Jaguar has officially launched its entry into the 2016/17 FIA Formula E Championship today, which commences next month in Hong Kong.
With title sponsorship from electronics group Panasonic, Jaguar has labelled its new car the I-Type 1. The chassis is the same control-specification Spark model used by all teams, and the powertrain has been developed in conjunction with Williams Advanced Engineering.
The team’s race drivers have been announced as Adam Carroll, from Northern Ireland, and Mitch Evans from New Zealand. Chinese driver Ho-Ping Tung has been nominated as the team’s reserve. All three drivers have recently participated in the Formula E pre-season test at Donington Park race track.
Jaguar’s high profile is also a boost to the growing Formula E Championship, now entering its third season. This should increase even further next season when Audi’s works team will make its debut. The series has had showed much promise to date, although has not been without its fair share of problems. However, strengthening manufacturer presence shows that the idea of an electric racing series in downtown locations around the world has significant value.
Jaguar Land Rover has made it clear that the looming electrification of road cars, including upcoming models from its own range, is a key factor in the company choosing Formula E for its return to factory-supported motorsport, its first such programme since the fairly disastrous Jaguar F1 effort of the early 2000s.
Nick Rogers, executive director of product engineering at Jaguar Land Rover, explained: “Over the next five years we will see more changes in the automotive world than in the last three decades. [Formula E] will enable us to engineer and test our advanced technologies under extreme performance conditions. We will apply this vital knowledge as part of our real world development. At Jaguar Land Rover we employ 9,000 engineers and the team will draw on these engineers to extract data and push the boundaries of electric technology in a race environment.”
The 2016/17 Formula E Championship will commence on Sunday 9 October in Hong Kong.