Lopez replaces Jani in FE return

Jose Maria Lopez will replace Neel Jani at Dragon Racing for the remainder of the 2017-18 season.

Lopez made his FE debut last year with DS Virgin, racing alongside Sam Bird. He took two podiums in his rookie year but was replaced by Alex Lynn for the series’ fourth season.

The World Touring Car champion missed out on a seat for season four’s opening round in Hong Kong, but will return to the grid after Jani’s early exit from the series.

“This is an exciting opportunity for me and I’m looking forward to the challenge of Formula E in season four with Dragon,” he said.

“I have good experience from season three and I’m confident that we can achieve strong results as the season progresses.”

Dragon Racing left Hong Kong bottom of the teams’ championship, having failed to pick up a single point from the double header round.

It’s believed the frustrating results may have contributed to Jani leaving the team. Jani has opted to focus his efforts on the World Endurance Championship, where he’ll be racing for Rebellion in the series “super season”.

Team principal Jay Penske believes Lopez, racing alongside Jerome d’Ambrosio, will be able to deliver top results for the team.

“Jose is a world champion racer who has consistently performed at the highest level in each formula in which he has competed,” he said.

“I’m confident that his season three experience and collaboration with Jerome will be a winning formula for the Dragon organisation.”

Lopez will make his FE return in Marrakesh next week.

Bethonie Waring

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