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Abbie Eaton stood in front of car, helmet under arm

Abbie Eaton and Mario Haberfeld join Jaguar opener

Jaguar announced Grand Tour test driver Abbie Eaton and former Champ Car driver Mario Haberfeld for the opening round of the 2019-20 Jaguar I-PACE eTrophy championship.

Eaton will run as one of two VIP drivers for the opening round of the season, while Haberfeld, who hasn’t driven competitively for over a decade, will stand in for Team Brazil driver Caca Bueno.

“I am excited to be racing in the first round of the Jaguar I-PACE eTrophy in Saudi,” said Eaton.

“The Riyadh track looks challenging and technical and I’ve heard fantastic things about the Jaguar I-PACE too!

“It’ll be a first for me racing a fully-electric racing car so thank you to Jaguar Racing for the opportunity.”

Eaton will join local driver Reema Juffali as one-off drivers for the Saudi Arabia doubleheader.

The 27-year-old has competed in a variety of GT championship, including British GT and Blancpain. Eaton has most recently raced in the Titans RX rallycross championship, ending the season 13th overall after a partial campaign. She has also been confirmed for the 2020 W Series championship.

Haberfeld joins season one champion Sergio Jimenez at Team Brazil for the Saudi round.

Already confirmed Caca Bueno will have to miss the opening round of the championship due to commitments in the Brazilian Stock Car championship.

The outing will be Haberfeld’s first competitive drive since 2008 when he drove for the Embassy Racing squad in the Monza round of the Le Mans Series.

“When I got the invitation from the Brazilian Team, to replace Caca Bueno, it was quite a surprise as I haven’t raced for over 10 years, but I’m sure it will be a really fun weekend,” he said.

“I’m inquisitive to drive the I-PACE, as this will be my first time competing in an electric car. I’ve talked to Caca, in order to get some tips about the car, and I hope I will do two good races in Saudi Arabia.

“It will be an honour to race for Team Brazil and be back to represent my country.”

Jaguar has also confirmed race winner Simon Evans will return to the championship with Team Asia New Zealand for a second season, taking the grid to 10 cars for the season opener.

Evans, older brother of Jaguar Formula E driver Mitch, won the first-ever eTrophy race in Rhyad last year. He claimed four further podiums on his way to fourth in the championship.

“I’m proud to be back representing Team Asia New Zealand for season two,” he said. “I learnt a lot last season and I can use that heading into the first round. 

“Team Brazil, who were the benchmark at the second half of season one, are back and they will be fast no doubt. The ATTACK MODE is a great addition to the series where strategy will be key. I will be 100% ready come lights out in Saudi.”

Photo courtesy Jaguar Racing

Bethonie Waring

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