Jaguar will make history this weekend with the debut of the Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY, the world’s first international championship for production-based electric cars. It will be the first time women compete against men in a race in Saudi Arabia, and Katherine Legge, Célia Martin and Alice Powell will be amongst the first women to take part in a motor race in the Kingdom.
In the ancient surroundings of Ad Diriyah, Saudi Arabia, 11 drivers from five continents will take on the 21 twists and turns of the 2.495km track, which starts and finishes in the heart of the old town.
Entrants will be joined by VIP driver and British racing star Alice Powell. The 25 year old was the first ever female to win a Formula Renault Championship, the first female to score points in the GP3 Series and in 2014, was Champion in the Formula Renault Asia Championship. Alice was recently named in the first selection for the upcoming W Series. As a Dare to be Different Ambassador, she supports and develops young female karting talent, as well as coaching up-and-coming young female drivers.
The race is on Saturday 15 December at 12:50 local time, before the main ABB FIA Formula E race. A shakedown and free practice session will take place on Friday, and qualifying is at 07:55 on Saturday. The race is 25 minutes + 1 lap of full power racing. Fans around the world will be able to watch the action free on Jaguar Racing’s Facebook and Twitter channels with TV presenters Vernon Kay and Amanda Stretton hosting live from Saudi Arabia.
Gerd Mäuser, Chairman of Jaguar Racing, said: “We are immensely proud to reach this historic moment. We had an idea that we could bring electric production car racing to city streets, and showcase the power and capability of the award-winning Jaguar I-PACE. This weekend that will become a reality. We have built this championship from scratch, attracting drivers, teams and sponsors from all over the world, and this is just the beginning.”
Alejandro Agag, CEO and Founder, Formula E, said: “Congratulations and good luck to Jaguar Racing this weekend as they embark on a historic first for motorsport and electrification. We are proud to have them on the grid in Formula E and now with a spectacular support series with the Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY. This gives our fans an exciting addition to our one-day race format and I can’t wait to watch the action and see the first winner.”
The line-up for the first Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY race is:
|Jaguar VIP car
|Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
|Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
|Jaguar Brazil Racing
|Jaguar Brazil Racing
|Viessman Jaguar eTROPHY Team Germany
|Team Asia New Zealand
|Ahmed Bin Khanen
Alice Powell said: “I am super excited to have been given this opportunity by Jaguar to race in their VIP car in the all new Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY. Electric is the way the world is going, so to have the chance to drive in this series, in the early stages of this new era, is fantastic. It’s been 3 years since my last race, so I cannot wait to get back out there and would like to thank Jaguar for this opportunity. ”
Katherine Legge, RLL Racing said: “My main focus will obviously be trying to win the Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY, not as a female, but as one of many racecar drivers. That would be a perfect way to make history. I know there will be a lot of focus on Célia and I racing in a country that has only just allowed females to drive and I think we are doing a great thing to bring attention to women in racing – alongside the FIA’s Women in Motorsport commission. As I’ve said before, the car does not know the difference, so I will just focus on doing the job I am there to do.”
Bryan Sellers, RLL Racing said: “We have completed four days of testing at two tracks and in different conditions,” added Sellers. “I feel like we have been able to learn a lot along the way and have been very productive in our testing. It has honestly been very difficult because there is a lot to learn. The driving style of the I-PACE is significantly different to anything I have driven in quite a long time. I do however feel that all the teams and all the drivers are finding the same conclusions. That is what is making this series something interesting and different. Our expectations are high. Katherine and I both want to deliver results for RLL but also achieve results because we were chosen to represent Team USA.”
Sérgio Jimenez, Jaguar Brazil Racing driver, said: “Our expectations are very high. We have had great practice sessions and have learned a lot. We met the team and started getting used to things like the sound and the tyres. It all just made our optimism grow and gave us confidence for some great results.”
Cacá Bueno, Jaguar Brazil Racing said: “The Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY is the first electric touring car championship and I’m really excited to be part of it. We will make history when we the lights go green for the first run in Ad Diriyah. Electric cars are the future. Not only in road cars, but also for motorsports. I’m convinced the event will be a huge success and the crowd will have an amazing show.”
Ahmed Bin Khanen, Saudi Racing said: “It’s really great to be part of the Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY Championship, especially as the first race is in Saudi Arabia with my family and friends. I hope to get a good race result and most importantly, make the race exciting for fans to watch.”
Simon Evans, Team Asia New Zealand said: “It’s going to be a clean slate heading into the first race, as everyone is new to the cars and the circuit. I’m very proud to represent Team Asia New Zealand in this exciting championship. It’s going to be great to have my brother, Mitch, in my corner helping out where he can. The I-PACE eTROPHY is very different to his Formula E car but I’m sure he won’t be shy in telling his older brother what to do!”
Célia Martin, Viessman Jaguar eTROPHY Team Germany said: “As racing has always been a childhood dream of mine I`m now really keen on starting in my first season. After the tests and our preliminaries I feel well prepared for our first race in Riyadh. Let`s get started!”
Aaron is an automotive journalist living in Wyoming, USA. His background includes technology, mechanics, commercial vehicles, and new vehicle evaluations. Aaron is a member of several automotive media groups and writes for many well-known publications.