Jaguar has announced its return to global motorsport with an entry for the third season of the FIA Formula E Championship, with Williams Advanced Engineering confirmed as technical partner. The racing will commence in the autumn of 2016. The team will be led by Craig Wilson, the managing director of Williams Advanced Engineering, who will take on the role of Race Director for the team.
Williams Advanced Engineering is a long term engineering partner of Jaguar, having worked together on projects such as the C-X75 hybrid supercar, and will be responsible for the operational running of the Jaguar Formula E race team. Williams Advanced Engineering will also be working in close collaboration with Jaguar on research and development.
Best known for its successes in Formula 1 over the past four decades, Williams also has a long standing history of supporting organisations in a range of motorsport series such as endurance racing, rallying and touring cars. Williams has extensive Formula E experience as the sole supplier of the batteries that power the cars in the Championship. This has included on event technical support to each team – a role that will now transfer to Spark Racing Technologies for season 3 onwards.
FIA Formula E offers a unique opportunity for Jaguar Land Rover to develop its own future EV powertrain including motor and battery technology on the track, which will be seen in the brand’s future range of passenger vehicles. The team entry has been granted by Formula E and approved by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA).
“Jaguar is proud to announce its return to racing,” says Nick Rogers, the Group Engineering Director for Jaguar Land Rover. “We’re at the forefront of pioneering technology. Over the next five years we will see more changes in the automotive world than in the last three decades. The future is more about being connected, electrification and lightweight architectures. Formula E enables us to engineer and test advanced technologies under extreme conditions. Formula E will provide genuine live testing for future electric vehicle powertrain technology, which will appear in our new range of vehicles. We are working with a number of partners on the future of electrification including Warwick University, battery suppliers and of course our long-term partners Williams. We will have our engineers embedded with Williams from the start and our innovations will directly affect future Jaguar Land Rover vehicles.”
Jaguar says that Formula E was the obvious choice given its plans to develop electric cars in the future.
“We looked in detail at alternative ways of returning to motorsport,” said James Barclay, Jaguar Team Director. “This was such an important decision for Jaguar and we wanted to get it right. Formula E was the obvious choice and we believe that the benefits are enormous. The FIA and the promoter have exciting plans for the future of the championship and we are proud to be one of the first vehicle manufacturers to commit to the series with our own team.”