WRC: Ma to make debut with Ostberg's team

2016-06-13 13:25:53

Former Formula 1 development driver Ma Qing Hua will make his World Rally Championship debut at September's China Rally, his home round of the series. The 28-year-old will work with the Adapta Rally Team, run by Mads Ostberg's father, Morten.

No decision yet has been taken regarding the car Ma will drive, but Ostberg is in negotiations with M-Sport, Hyundai and Citroen for a vehicle to use on the Beijing-based event.

While Ma is an accomplished racing driver, he has never competed in a rally before, which is why Ostberg has a significant test and development programme planned ahead of the event.

"We have been working on this for quite a long time now," said Ostberg. "Because he hasn't done any rallying at all, we need to work on everything with him.

"We will teach him he same pace note system as Mads is using – this is a straightforward, gear-related system. After that we will do some testing in an R5 car in Scandinavia and then an asphalt event in Europe to get used to competition.

"Clearly he can drive a car and he's a talented guy, so I'm sure he will be able to adapt quickly to rallying."

Ma made five grand prix practice appearances in 2012-'13 as part of test deals with the HRT and Caterham F1 teams. He then switched to Citroen's factory World Touring Car Championship team, where he won two races before he and Sebastien Loeb lost their seats as the manufacturer downscaled its program. Ma recently returned to competition with Team Aguri in Formula E.


Originally on Autosport.com

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