Jaguar has axed the I-PACE eTROPHY series, announcing on Monday that the single-make all-electric series will end following the 2019-20 FIA Formula E Championship season.
Launched in 2018 utilizing production-based SUVs, the eTROPHY served as the exclusive support series for Formula E, although has struggled with car counts from the onset.
The British manufacturer had initially targeted 20-car grids but saw on average 12 vehicles during its inaugural season in 2018-19, which was won by Brazilian Sergio Jimenez.
Season 2, which kicked off with a double-header at Diriyah in November, featured nine cars, with an additional race taking place in Mexico City prior to the suspension of events due to the coronavirus pandemic.
While the statement from Jaguar indicates that the eTROPHY will see out the 2019-20 season, it’s unclear if that will be possible due to the current global health crisis.
E-racing365 understands that Formula E is exploring the possibility of races in the UK, Seoul and Berlin’s Tempelhof Airport from the end of July to September, although events have yet to be confirmed.
The cancelation of Jaguar’s single-make series will not affect the manufacturer’s participation in Formula E, according to statement, which says it will “continue to build on its success” to date.
“The series has realized many of the targets we set out to achieve,” said Jaguar Racing team principal James Barclay.
“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 program 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 noted that direct lessons were taken from the eTROPHY, including a software update for its road-going I-PACE vehicles, released in December, that provides up to 20 km of additional range due to enhancements in battery management, thermal systems and torque delivery.
A number notable drivers took part in the series including U.S. sports car racing stars Katherine Legge and Bryan Sellers, as well as several one-off drives from the likes of Adam Carroll and Salvador Duran.
“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,” Barclay added.
“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.”