Event: Panasonic Jaguar Racing team launch
Series: FIA Formula E
Location: Jaguar Collections Centre, British Motor Museum, UK
Date: 08 September 2016
When one of the world’s foremost maker of luxury and sports cars decides to rejoin the world of top level motor racing after more than a decade away, it’s not going to be a low-key return. Cue the launch event for Jaguar’s new Formula E racing team.
The setting: the marque’s centre for its iconic cars from the past, housed at the British Motor Museum. The guests: the great and good of the motoring press and community, including The Times’ F1 journalist Kevin Eason and Autocar’s editor-in-chief Steve Cropley, managing director of Donington Park Christopher Tate and Formula E boss Alejandro Agag. The host? Well, two actually. A video introduction from racing legend Sir Stirling Moss briefly recapped Jag’s technical innovations and racing pedigree, before live proceedings got underway with racer, presenter and team ambassador Amanda Stretton at the helm.
Jaguar had successfully completed six days of collective preseason testing at Donington Park, its electric “I-Type” racing car wearing a test livery without sponsor inclusion and with no confirmation of who the team’s racing drivers would be. At the launch event, which took place the day after the second test finished, the assembled audience was treated to the reveal of the car’s new livery, confirmation that its racing drivers in Formula E’s season three would be Adam Carroll and Mitch Evans (with Ho-Pin Tung as reserve driver) and the revelation that electronics giant Panasonic had signed up as title sponsor. The electric car was driven onto the stage by Tung, one of the advantages of the zero-emissions technology.
Pounding music, strobe-like neon lights, a big names from the motoring and motorsport worlds: yes, this really was a proper car launch. With major car manufacturers pouring into Formula E (Renault, Citroen DS, Audi and Mahindra are already involved, as are automotive start-ups NextEV and Faraday Future; BMW is also involved, albeit without confirming yet which team it is working with), we can expect to see more of these high-profile events in the future.