Maro Engel to race Erebus Mercedes V8 Supercar
|By Jamie O'Leary||Wednesday, February 6th 2013, 23:03 GMT|
Former DTM driver Maro Engel will make a full-time switch to V8 Supercars this year with the Erebus Racing Mercedes squad.
The 27-year-old German will race one of the team's trio of E63 AMGs alongside series regulars Tim Slade and Lee Holdsworth, starting in Adelaide at the end of February.
Engel (pictured with Erebus CEO Ryan Maddison) convinced the team of his speed during a race-winning performance in Australian GTs at Phillip Island last year, and a subsequent test in an old-spec Ford Falcon V8 Supercar at Queensland Raceway.
"This is a very ambitious project, but it's one I believe in and am very excited to be a part of," Engel told AUTOSPORT.
"I'm not underestimating the task, because I know it's going to be bloody hard racing against guys like Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes, who are legends in this series."
Engel, who made only a handful of race appearances last year in GT Mercedes, is expected to drive the E63 for the first time at the official pre-season test at Eastern Creek on February 16.
The Mercedes Car of The Future only had its shakedown test in late January, leaving it significantly behind rivals Holden, Ford and Nissan in the development stakes.
"The learning curve will be especially steep because not only do I need to learn the car and the circuits, the Mercedes is a couple of months behind the rest in development," Engel added.
"So I think we just have to be realistic about this first year."
Erebus moves into V8 Supercars having taken over multiple title-winning squad Stone Brothers Racing earlier this year and switched its allegiance from Ford to Mercedes.