13 08 2018

GKN and Panasonic Jaguar Racing set new electric car course record at world’s oldest motorsport venue

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. The record attempt – a partnership between GKN Automotive and the Panasonic Jaguar Racing ABB FIA Formula E Championship team – saw New Zealander Mitch Evans pilot the Jaguar I-TYPE 2 on its dynamic debut in the UK on Sunday 12 August, breaking the previous record by 6.84 seconds.

GKN brought Panasonic Jaguar Racing’s car, the Jaguar I-TYPE 2, 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 Jaguar I-TYPE 2 Formula E 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 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’s historic links with both Shelsley Walsh and Jaguar. GKN 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 and Jaguar, dating back to 1935 when GKN 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 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 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 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’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.

Jaguar I-TYPE 2 Formula E race car at Shelsley Walsh

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