Jaguar reveals one-make Formula E support series for 2018
Jaguar has confirmed that it will launch a support series for Formula E which will use its I-PACE car in 2018, marking the world's first championship for an electric production car.
The Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY will become Formula E's support race category for the 2018-19 season, featuring at 10 rounds, suggesting that it will be present at all events on the FE calendar.
While details such as technical specification, the series' calendar and price have not yet been disclosed, each round will be capped at 20 drivers, including one "VIP" entry at each of the rounds. Each weekend will be comprised of a practice session, a qualifying session and a 30-minute race.
Jaguar has also confirmed that it is considering an 'arrive and drive' package which will include entry, technical support, logistical support, hospitality, spares and more.
The Jaguar I-PACE will not be released until the second half of 2018, which means that its launch will coincide with the start of Season 5 of Formula E.
The cars that will be raced in the I-PACE eTROPHY will not be a stock car, with Jaguar Land Rover's special vehicle operations department building racing versions of the car which should be tested in the early stages of 2018.
Jaguar joined Formula E in 2016 for its first season and finished in last place in the Teams' Standings, using the season as a learning process, in a bid to take a major step forward in the 2017-18 season.
The confirmation of the I-PACE series follows an announcement from Jaguar Land Rover that all of its cars will contain either hybrid or battery technology from 2020, and that the series "reinforces Jaguar Land Rover's commitment to electrification."
"As a British team, we are proud to announce today the launch of the world's first production battery electric vehicle championship," said Gerd Mauser, Jaguar Land Rover's Chief Marketing Officer and Chairman of the Formula E operation.
"We've always said we want to prove our electrification technologies on the track - this is the proof.
"I am looking forward to seeing a full grid of Jaguar I-PACE race cars in late 2018, soon after the first Jaguar I-PACE hits the road in Europe.
"Ultimately this innovative series will enhance the technology in our future electric vehicles and benefit our customers," adding that "we expect our series to be a sell-out and an exciting international sporting event".
The confirmation of the I-PACE series acts as a solution for the FIA's search for a support series to Formula E, with Season 1 featuring some races from the Formula E School Series - a championship that featured small electric cars that were built by students.
Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag praised the development, commenting: "The competition will offer more entertainment for fans in-between sessions and is further testament to the advances in battery technology and exciting electric performance."