The Jaguar I-Type 2 Formula E race car has set a new electric car course record of 30.46 seconds at the world-famous Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb in Worcestershire, England. The record attempt – a partnership between GKN Driveline and the Panasonic Jaguar Racing ABB FIA Formula E Championship team – saw New Zealander Mitch Evans pilot the vehicle on its dynamic debut in the UK, breaking the previous record by 6.84 seconds.
GKN Driveline brought the car to Shelsley Walsh to coincide with the 113th anniversary of the very first hill climb at the historic venue. Mitch Evans’ record-setting run up the hill saw one of the most advanced electric vehicles tackling the world’s oldest motorsport venue that still uses its original course.
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 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, including high performance CV Joints and intelligent all-wheel drive systems.
GKN Driveline is in the first of a multi-year partnership with Panasonic Jaguar Racing, which will see the global engineering group provide design, manufacturing and consultancy services to the British Formula E team.