SO, IN the wake of the Shane Van Gisbergen saga (if you need a recap, read it here
), Erebus Racing has been forced to find another driver to fill the seat of the #9 SP Tools Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG V8 Supercar in 2013 and beyond. And, as of this morning, it has been confirmed that German Maro Engel is the man for the job.
But just who is this Maro Engel, you ask? Well, he’s a driver with 17 years’ racing experience, including over a decade in international open-wheelers and touring cars. And considering he’s still only 27, that’s a mighty impressive resume.
Starting in Karts at the age of 10, Engel spent four years competing throughout Germany and France before finishing fourth in the 2000 European Junior Karting championship in Sarno. That effort saw him secure a drive in the 2001 Formula BMW Junior Cup, where he impressed from the get-go with three wins, nine podiums and four poles, finishing third overall.
Next up was a tilt in German Formula BMW, where a win, three podiums and a pole helped him convince those in the know that he had the potential to step up to the highly competitive world of Formula Three racing.
From 2003-05 Engel had a number of tilts in European, German and Italian F3, before again being promoted – this time to the highly-regarded British F3 championship. His pace also impressed Mercedes-AMG, who signed Engel as an official ambassador for the brand.
Racing against drivers such as Bruno Senna, Romain Grosjean, Sergio Perez and Mike Conway, Engel finished his two seasons in British F3 in fifth and second place respectively, earning himself a seat in the DTM championship for season 2008.
For the next four years Engel drove for the factory Mercedes-Benz team, Mucke Motorsport, scoring a number of top-10 finishes in an older-spec car.
Racing for AMG Customer Sports last year, Engel made several international appearances in the SLS AMG GT3 car, including making his Australian debut at Phillip Island in the Australian GT Championship. Not content with finishing behind V8 veteran and GT visitor Craig Lowndes in the first race, Engel roared back to lead an AMG 1-2 in the second race.
And now, just a few months later, the accomplished tin-topper is preparing to start a full-time assault in the V8 Supercars Championship.
So, how will he go? Well, while the German has shown fairly consistent pace throughout his career, he’s still yet to secure a championship title. And in a fledgling customer team on unfamiliar racetracks, that’s unlikely to change this year.
However, he has signed a multi-year agreement – so the future is in his own hands.
MARO ENGEL - CAREER STATS
2012: AMG Customer Sports (multiple international races with the SLS AMG GT3), Phillip Island 1st place
2011: DTM – Mercedes-Benz factory driver
Mucke Motorsport in a 2008-spec car. 13th Overall (Best 2008 Mercedes)
2010: DTM – Mercedes-Benz factory driver
Mucke Motorsport in a two-year-old (2008) spec car. 15th overall
2009: DTM – Mercedes-Benz factory driver
Mucke Motorsport in a one-year-old (2008) spec car. 12th overall
2008: DTM – Mercedes-Benz factory driver
Mucke Motorsport in a one-year-old (2007) spec car.
2007: British F3 International – 2nd overall; 3 wins, 4 pole positions, 8 podiums
2006: British F3 International – 5th overall; 1 win, 3 pole positions, 8 podiums
2005: 5 Races (of 8) Italian F3000 championship – 7th overall
2004: 1 Race Recaro F3 Cup (German F3)
2003: 4 weekends of F3 Euroseries with team KMS
2002: Formula BMW Germany – 8th overall; 1 win, 3 podiums, 1 pole position
2001: Formula BMW Junior Cup – 3rd overall; 3 wins, 9 podiums, 4 poles
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