Maro Engel will become the latest contender for a GP2 Series seat in 2006 when he runs with the Dave Price-run DPR team at this week's Jerez group test.

The outing, arranged at the behest of sponsor Direxiv, will build on DPR's relationship with the Monaco-based investment company, which is gradually expanding its motorsport involvement. Having backed Clivio Piccione, Olivier Pla and Hiroki Yoshimoto in this year's GP2 Series, the company is now being touted as the driving force behind a McLaren 'customer' team in F1 for 2006 or 2007.

Pla and Piccione both tested with DPR at Paul Ricard last month, and featured regularly in the top ten over two days in which some 32 hopefuls took to the track. Frenchman Pla, who is rumoured to have re-signed with the team that took him to a rash of sprint race wins this season, will be on hand again at Jerez, providing an ample benchmark for up-and-coming German Engel.

The 20-year old, who was born in Monaco, drove for Durango in this year's F3000 Italia series, claiming seventh place in the final classification with top six places in half of the year's races.



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