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Jaguar I-Type

The racing cat is back: Jaguar I-Type Formula E racer launched

Jaguar I-TypeJaguar has revealed its first-ever Formula E single-seater racing car – and it’s calling it the I-Type.

The new EV racer was launched next to the huge Jaguar Land Rover R&D centre at Gaydon, whose 9,000 engineers Jaguar promises are going to be heavily involved in the development and tech transfer of the new Formula E racing car.

Jaguar hopes to fast-track breakthroughs for future electric road cars by pushing the tech to its limits on the racetrack first – just like the firm’s founder Sir William Lyons used to do.

Japanese tech giant Panasonic is to be involved here too, announced Jaguar Racing: indeed, as title partner for the race team, it means the official title for Jaguar’s racing return operation is Panasonic Jaguar Racing.

The two already have branding for their racing development programme: Race To Innovate, which will “use the championship as a platform to develop the next generation of electric powered racing cars”.

Panasonic executive officer Mike Nagayasu attended the Jaguar I-Type launch and said this was a strategic partnership between the two firms: “We will provide the support and resources to achieve top results in Formula E.”

The firm has watched the first two seasons of Formula E with interest, he added, and now “wants to build on Panasonic’s legacy in motorsport”. The company was previously the title sponsor of the now-defunct Toyota Formula 1 team and is also closely involved in NASCAR racing.

But first, there’s the small matter of a racing series debut to make – and Jaguar doesn’t have long: the 2016/17 Formula E season starts early next month in Hong Kong!

Hence the big launch and reveal of the car’s name today; Jaguar’s also been testing the I-Type 1 at Donington in preparation for the first race on 9 October.

Jaguar I-Type

The driver line-up is Northern Irishman Adam Carroll and New Zealander Mitch Evans, with China’s Ho-Pin Tung as reserve driver.

Hopes for the start of the season are being kept in check and the team is under no illusions, said team manager James Barclay. “Expectations are in check but I can assure you we will be racing hard from the start of the season.”

How long before Jaguar wins again in a global FIA motorsport series, then?

Watch: Jaguar I-Type Formula E racer launched

Motorsport fans invited to watch Formula E testing free of charge

Motorsport fans invited to watch Formula E testing free of charge

Motorsport fans invited to watch Formula E testing free of charge

It’s the motorsport series that’s proving controversial – but in a bid to stoke-up some excitement around Formula E, bosses are inviting fans to watch testing at Donington Park for free.

The 10 teams, including newcomers Jaguar and Techeetah, will have six days to prepare their new-look electric race cars ahead of the opening round of the third Formula E season held in Hong Kong on October 9.

Testing of the all-electric racing cars, which feature a new two-tier front wing, will take place from August 23. Members of the public are invited to watch the testing for no cost on August 24 and 25.

Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag said: “Formula E aims to be different, and this new front wing creates a look that’s different to every other car out there. I think this is a great addition to our car and further emphasises the fact that this is a modern, forward-thinking championship that is taking a completely different approach to all other racing series.”

As well as seeing the new-look cars being tested, fans will be able to meet the drivers, with access to the pitlane and autograph signing sessions during the lunch break.

Wristbands for pitlane access are priced at £5 per person and can be purchased from the Donington Park ticket booths on the day.

Access to the testing is available on a first come, first served basis – with fans asked to register their interest here.

London ePrix 2015

Battersea residents kill off parkland FIA ePrix race

London ePrix 2015Battersea residents and Wandsworth Borough Council have agreed to drop a judicial review into London’s FIA Formula E race – because organisers have agreed this July’s race will be the last in Battersea Park.

Upset by disruption and a lack of tickets for residents, the Battersea residents and local council took organisers of the low-noise eco race series to court in an attempt to get the race stopped.

They believed they had a good case and some racing industry insiders agree Formula E organisers badly handled the relationship with Battersea locals – but it was argued in court it was too late to stop this year’s race, which is the 2015/16 season finale.

It was thus agreed that the July event will go ahead, but be the last one held in Battersea Park.

Which is to the relief of Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag, who said he was “very pleased that the Visa London ePrix will go ahead as planned.”

However, although this is it for the London Formula E race in its current form, Agag did say it needn’t be the end of the FIA race series in London – and he even added it could take the form of a Monaco Grand Prix-style street race on the capital’s roads.

“We now look forward to finding a new home him London, using the streets and backdrop of one of the most famous and recognisable cities in the world.”

Roborace Robocar

Roborace driverless series reveals Robocar racer concept

Roborace RobocarThe Roborace driverless car race series has appointed Hollywood sci-fi designer Daniel Simon as its chief design officer – and the German futurist has revealed his first sketches of the ambitious self-driving racer that will be hitting the world’s circuits later in 2016.

Called Robocar, the concept is, of course, unlike no other racing car in the world. Not least because it doesn’t need to house a driver.

With concealed wheels, aero-tuned surfacing and an almost scarily far-out appearance, the mean-looking racing car concept is guaranteed to stand out – particularly if Simon’s able to bring something like this to the FIA Formula E support series from autumn 2016.

The fact it doesn’t have to accommodate a driver is something Simon’s taken full advantage of, he explained.

“My goal was to create a vehicle that takes full advantage of the unusual opportunities of having no driver without ever compromising on beauty. Racing engineers and aerodynamicists have worked with me from the beginning to strike that balance.

“The Roborace is as much about competition as it is entertainment. Therefore – and quite unusual in today’s racing world – beauty was very high on our agenda and we work hard to merge the best performance with stunning styling.”

Explaining the tech details behind his concept, Simon said: “It was important to us that we generate substantial downforce without unnecessary parts cluttering the car to maintain a clean and iconic look.

“This is largely made possible by using the floor as the main aerodynamic device and we are currently developing active body parts that are more organic and seamless than solutions today.”

What is Roborace?

The Roborace driverless race series will support the FIA Formula E championship from the 2016/17 season. The electric-powered cars will be controlled by real-time computing algorithms and Artificial Intelligence, in full racing conditions.

10 teams will each run two cars, and the races will be an hour long.

All cars will be identical and the robotic autonomous racers will compete against one another across a full year-long season to decide the first driverless car world champion.

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