[dropcap]F[/dropcap]rom sweltering Hong Kong to the labyrinthine souks of Marrakesh – Panasonic Jaguar Racing’s second race in the 2016/17 FIA Formula E Championship will offer a striking contrast thanks to the heady flavours of Morocco, as both the all-electric Jaguar I-TYPE and the series make their first appearances on the African continent on November 12.
The British manufacturer made a solid start to its motorsport return in October, but is hoping to use the lessons learned on the Hong Kong harbour-front street circuit for its second race. Britain’s Adam Carroll finished 12th in a hectic, safety-car interrupted race, while New Zealander Mitch Evans was forced into retirement by a technical issue.
The ‘Race to Innovate’, as Jaguar maintains the ethos created in the 1950s to bring major developments from the race track to the road, continues as the electric single-seater series reaches the final race of this calendar year. Carroll, 33, and Evans, 22, are hungry for a second taste of the 12-round Formula E championship, which concludes in Montreal in July 2017.
What have you and the team been up to since Hong Kong?
“Our first race left us with a lot of data to analyse which has been incredibly helpful for our engineers who have been requesting more information to accelerate our learning as a new team. Running the cars under race conditions was extremely valuable from a development point of view as all the information we can gather is key at this stage,” said James Barclay, Team Director, Panasonic Jaguar Racing. “Adam went over to Fuji for a round of the World Endurance Championship while the rest of us flew back to the UK. Since then we have been undertaking simulation work in preparation for Marrakesh and both drivers have been in fitness training to prepare themselves for the warm conditions we expect the Marrakesh ePrix to serve up.”
The Marrakesh ePrix and Formula E is joining forces with the 22nd session of the Conference of Parties United Nations Framework Convention of Climate Change (COP22). What do you think about this collaboration?
“Panasonic Jaguar Racing is fully supportive of Formula E’s official partnership with COP22 for the inaugural Marrakesh ePrix,” said Barclay. “We are Racing to Innovate through our involvement in the series and we are proud to showcase the all-electric I-TYPE racecar. Jaguar Land Rover is committed to a future electrification strategy and we have some exciting plans to share very shortly. It is great to be involved as the first premium manufacturer in the series.”
What impressed you most from your first Formula E race?
“For me it was how busy the race was. It was elbows out from the first turn and everyone was fighting every second from start to finish. It was amazing racing and I literally can’t wait to do it all again in Marrakesh,” said Adam Carroll.
How much did you have to adjust your driving style?
“As always when you’re in a new car, you have to adjust your style a bit to figure out how to get the most out of the car. I’ve been working hard with the team to adapt my driving style to do that, particularly in regard to being efficient with energy management,” said Mitch Evans.
What’s your take on the performance and energy consumption of the I-TYPE?
“The I-TYPE is great to drive; it has incredible torque and is nothing like I’ve ever driven before. Our energy management was very positive in Hong Kong which is very impressive for a new team. There is still some speed to find as the season progresses but that’s part of finding our feet in the championship as a new team and with a new car. We have a really exciting time ahead of us to see how much we can get out of the car before the season ends,” said Mitch Evans.
How well have you got to know the team so far?
“We had a good chance to bond as a team in Hong Kong so I now know everyone’s favourite Dim-Sum orders! Joking aside, all time spent together as a new team is extremely valuable as the better we know each other the better we will perform in stressful situations, which as a race team we will inevitably have,” said Adam Carroll.