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McLaren announce first driver for new Formula E team RaceFans

McLaren have announced three-time DTM champion Rene Rast as the first driver they have signed for their new Formula E team.

The British team, best known for its Formula 1 exploits but also currently competing in IndyCar and Extreme E, will join the FE grid at the start of its Gen3 era next year.

Rast already has experience in FE, having made his debut with Team Aguri in the 2016 Berlin E-Prix, then raced for factory team Audi Abt in the series until 2020 and 21. Of his 22 starts in FE, he has two podiums and a highest qualifying position of third place.

His DTM success before that also came with Audi, and before that he won for the marque in GT sportscars. A week before being revealed as a McLaren driver, Rast announced he would be leaving the Audi brand at the end of 2022, and he was named BMW works driver for 2023 shortly before his drive was confirmed. FE.

“As a racing fan, McLaren has always had huge appeal,” Rast said. “He’s an iconic name in motorsport with a rich history, so I feel privileged and proud to be able to represent McLaren in FE next season.

“I have already done a season in FE, it was a great experience, and I felt after this year that I was not finished yet. I am delighted to now have the opportunity to continue this journey. I am extremely motivated and I have no doubt that we will create something great together. I can’t wait to get started!

Other highlights of Rast’s career include three Porsche Supercup titles on the F1 support bill, World Endurance Championship victories, victory in the GTD class of the 24 Hours of Daytona, touring and GT racing in his home country of Germany and second place in the 2016 Intercontinental GT. Challenge.

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The identity of his McLaren teammate has yet to be determined as the team’s IndyCar contract saga could influence whether any of its drivers signed there move to FE for 2023.

Nissan also announced its lineup for the 2022-23 season. The team parted ways with Sebastien Buemi and Maximilian Gunther, and signed Jaguar reserve and test drivers Norman Nato and Sacha Fenestraz.

Fenestra will get its first full season at Nissan

Nato won as a rookie with Venturi in the 2020-21 season but lost practice, and since then has won in the WEC while providing his services to Jaguar. Fenestraz, meanwhile, currently leads the Japan Super GT Championship and is second in the standings in its top-tier Super Formula single-seater series. He made his FE debut in the 2021-22 season finale in Seoul as a Dragon-Penske substitute for Antonio Giovinazzi.

“I’m very happy to be back as a full-time driver in FE with Nissan,” said Nato. “The Gen3 era will be a new chapter for the championship, and I’m excited to be preparing for testing and driving the car.

Fenestraz, who made his Formula E debut at the last race in Seoul as a replacement for injured Antonio Giovinazzi, said his full-time debut was “a dream come true”.

“It will be a big step forward in my career, to get into a world championship for the first time and compete at such a high level against some of the best riders in the world. It will be a different challenge for me because it will be my first season in an all-electric car.

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