(LOS ANGELES) – November 28, 2017 – Today, Jaguar Racing announced the first Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY race team for its new global electric racing series. Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, led by Team Principal Bobby Rahal – three-time IndyCar Champion and Indianapolis 500 winner – will join the grid in the world’s first production-based electric vehicle race series, starting in December 2018.
The Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY is a support series to the FIA Formula E Championship and the first to be based off of a street-legal production battery electric vehicle. Races will take place the same weekend, and on the same city street circuits, throughout the 2018-19 season. The series, which will exclusively feature 20 Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY race cars, offers teams the chance to showcase driving talent and electric performance, while competing on the world stage in 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 commitment to electric racing is delivered in line with its strategy that from 2020 all new Jaguar Land Rover vehicles launched will be offered with an electrified/electric powertrain embracing fully electric, 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 offering ‘Arrive and Drive’ packages 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 be released for sale in 2018.
The Rahal Letterman Lanigan team announcement comes ahead of the start of the FIA Formula E championship and season opening race in Hong Kong this weekend, where Panasonic Jaguar Racing will be on the grid with drivers Nelson Piquet Jr and Mitch Evans for the 2017-18 season.
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Jaguar is a premier manufacturer of luxury sedans, sports cars and SUVs offering unparalleled design with tremendous performance. The company’s vision throughout its storied history has been simple: To produce beautiful, fast cars that are desired the world over. Jaguar strives to provide a world class ownership experience to every owner.
Today’s Jaguar lineup consists of the Jaguar XE and XF sports sedans, the XJ full-size luxury sedan, the two-seat F-TYPE sports car and the brand’s first-ever SUV, the F-PACE. Jaguar designs, engineers and manufactures exclusively in the United Kingdom, at the Castle Bromwich and Solihull manufacturing plants in the British Midlands. Jaguar is fully engaged with sustainability initiatives and social concerns with continuous involvement in environmental and community programs. For more information, visit the official Jaguar website at www.jaguarusa.com.
About Jaguar Land Rover
Jaguar Land Rover is the UK’s largest automotive manufacturer, built around two iconic British car brands: Land Rover, the world’s leading manufacturer of premium all-wheel-drive vehicles; and Jaguar, one of the world’s premier luxury sports sedan and sports car marques.
The company employs almost 38,000 people globally, with 330 in the US and supports around 275,000 more through our dealerships, suppliers and local businesses. Manufacturing is centered in the UK, with additional plants in China, Brazil and India.
At Jaguar Land Rover we are driven by a desire to create class-leading products that deliver great customer experiences. The largest investor in R&D in the UK manufacturing sector, we have invested £12 billion (USD$15.7 billion) in the last five years and in the current year alone will spend over £3 billion (USD$3.9 billion) on new product creation and capital expenditure. Last year Jaguar Land Rover sold 487,065 vehicles in 160 countries, with more than 80% of our vehicles produced in the UK being sold abroad.
About Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, based in Hilliard, Ohio and Brownsburg, Ind., is co-owned by three-time IndyCar Champion and 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal, former CBS Late Show host David Letterman and Mi-Jack co-owner Mike Lanigan. In 2018 the team will compete in their 27th year of open wheel competition and attempt to add to their 25 wins – including the 2004 Indy 500 from pole with Buddy Rice — their 30 poles, 94 podium finishes and 1992 series championship. The team also competed in the American Le Mans Series from 2009-2013 as BMW Team RLL where they won both the Manufacturer and Team Championships in the GT category in 2010 and swept all three GT titles in 2011 – Manufacturer, Team and Driver. In 2012, the team finished second in the Team Championship and third in the Manufacturer Championship and in 2013, the team finished second in the Driver, Team and Manufacturer Championship. Since 2014, BMW Team RLL has competed in the GTLM class of the United SportsCar Championship with a two-car program and has brought their total to 17 wins, 23 poles and 68 podium finishes as well as a second place place finish in the Manufacturer, Team and Driver championships in 2015 and 2017.