Final ever race for Jaguar i-Pace eTrophy
Updated: Aug 16
Last week marked the very final race for the 2018-founded Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy: it was a midfield fight with the chance for a podium for Alice Powell and a solid raceday for Jessica Hawkins as guest driver, as Simon Evans clinched the title.
In 2018 the Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy was founded as the first permanent support series for FIA Formula E and was the first touring car championship to feature fully electric cars. After only two seasons, Jaguar decided to cancel the series because of a brand-realignment in motorsport due to the CoVid19-pandemic.
After two seasons, the series crowned as its champions Brazilian Sergio Jimenez and New Zealander Simon Evans.
The Kiwi was three points behind championship leader Jimenez coming into the final round in Berlin. Evans qualfied on P2 ahead of rival Jimenez and behind Caca Bueno (ZEG iCarros Jaguar Brazil). Team Asia New Zealand driver Evans just needed to finish the race ahead of Jimenez (ZEG iCarros Jaguar Brazil) to take the title. And Evans was indeed on a charge in Berlin, as he won four of the seven races, driving his Jaguar flawlessly.
At the start of the final race, Jimenez was in early danger as Jaguar China Racing driver Nick Foster tried to pass him. But the Brazilian pushed him towards the barrier to defend his position and Foster dropped back.
Paul Spooner of Saudi Racing and guest driver Sven Förster came together and, collecting a puncture, Spooner was out of the race earlier than expected.
Jimenez was the first of the leader group who activated Attack Mode, but Evans responded back immediately and, as he got his extra power, could defend his position against his title rival. Evans quickly followed Bueno, while Jimenez looked like he did not quite have the speed to catch up with the leading duo.
Fahad Algosaibi crashed and wiped the on-board camera away from his front bumper as he tried to pass ZEG iCarros Jaguar Brazil's AM driver Adalberto Baptista in the hairpin and the two made contact.
Bueno took his Attack Mode, shortly before Jimenez. Bueno overtook Evans again, but Jimenez failed. Evans had enough room to activate Attack Mode and did not lose his position against Jimenez, pulling away. At the end of another very tense race, Jimenez had nothing to do against Simon Evans' outstanding drive, who finished second in the race and first in the championship.
Alice Powell started from the second row of the grid and finished the race with Jaguar Ran Racing Team Germany in P4, just like in the overall championship standings. Jessica Hawkins had another good race and had some entertaining fights with other guest driver Förster and with the AM drivers.
At that was it - the final round of Jaguar iPace eTrophy.
The first season saw some critics because of the equality of the cars that made passing difficult and the tight tracks often produced accidents and yellow flags. In its second season, the Attack Mode was a great innovation to create more exciting racing, and became the main talking point for the battles for points, victories and the championship.
Overall, the Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy was a throughly entertaining support series that proved great attention to its grid diversity. In its inaugural season, one of the most successful female racing drivers were brought to the field as Katherine Legge joined Rahal-Letterman Racing.
Legge fought for the championship and famously won the Mexico City round, becoming the first woman to win a race in the Formula E weekend.
In the Pro-Am class, Célia Martin made notable progresses throughout her season and was a consistent class-podium finisher.
In the second and final season, Alice Powell landed a full time seat - her first after her 2019 W Series return - and looked strong in the opening rounds. She claimed to podiums in Ad-Diriyah and was set to fight for the overall championship, but the second part of the season entirely contested in Berlin brought her a fourth place and three fifth place finishes as best results.
Nevertheless, the addition of VIP and fellow W Series drivers Abbie Eaton and Jessica Hawkins were a great testament to the series - which also famously provided Saudi racer Reema Juffali with her biggest platform yet in her home race.
With six female drivers starting at least one Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy race, the championship was also a great access point to competitive electric racing and will be missed in next year's FIA Formula E events.