By Aaron Bearden, Contributing Writer
Eight races into Season Four of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, Ma Qing Hua has been granted an opportunity to return to the series.
NIO Formula E Team announced Tuesday that Qing Hua will replace Luca Filippi for the Paris E-Prix later this month, making his first start since Buenos Aires during Season Three. The Chinese driver will pilot the team’s No. 68 NIO 003 in the effort.
“First of all, I am really happy and honoured to be back in the cockpit racing for NIO Formula E Team,” Qing Hua said in a team release. “Thank you to NIO for this opportunity; I am really looking forward to racing again, against some of the top drivers in the world. I will do my best to achieve the best result I can and I will see you all in Paris.”
Qing Hua, 30, has seven-career starts in Formula E competition between Team Aguri and Techeetah, with a best finish of 11th in a Season Two run at Battersea Park in London. He previously tested for NIO in the summer of 2017, earning a spot on the team as a test and reserve driver.
“The NIO Formula E Team is very happy to give Ma Qing Hua the opportunity to drive the NIO 003 at the Paris E-Prix,” NIO Team Principle Gerry Hughes said. “We look forward to welcoming him back in to the Paddock at the forthcoming event.”
The announcement comes just three days after Filippi competed for the organization in his native Italy, earning a 13th-place finish in the Rome E-Prix. The former Verizon IndyCar Series pilot has struggled in his all-electric debut, earning just a single point through seven starts with an average finish of 13.9. He’s been out-qualified by teammate Oliver Turvey at each stop on the tour, though he has outperformed the Briton in three of the seven E-Prix thus far.
NIO’s plans for both Filippi and Qing Hua beyond Paris are unknown at this time.