GKN Automotive is teaming up with partner Panasonic Jaguar Racing to bring one of the world’s most advanced electric vehicles to the oldest motor sport venue, Shelsley Walsh in Worcestershire.
GKN Automotive is bringing the Panasonic Jaguar Racing ABB FIA Formula E Championship team’s race car, the Jaguar I-TYPE 2, to the historic venue for its public UK debut on August 12. The UK debut coincides with the 113th anniversary of the first hill climb at Shelsley Walsh, combining the ultimate in modern electric vehicle technology with the famous motor racing course.
The race car will be driven at Shelsley by Panasonic Jaguar Racing driver Mitch Evans, who is currently sitting 8th in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship Drivers Standing. Panasonic Jaguar Racing is currently 5th in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship.
New Zealander Evans will be hoping to add his name to the Shelsley history books alongside Rudolf Caracciola, Malcolm Campbell, Hans Stuck, Stirling Moss, Derek Bell and Andy Priaulx.
Andrew Lytheer, GKN Automotive Team & Partnership Director, said: “We’re excited to bring the Jaguar I-TYPE 2, containing some of the world’s most sophisticated electric driveline technology, to Shelsley Walsh, the world’s oldest motor sport venue. Panasonic Jaguar Racing is coming to the end of a successful second season in Formula E, so bringing the car to the UK, where it was developed and manufactured, will be a special way to end the season.”
Mitch Evans, Panasonic Jaguar Racing driver, said: “I am looking forward to driving the Jaguar I-TYPE 2 up the famous Shelsley Walsh hill climb. We have a lot of hill climbs back home in New Zealand but this is the most famous and historic. My all electric race car should be well suited to the challenge and I’m intrigued to see what my time will be. I look forward to seeing our friends from GKN Automotive and meeting some UK fans.”
Antony Harper, Chairman Midland Automobile Club, said “To have technologically advanced cars at Shelsley is something we’re used to, but this is going to be something unique and very special to see come to the start line even in the 113 year history of the hill. Hill climbing has naturally had many innovative cars racing in the sport but the Jaguar I-TYPE 2 Formula E car is something no one has ever seen against the clock so there will be a huge amount of interest following Mitch up the hill. To have the ongoing support from GKN Automotive and a 2018 works team present on the very 113th birthday of the hill climb is something we’re all looking forward to here."
The event strengthens GKN Automotive’s historic links with both Shelsley Walsh and Jaguar. GKN Automotive has been a supporter of the venue for a number of years and many of the vehicles that have claimed records at the site have contained GKN Automotive technology.
Formula E continues the long-running partnership between GKN Automotive and Jaguar, dating back to 1935 when GKN Automotive supplied driveline technology to the first SS Jaguar saloon. Today, GKN Automotive supplies every Jaguar model on the market with a range of driveline technologies, including high performance CV Joints and intelligent all-wheel drive systems.
In motorsport and Jaguar’s performance cars, GKN Automotive driveshafts have featured on almost everything, from the Le Mans-winning C-Type in 1951 to the XJ200.
GKN Automotive 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.
Expertise from across GKN Automotive will provide technical consultancy and new technology, from driveshafts and differentials to the use of additive manufacturing, for the team’s Formula E race car. GKN Automotive’s considerable experience in delivering state-of-the-art electric vehicle systems means it will also advise on the development of the racer’s all-electric powertrain.