GAYDON, UK – Jaguar has officially launched its new Formula E operation ahead of the all-electric series’ third season, confirming Adam Carroll and Mitch Evans as its race drivers.
Jaguar confirmed last December that it would be entering Formula E from its third season in a bid to boost its electric vehicle development and technology.
The move sees Jaguar return to top-line international motorsport for the first time since 2004, when it ended its five-year stint in Formula 1 before selling the operation to Red Bull.
Jaguar Racing has conducted private testing with its powertrain in the lead-up to the collective test sessions at Donington Park over the past three weeks.
The car is Jaguar’s first all-electric racer, and will be known as the I-Type, in-keeping with its naming patterns for many of its road cars.
Carroll has been integral to its testing program, taking part in both the private running and all six days at Donington.
The Northern Irishman raced in GP2 before winning the A1 Grand Prix title in 2009, and also made two IndyCar starts with Andretti Autosport in 2010.
Most recently, Carroll has plied his trade in British GT, but came close to making his Formula E debut in Buenos Aires earlier this year when the participation of both Nick Heidfeld and Jean-Eric Vergne was in doubt due to injury and illness.
Now, Carroll will get his chance to showcase his talent in Formula E with Jaguar, marking his first full-time single-seater campaign since his A1 GP victory in 2009.
“It’s a real privilege to be racing for Jaguar in Formula E,” Carroll said.
“You only have to look at the calibre of the other drivers in the series to see the level of competitiveness and prestige that this championship now has.
“To drive for Jaguar is also a dream come true. They are the biggest brand to come into the series and one of the most evocative names in racing.”
Evans’ arrival comes off the back of four years racing in GP2, the premier feeder series to F1, which was preceded by a GP3 title success in 2012.
The New Zealander arrives off the back of four days of running with Jaguar at Donington Park, getting acclimatized to the Formula E car after seeing off competition from Alex Lynn and Harry Tincknell for the seat.
“Formula E is a real drivers’ championship with some of the most competitive racing in the world,” Evans said.
“Any of the drivers will tell you how challenging it is to find the limit in a Formula E car and gain those extra tenths and I’m looking forward to the season ahead.
“Some of history’s most iconic cars have been developed by Jaguar, and I’m thrilled to be part of Jaguar’s electric future and our return to motorsport.”
While both Carroll and Evans will be Formula E rookies in season three, both arrive with significant racing pedigree, which combined with Jaguar’s commitment to the series should make them competitive from the off.
Carroll and Evans will be joined at Jaguar by Ho Pin Tung, a Chinese-Dutch racer who has three Formula E races under his belt as well as a variety of experience from other series. Tung will act as reserve driver for the team.
“I believe that Jaguar’s entry to the series is a significant moment for the FIA Formula E Championship,” Tung said.
“I have direct experience of racing in this series and have seen how effectively Formula E brings a thrilling showcase of next-generation technologies right to the cities of fans around the world.
“I am looking forward to making a meaningful contribution to this future of electric mobility and to Jaguar’s significant racing legacy.”
The event also saw Japanese technical company Panasonic confirmed as Jaguar’s title sponsor for season three. The team will be known as Panasonic Jaguar Racing.
The launch event held at Jaguar’s HQ in Gaydon, England echoed its storied automotive and racing past, the room packed with classic cars such as the Silk Cut Jaguar XJR-9, and even the Jaguar R5, the last F1 car produced by the British marque in 2004.
However, the message was firmly about the future: Jaguar is back at the top table of motorsport through its presence in Formula E as it looks to push the boundaries of electric technology and – naturally, given its pedigree – be successful on-track.
Formula E’s third season begins on October 9 in Hong Kong.