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Gemmell: EPCS an “Open Series”; Other Cars Welcome

Electric GT CEO would welcome chassis variety in currently all-Tesla EPCS…

Photo: Electric GT

Electric GT CEO Mark Gemmell has clarified that the Electric Production Car Series is an open championship and that he would welcome additional manufacturers with open arms.

The championship, which is set to get underway later this year, is currently based around a race-going version of the Tesla Model S, but is not a spec Tesla-only series.

Gemmell says that he would be “very pleased” to accept other manufacturers to the EPCS, which is targeting a 20-car grid for Season One.

“This is not a Tesla race,” Gemmell told e-racing365. “Tesla is giving us a good level of support and the cars are obviously the only ones in the market that can perform on the circuit.

“Just as soon as there’s another production car that could race on a circuit at a similar level to the Tesla, we would want to see that car in the series.

“This is an open series. The name says it all, it’s electric production cars.”

Other cars would have to have a power-to-weight ratio of 300 horsepower per metric ton and produce a minimum of 70 kWh of energy, according to Gemmell.

“If a car hits the road that can meet those sorts of requirements and a manufacturer is keen to show its performance, we’d be very pleased to see that car in a race that very same day,” he said.

Nevertheless, it is still likely that the 2018-19 EPCS season will feature an all-Tesla grid, given the difficulties that an additional manufacturer would face in order to prepare a car in time for an October debut.

“The FIA technical regulations that we have presented are not specific to the Tesla but there would be some fairly major hoops to jump through if it were a different car,” Gemmell explained.

“They’re not, by any means, insurmountable. It’s just you’d want to roll your sleeves up and really get on the case if you were going to do that.

“It comes down to, amongst other things, a crash test. A race-prepared car would have to go through the same crash test as we’ve gone through with the Tesla.

“That in itself is a hurdle, let’s face it. It’s money and time. But if there were a manufacturer that were willing to go through those hurdles, we would applaud that, even in Season One.”

Electric GT Would Be “Very Pleased” to Welcome Jaguar I-PACE

Gemmell says he would love to see a team bring the Jaguar I-PACE to the EPCS but explains that it would have to be prepared in such a way that it would be balanced with the Tesla.

The series’ main competition looks set to come from the Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY which is also scheduled to make its debut later this year in support of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship.

Jaguar has been keen to market its I-PACE as a rival to the Tesla Model X, as a larger SUV with a higher center of gravity than the Model S.

“We’d be very pleased to see the I-PACE compete,” Gemmell said. “They’ve positioned it correctly as a competitor for Tesla’s SUV.

“It would be unfair to pitch a saloon car against an SUV as such, but if there was any appetite from Jaguar to compete, we’d be very pleased to welcome them.

“If any team were willing to prepare an I-PACE such as it would be able to compete, we’d be very pleased to see that as well.

“I think the likely competitors are going to be slightly more in a sports [car] format, where they would have a slightly lower center of gravity with a slightly better power to weight ratio.

“That said, the field is reasonably open, and by all means it’s a possibility that Jaguar or any other manufacturer could compete and we’d be very happy to see them.”

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist who is e-racing365's Managing Editor and also European Editor for Sportscar365. He is a student of Politics and International Relations. Contact Jake

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. krisg

    June 5, 2018 at 10:41 am

    The championship should impose by rule that only cars available for sale and with a minimum number of units sold could participate, doing so it would avoid a manufacturer jumping in with a bespoke prototype and keep road relevance.

  2. krisg

    June 5, 2018 at 10:43 am

    the Jaguar i-Pace isn’t a SUV but a Crossover, sort of raised Hatchback. With lowered suspension it could fight the Tesla Model S in the track.

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