Jose Maria Lopez has re-signed with Dragon to again compete for the American team in the upcoming ABB FIA Formula E Championship season.
The Argentine has been integral to the development of the Penske EV-3 Gen 2 car and competed with the team for most of last season after moving from DS Virgin Racing.
As reported by e-racing365 in June, he had been closing in on a deal for the 2018-19 season for a while and clinch a first full season entry after replacing Neel Jani following Hong Kong last year.
“The team has evolved so much since I joined last year, and now we have the new Gen 2 car, so we are starting fresh, and I can’t wait to be on track with the team for the first race in Riyadh,” said Lopez.
“My expectations are to be competitive from the start to achieve top spot results.
“The team has put in an incredible effort during this, and I am looking forward to working with them to keep improving and evolving throughout the season.”
Dragon owner and team principal Jay Penske said that he re-signed the three-time FIA World Touring Car Champion because he is a “real racer.”
“Jose showed a lot of promise in Season Four and has been an invaluable asset in the development of the package for Season Five,” he said.
“He is a real racer, and I am confident that his capabilities, paired with the evolution of our engineering organization will prove to be a winning formula this season. I look forward to seeing the results.”
Guenther Remains Favorite to Partner Lopez
Maximilian Guenther, who was announced as Dragon’s test and reserve driver in March, is still the favorite to partner Lopez this season.
The German almost made his Formula E race debut in Berlin but was denied the chance as the team missed the deadline to replace Jerome d’Ambrosio.
Only Guenther and Lopez have driven Penske’s Gen 2 car so far, while both will take part in the pre-season test at Valencia next week.
It remains to be seen whether his probable deal with Dragon would also include his Formula 2 sponsor BWT, which is heavily involved in several motorsport series.
The Austrian water treatment technology company, which has supported Guenther since early 2017, would likely result in a pink-livered car in deference to its brand identity.
Dragon has made a number of staff changes since the end of last season, with former McLaren and Williams engineer Jakob Andreason and ex-Jota Sport team manager Gary Holland joining the operation.