Jaguar teamed up with Bobby Rahal, David Letterman, Mike Lanigan racing team to join the FIA Formula E championship entering the Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy in the 2018-2019 global electric race series.
From the first time, Bobby Rahal’s Dad took him to a race to fifty-five years later US racing legend Bobby Rahal has had the bug for racing.
Rahal has won championships, he owns car dealerships, and he has a winning business team – Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing – that will race two cars in the Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY in the 2018/19 global FIA Formula E championship.
Along with the Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY electric race vehicle making its US debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Team was announced, creating the world’s first international championship for production-based electric cars, showcasing its original battery electric vehicle – the Jaguar I-PACE.
Since 1991 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, led by Team Principal Bobby Rahal has had success, winning three-time IndyCar Champion and Indianapolis 500 winner. Starting in December 2018 the team will join the electric grid in the world’s first production-based global electric vehicle race series.
The Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY will be based off a street-legal production battery electric vehicle. The ZEV vehicle will be a support series to the FIA Formula E Championship. The races will take place on weekends, and on the same street circuits during the future season. The Formula E series will feature 20 Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY race cars to showcase electric performance and driving talent while competing in a world of zero-emissions motorsport.
James Barclay, Jaguar Racing Team Director, said: “Since the global announcement of eTROPHY the reaction has been very positive and we are in discussions with many teams and drivers about entering the series next year. As part of our Race to Innovate strategy, we are obviously delighted to be able to announce our first Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY team with racing legend Bobby Rahal, and we look forward to working together with all our teams to make it a big success. The series is in a strong place, and we look forward to announcing more news over the next few months.”
Jaguar Land Rover’s has committed to an electrified powertrain by 2020 that includes embracing fully electric, along with plug-in hybrid and mild hybrid vehicles.
Bobby Rahal, Team Principal of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, said: “Innovation is integral to motorsports, and electric car racing is an important part of the future, so this opportunity came at the perfect time for RLL. We are thrilled to be competing in the Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY series next year working alongside an electric innovator like Jaguar. Even though the first race is some time off in the distance, we’re already looking forward to participating. “Certainly electric power is relatively new in motorsport, but being at the forefront of the technological advancement made possible by testing on the racetrack that can transfer over into production cars is exciting for us. To be able to contribute in some small way in the testing and development of electric vehicles that ultimately will provide more options for consumers is something to be proud of.”
Joe Eberhardt, President and CEO, Jaguar Land Rover North America, said: “In 2018 customers will be able to drive their Jaguar I-PACE battery electric vehicles on the road, while also watching them race in cities around the globe – including venues such as New York and Montreal – by top-flight race teams like Rahal Letterman Lanigan. We look forward to demonstrating the exciting performance credentials of the coming generation of battery electric vehicles with both the Rahal Letterman Lanigan team and others as they join the eTROPHY Series.”
Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) in Warwickshire, UK, are building the race cars and will offer an arrive and drive package for up to 20 drivers at each race. The racecars are based on the Jaguar brand’s first battery electric road car, the Jaguar I-PACE, which will go on sale in 2018.
The Rahal Letterman Lanigan team raced in the Hong Kong FIA Formula E championship where Panasonic Jaguar Racing drivers number 3 Nelson Piquet Jr finished fourth in round one, and number 20 Mitch Evans was third on the podium 3 in Round 2.
The Arrive and Drive package offered by Jaguar Racing in the I-PACE eTROPHY includes:
* Entry into a 10-race global championship supporting FIA Formula E Championship
* Professional technical support from race car preparation to data engineering
* All global logistics for vehicles, spare parts, and equipment
* All tires and consumables
* All garaging infrastructure at race weekends
* All Championship promotion and marketing by Jaguar Racing and FIA Formula E Championship
* hospitality for the entrants with the ability to purchase more places for the sponsor’s guests
* Championship racewear for each driver
* Dedicated Championship television coverage
* A typical race weekend will include free practice and qualifying sessions followed by a 30-minute race.
Here is Jaguar designer, Wayne Burgess, talking about the electric Jaguar I-Pace SUV concept