The Jaguar I-PACE eTrophy, the first motorsport victim of the coronavirus pandemic.

The eTrophy Championship is thought to be the first international motorsport series to be cancelled directly as a result of the current COVID-19 pandemic.

When Jaguar made a return to international motorsport with its Formula E team in 2016, they quickly followed that a couple of years later when they took over the support race space, by providing a one-make series for the electric I-PACE SUV.

The first season saw 10 races but quickly reduced to eight - until the unavoidable disruption caused by COVID-19 put a halt to motorsport globally.

The grid peaked in its first year with 12 cars, but that has dropped to 10 entries for the current season split across six teams. There are extra cars for guest drivers as well.

Director of the Formula E team for Jaguar, James Barclay said:

Over the last two seasons, the Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY has produced some incredible racing around the world and has been a valuable addition to the Formula E schedule. Along with our valued entrants and series partners, we are proud of having created a true world-first with the I-PACE eTROPHY. Together we have pioneered battery electric vehicle racing. We would like to thank them for joining us on this journey and turning the vision into reality, helping show the industry what is possible in terms of electrification in motorsport.

“The series has realised many of the targets we set out to achieve. However, during these unprecedented times of the coronavirus pandemic, we have reviewed our strategy and made the decision to withdraw the Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY series after two successful seasons.

“We remain fully committed to electric motorsport and our Jaguar Racing Formula E programme as an important part of our transition to electric mobility and Destination Zero. I’m looking forward to the Formula E and eTROPHY seasons resuming if and when it is safe for our team, partners and fans to do so.

Jaguar’s ‘Race to Innovate’ mission allowed the British manufacturer to use its learnings and experience in Formula E to turn the award-winning Jaguar I-PACE into the first ever battery electric race car based on a production vehicle. Continuing Jaguar’s longstanding race to road philosophy the eTROPHY series puts the all-electric Jaguar I-PACE through extreme racing conditions and the first two seasons have yielded a number of valuable and transferrable learnings to its production cars.

One key benefit derived from eTROPHY learning was a complimentary software update for all existing I-PACE owners that delivered up to 20km of additional real-world range on a full charge. The update, available from December 2019 and standard on all new I-PACEs since then, uses race-derived enhancements to optimise battery management, thermal systems and all-wheel drive torque delivery to increase range.

Jaguar have said that they are full committed to continuing with their Formula E programme as part of their development work towards the transition to electric power for their range of road cars. Jaguar released a statement stating that the championship complete the current season if possible but will not resume with a new one after that.

Their commitment to Formula E going forward was met with relief by the CEO of Formula E, Jamie Reigle who said;

Jaguar are fantastic partners on and off the track. The success of the eTROPHY in taking the pioneering technology Jaguar developed through Formula E and applying it to high performance production cars is a testament to their branding and engineering capabilities. At Formula E, we’re delighted to have supported this project which showcases how we enable our partners to leverage our platform to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles. We look forward to continuing to work with Jaguar Racing on their Formula E programme.

We really hope that Jaguar do continue to commit to motorsport as, after a somewhat shaky start, the team are going form strength to strength and have been delivering some superb results in recent times.

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