RAHAL ON JAGUAR I-PACE ETROPHY RACING
24 November 2020
Here the RLL Racing team principal, three-time IndyCar Champion, Indianapolis 500 winner, explains what attracted him to the new series.
What sparked your interest in entering a team for the new Jaguar I-PACE eTrophy series?
Our thinking at Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing has been changing in recent years. We've been looking for opportunities to have an international presence, which beyond two races in Canada, we don't have right now. The concept of eTROPHY as a global, one-make championship with costs very much under control, and the opportunity to race at some fabulous street circuits around the world, really appealed. For us, it's a great way to spread our wings internationally, but do so in a controlled way.
You'll be fielding two cars. Perfect for a Rahal father and son team?
I think my racing days are past. Also I have a deep responsibility to the team to ensure we have the best drivers behind the wheel. Of course I'm not saying that I wouldn't love to drive a car in a test session some time. In the end, racing for us is all about winning and that means having the two best drivers we can find.
Any thoughts on the kind of drivers you'll be looking for?
No clear plans yet, but as you can imagine, my email inbox has been kinda busy recently. Does it have to be an American driver? Does it have to be European? Male, or female? We are actually very open. If I'm thinking out loud, I'd see the drivers we're looking for being on the younger side as we don't know where the eTROPHY series will lead. I think within six months we'll want to have our two drivers signed-up. Any later and the best candidates will have already made their plans for 2019.
With JLR Special Vehicle Operations building the cars and you turning up with your drivers to compete, what are going to be the biggest challenges for Team RLL Racing?
I think understanding the whole battery equation is going to be our biggest challenge. Instead of being out there trying to save fuel, we'll be trying to conserve battery life. How fast can you go and still have juice to take you to the finish line? That's going to take some working out.
How exciting do you think the racing is going to be?
I think 20 identical racing Jaguar I-PACE models competing in a 30-minute race around challenging street circuits is going to be pretty exciting to watch. I think it is going to be great racing, very competitive, and a real showcase for the all-electric I-PACE road car.
The Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY will be a support series to the all-electric FIA Formula E Championship that Panasonic Jaguar Racing is currently contending. For more information, go to: www.jaguarusa.com/jaguar-