He may have missed out on one drive, but Portuguese driver Antonio Felix da Costa won’t be rideless in 2014. Following a successful first test, da Costa was named to BMW’s DTM program for 2014 as part of the manufacturer’s annual year-end ceremony in Munich.
An official release confirmed him as one of two new drivers for BMW, along with Belgian Maxime Martin. Andy Priaulx (TUDOR United SportsCar Championship) and Dirk Werner (BMW Motorsport endurance program) have been switched to new roles.
“It is an honor for me to drive for such a big manufacturer as BMW,” da Costa said in a manufacturer release. “Switching from single-seater racing to touring cars is a new experience, but the cars are great to drive. The DTM is a top-class racing series – and I can’t wait to get stuck into this challenge.”
Of course, da Costa won’t be entirely without single-seaters in his life next year. He was confirmed as one of Red Bull Racing’s two reserve drivers a couple of days ago.
And, like Paul di Resta, da Costa will look to hopefully convert DTM success into a Formula One race drive down the road.
Saturday’s Punta del Este ePrix did not disappoint, with Techeetah’s Jean-Eric Vergne and Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler’s Lucas di Grassi engaging in a thrilling battle throughout the entire race.
Vergne led the way from the pole, having been promoted up the grid after original pole sitter di Grassi was ruled to have cut a chicane during his pole lap, but di Grassi was right on the back wing of Vergne the entire way and made several attempts to get by.
The intense battle between the two, which saw them nearly lock Vergne’s rear wing with di Grassi’s front nose, stayed remarkably clean for the most part, and Vergne was able to hold off all of di Grassi’s advances, a few of which can be viewed below, to take the win.
DS Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird was also on the charge, the British driver coming from ninth on the grid to take third.
Full race results can be viewed here. The victory sees Vergne extend his points lead over Mahindra Racing’s Felix Rosenqvist, who finished fifth, to 30 points, with Vergne on 109 markers and Rosenqvist on 79.
Bird sits third with 76 points, respectively.