14.8.2018Jaguar's Formula E car sets new electric record at historic hill climb
Panasonic Jaguar Racing's I-Type 2 Formula E car has set a new electric record up the Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb, with a time of 30.46 seconds. The attempt at the historic Worcestershire saw Panasonic Jaguar Racing driver Mitch Evans break the previous electric record by 6.84 seconds.
Set 113 years to the day after Shelsley's first hill climb event, the Jaguar I-Type 2 was taken to the course by technical partner GKN Driveline. It's the first year of five year partnership, which will see GKN provide increasing support for the racing team, making good use of its electric powertrain expertise.
The tangible benefit from the partnership between Jaguar's racing team and the drivetrain component supplier is that development in motorsport will directly influence components and systems in Jaguar Land Rover's road cars.
Gordon Day at GKN Innovation Centre, Abingdon, said: “In breaking the electric car course record with the Jaguar I-Type 2, we’ve helped to show the incredible potential of pure electric drive to an ever-broader group of enthusiasts. It was a privilege to partner with Panasonic Jaguar Racing on this endeavour, showcasing the I-Type 2 in its UK track debut with a suitably thrilling result."
Mitch Evans, Panasonic Jaguar Racing driver, said: “It was a great honour to drive the Jaguar I-Type 2 at such a historic venue, and the whole team was elated with the record time we managed to achieve. Formula E fans in the UK were incredibly welcoming, and it was great to see them so excited about the car’s debut run here. I’m proud to have moved the class-best result a step further towards a potential pure electric outright hill record in the future.”
Antony Harper, Chairman Midland Automobile Club, said “In 113 years of Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb history, we have never seen a more advanced electric vehicle take to the course, so it was a thrill to see the Jaguar I-Type 2 Formula E car charge up the hill and secure a new course record under electric power. We’re proud to have hosted the car’s UK debut, and we certainly welcome GKN Driveline and Panasonic Jaguar Racing back to the course in the years to come to see if they can beat the record again.”
The successful record attempt further strengthens GKN Driveline’s historic links with both Shelsley Walsh and Jaguar. GKN Driveline has been a supporter of the hill climb venue for a number of years and many of the vehicles that have claimed records at the site have been driven by its technology.
Formula E continues the long-running partnership between GKN Driveline and Jaguar, dating back to 1935 when GKN Driveline supplied driveline technology to the first SS Jaguar saloon, and through to icons such as the Le Mans-winning C-Type in 1951 and the XJ220 supercar of the 1990s. Today, GKN Driveline supplies every Jaguar model on the market with a range of driveline technologies.
The record follows on from other recent successes for electric racing cars at hill climbs, with the VW I.D. R Pikes Peak claiming the outright time for course it is named after, and then following that with a record at Goodwood earlier this summer.
The Jaguar's time was set by Evans in conditions that were greasy following on from rain earlier in the day. An outright record wasn't expected considering the specialised nature of the cars that have taken the fastest times before, compared to the Formula E car's homologation designed around street racing. However, Evans said that the tight and twisty course wasn't too dissimilar to a street circuit in principle.
With a new, faster Formula E model due later this year, a return from Panasonic Jaguar Racing, alongside Evans' increased familiarity with the course, may see the outright record set - particularly if conditions are drier than this weekend's.