The Jaguar I-PACE eTrophy grid expands to 11 cars for the second round of the championship in Mexico City this weekend.
Team Brazil, which runs reigning champion Sergio Jimenez, expands to a three car line-up as GT driver Adalberto Baptista joins the team. Second year driver Caca Bueno also returns to the team, after missing the Saudi Arabia double header due to prior commitments in the Brazilian Stock Car championship.
“I am honoured to join the ZEG iCarros Jauar Brazil team alongside Sergio and Caca,” said Baptista. “They have shown how competitive and exciting the Jaguar I-PACE eTrophy series is, and I can’t wait to line up on the grid in Mexico City this week.”
Also joining the grid in Mexico will be former World Superbike racer Takuma Aoki.
Aoiki will make history as the first disabled racer to compete in an international electric race series when he makes his debut with Team Yokohama Challenge this weekend.
The Japanese racer enjoyed a successful bike racing career before a spinal injury in 1998 left him paralysed below the waist. He now races in specially modified cars, competing in multiple rallies and endurance racing events, including the 2009 Dakar Rally.
“I am very excited to be joining the Jaguar I-PACE eTrophy with Team Yokohama Challenge for my first competition in electric racing,” he said. “Everybody is a challenger in life, but I can now prove once more that life is not ending and you can still challenge your dreams even if you are paralysed.
“I want to thank the Jaguar Racing engineering team, GuidoSimlex and M-Sport for their hard work on modifying the car, I can’t wait to be competing in Mexico City alongside some experienced racers.”
Aoiki’s I-PACE has been modified with a Guido Simplex America Lever actuator fitted to the steering column, and changes to the pedal box.
“Adapting the Jaguar I-PACE eTrophy to be driven with hand controls was an exciting challenge for SVO,” said Jaguar I-PACE eTrophy vehicle engineering manager Adam Jones. “Working alongside Takuma’s race team and M-Sport we have delivered a package that will enable Takuma to transition competitively into the eTrophy race series. It has been a great collaboration and demonstrates the progressive and innovative engineering behind the Jaguar I-PACE eTrophy series.”
Elsewhere, the flight limitations due to the Coronavirus will lead to an all-new line up at Jaguar China Racing.
The outbreak has already lead to the postponement of the Sanya E-Prix, which had been scheduled for March, as well as the Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix.
NIO Formula E driver Ma Quinghua opted to enter a voluntary quarantine ahead of the Mexico race earlier this month, but countrymen and Jaguar China Racing regulars Zhang Yaqi and Sun Chao have chosen to miss the event.
2019 VIP driver David Cheng and Mexican racer Manuel Cabera will step in at the team.
In the VIP car, former IndyCar driver Mario Dominguez will make his I-PACE eTrophy debut in front of his home crowd.
“We are looking forward to racing again in Mexico City,” said series manager Mark Turner. “It is great to see some new faces on the grid, including Adalberto Baptista, Takuma Aoki, and Manuel Cabrea.
“The Mexico City crowds are extremely passionate so we hope they enjoy watching the series for the second time.
“I’d also like to extend a warm welcome to local VIP driver Mario Dominguez, who will be joining us this weekend.”
Images courtesy of Jaguar Racing