The Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY could have a full grid by the end of its first season, but not for the season-opener in Riyadh, according to Jaguar Racing director James Barclay.
The spec championship will get underway in support of next month’s Ad Diriyah E-Prix and will follow the ABB FIA Formula E Championship to nine cities over the course of its first season.
Jaguar has plans for a full grid of 20 cars and while Barclay doesn’t expect a full field for the season-opener in Saudi Arabia, he is confident numbers will pick up as the season progresses.
“I think everyone appreciates that this is a world first on a number on levels, and there’s a huge amount of interest,” Barclay told e-racing365.
“It’s very unusual that championships operate at full grids, especially at their first race of their first season, so to have the majority of the full grid is very positive.
“We’re absolutely expecting to be at a full grid during the season, that’s a clear focus for us.
“I’ve no doubt that if we don’t have a full grid in Riyadh, by the time we start racing and people see how exciting the championship is, people will come on board. We should get that full grid by the end of the season.
“It’s a long program for us and this first phase is key so we’re expecting to have a capacity championship as we go into these next few years with it.”
Six drivers have been confirmed so far: Katherine Legge, Bryan Sellers, Simon Evans, Sergio Jimenez, Caca Bueno and Celia Martin.
Two more teams, from China and Saudi Arabia, are set to reveal programs in the coming weeks, with Ahmed Bin Khanen expected to drive for the Saudi entrant.
“Where exactly we’ll end up in Riyadh is work in progress, because a number of entrants are still hoping to have themselves in place by Riyadh,” Barclay explained.
“We had a capacity of 20 cars which we can get onto the grid, and from our point of view, progress is going well.
“Whether or not we have everyone in place for Riyadh is still TBC, but I think there’s good progress from a number of the entrants.
“To put a number on it is tricky at the moment but with everyone who is intending to join the championship, we’ll be close, if not there.”