Speed Demons and Dream Teams: Jaguar TCS Racing

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In this week’s edition of Speed Demons and Dream Teams we’re taking a look at Jaguar TCS Racing. Strap on and enjoy.

Credit: Formula E Media Bank / Sam Bloxham

Welcome in the third edition of Speed Demons and Dream Teams series, and today, we’re talking Jaguar TCS Racing – a team that leaped into third position after São Paulo E-Prix. Here, we’re looking at the teams background, as well as the biographies of their current line-up: Mitch Evans and Sam Bird. Are you ready?

Jaguar TCS Racing joined Formula E in Season 3, and is currently in its 6th season in the championship, with a line-up they’ve been sporting for a few seasons now, namely the duo of Sam Bird and Mitch Evans. Jaguar has a rich history in motorsports, which dates back to 1948, and after stunts in Formula 1 and other categories, they’ve decided to bring back their motorsports programme through electric racing in 2016. After a challenging inaugural season in which the team finished at the back of the pack, the team improved in its second campaign with Nelson Piquet Jr. and Mitch Evans, finishing in sixth place. Midway through the 2018/19 season, Evans clinched the team’s first victory in Rome, while Alex Lynn replaced Piquet Jr. for the remainder of the season. The team’s efforts in Formula E continue to help test, develop, and refine the latest technology available to the next generation of Jaguar’s all-electric cars.

In Season 7, both drivers had a chance of winning the World Championship title, with Bird winning in Diriyah and producing an impressive drive in New York City. However, a blank on home soil in London and a technical issue in Round 14 put paid to his title shot. Teammate Evans was leading the charge for the team in the Drivers’ title chase but a technical issue prevented his getaway from the line, halting his run at the title. In Season 8, Evans had a stunning campaign, with two wins in Rome and an overall second place in the championship, while Bird had a disappointing season, finishing 13th in the standings without any silverware. Now, after a difficult beginning to Season 9, the team jumped into third in constructors standings after a fantastic 1-3 (or 1-2-3 to be exact) in São Paulo. Jaguar supplies another team on the grid with their power trains, this team being Envision Racing, who so far had an impressive start into the season, clenching onto P2 so far.

The team is lead by James Barclay, who was appointed the Team Principal for Jaguars programme in November 2015, after which he was promoted to the Managing Director of Jaguar Land Rover Motorsport in 2021. He headed up the team’s absolutely iconic back-to-back win in Rome in Season 8, and a close second place finish for Mitch Evans that same year.

Mitch Evans

Born and raised in Auckland, New Zealand, Mitch Evans has been with Jaguar since their debut in Formula E and is currently, without a doubt, one of the most popular and best performing drivers on the grid. Now entering his sixth season in the championship, he came close to winning both in Season 7 and 8, but having to settle for no championship title so far in electric racing.

Evans began his motorsport career at the age of six in karts and won the NZ Grand Prix at 16. Mentored by Mark Webber, he won the 2012 GP3 title and became the youngest driver in GP2 history to stand on the podium after finishing third in Sepang, Malaysia. In Formula E, since the very start of his campaign he showed great pace and promise, with achieving a fourth-place finish in Mexico in his first season and Jaguar’s first podium finish in Hong Kong in his second season. For season 2020/21 he was joined by Sam Bird as a teammate, where Evans led the charge for the team in the Drivers’ title chase after Bird’s retirement in Round 14 but was unable to make a run at the title due to a technical issue preventing his getaway from the line. In Season 8, he achieved his best points haul yet but fell short of the pace required for a Drivers’ title. He won twice in Rome, finished second in Monaco, and had an up-and-down mid-season with wins at the Jakarta E-Prix and podiums in New York City and Marrakesh, along with a non-score in New York and a best of fifth in Berlin. Despite winning the opener of the Seoul finale, a retirement in London meant he settled for second in the overall table.

Now in Season 9, he is currently ninth in the standings, after a difficult start to a season, but he might be able to turn the tables now after a brilliant win in São Paulo.

Credit: Formula E Media Bank / LAT Images

Sam Bird

Sam Bird joined the ABB FIA Formula E Championship in 2014 with Virgin Racing. He secured his best overall finish of third in the 2017/18 season, after challenging for the drivers’ title against Jean-Eric Vergne and Lucas di Grassi. He is one of the few drivers who have competed in every season of the electric race series. Although he has won in every season except Season 8, he has yet to win a Drivers’ title.

Bird began his racing career in karting in 2002 when he was 15 years old. He won a scholarship to race in the inaugural season of Formula BMW with Carlin Motorsport after racing karts competitively in the UK and Europe for two years. He ended the year as one of the top rookie drivers with three wins. He finished as championship runner-up in his second season with Formula BMW. Bird was then named as Mercedes F1’s Reserve Driver for the 2011 season after joining forces with them for the Young Driver Test in Abu Dhabi. He helped the team with testing throughout the 2012 and 2013 seasons.

Since his start in Formula E, the Brit drove for teams such as Virgin Racing, who later became Envision Virgin Racing and is now know just as Envision Racing (coincidentally a customer team of Jaguar) before making his switch to Jaguar in his seventh season in Formula E. He had a disappointing Season 8, finishing in 13th place with 51 points and failing to win in a season for the first time.

In Season 9, just as his teammate he had a difficult start to a season, but was capable of keeping his head down in order to score a historical 1-3 (or, again, a 1-2-3) finish in São Paulo, and is currently 6th in the championship standings, just five points ahead of Mitch Evans.

Credit: Formula E Media Bank / Simon Galloway

We all know Jaguar has the capacity to stay in the front, so will they be able to turn their bad luck and keep scoring for the rest of the year? After the first few races of the season, it seems like Jaguar has finally found their rhythm and will do everything to challenge the teams in the front. We’re curious to know what you think – what’s your opinion on the drivers? And if you’re a fan – what are your favorite fun facts about them? We’re looking forward to reading the comments.

For now – enjoy the race, wherever you are ✨