Rahal Letterman Lanigan will move into electric racing next year as the first confirmed team in the new Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY series.
The series, which will support Formula E, is the first to be based on a street-legal production battery vehicle. It is scheduled to begin in tandem with the start of the fifth Formula E season in December of 2018.
“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,” said Bobby Rahal.
“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.”
James Barclay, Jaguar Racing Team Director, said that the fledgling series is in discussions with numerous other teams.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
The Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY series will feature 20 Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY race cars, and arrives on the back of an increased focus on electric vehicles by the Jaguar Land Rover group, with all of the company’s new vehicles to be offered with an electrified/electric powertrain embracing fully electric, plug-in hybrid and mild hybrid vehicles from 2020.
News of Rahal Letterman Lanigan’s commitment to the series 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.