Aurélien Panis has parted ways with the Zengő Motorsport World Touring Car Championship team with immediate effect. He will be replaced by the Hungarian outfit’s European Touring Car Cup driver Zsolt Szabó at the next round of the season in Argentina.

The Frenchman, son of former Grand Prix driver Olivier Panis, has confirmed he will join the rival TCR International Series for the remainder of its championship season, with backing from Honda France.

With he and teammate Dániel Nagy largely mired at the back of the grid, Panis’ best WTCC finishes have been a pair of tenth places at Marrakech and the Hungaroring.

Szabó graduates to the WTCC arm of Zengő Motorsport fresh from claiming the team’s first race win of the ETCC season at Vila Real.

“Zsolt has impressed us with his pace and potential and ability to learn new tracks and adapt to new situations very quickly,” said team principal Zoltan Zengo.

“As a team that takes pride from the work it has done in giving opportunities to young talents and nurturing their careers, we are very pleased to give Zsolt this opportunity in the WTCC and excited to watch him progress.

“It will be tough but there’s no better way to learn and he’ll be given all the help possible to aid his transition.”

The Hungarian outfit confirmed it plans to rotate the driver line-up of its second Honda Civic WTCC over the remainder of the season. Aside from the already-confirmed Szabó, other drivers under consideration are former WTCC driver Ferenc Ficza and Szabó’s ETCC teammate Norbert Nagy, brother to WTCC pilot Dániel Nagy.

Image via FIA WTCC Media

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.