Gaining support

Jaguar is set to join the support bill at Formula E next year

Formula E will finally have a proper support series for season five in 2018/19. And about time, too.

Jaguar has stepped up to the plate with the launch of the I-PACE eTrophy. The one-make series for 20 of the British manufacturer’s new electric crossover vehicle, due to go on sale in the second half of 2018, fills a void that FE appears to have been reluctant to plug since the championship started three years go.

FE may have a quick-fire one-day format – the double-headers are effectively two separate meetings – but the tracks have been largely empty when the FE grid pits. There was a one-off race for electric VW Golfs at Hong Kong a year ago and, in season one, the Formula E School Series, which was more of a slow bicycle race than a motorsport event.

FE has made much of appealing to a new type of motorsport fan, rather than a traditional anorak expecting a full support programme. But anyone who has paid for a seat needs entertaining.

Roborace, the company behind the autonomous racing cars currently under development, envisages a series of media-friendly challenges as oppose to races. A man versus machine shoot-out is planned for Hong Kong in December.

So the I-PACE eTrophy, coinciding with a freeing up of paddock space when car-swapping disappears in FE, will be a welcome addition to the show.