Panasonic Jaguar Racing boss James Barclay hopes to be challenging for more race wins and a potential championship as Formula E revs up for Season Six, with pre-season testing kicking off next week in Valencia followed by the opening round in Riyadh next month.
The British team are entering their fourth campaign in the all-electric series, and will be looking to continue their upward trajectory after securing seventh position in the teams’ championship last season as well as three podiums, including Mitch Evans’ maiden victory at the Rome E-Prix.
“It has been an amazing journey, and it’s our fourth season in the championship which is quite phenomenal. But it’s nice to come back for a fourth time and talk about the experience we’ve had and the foundation we’ve built on,” said Barclay.
“We basically built this team from a blank sheet of paper. Of course the championship it’s becoming more and more competitive, but having all that experience makes us more comfortable as a unit.
“Our first year was about learning, our second year was about competing, our third year was about proving we could win and we did that, so we’re on track. And this year is our next step, so we want more points, more podiums and more wins.
“We’re doing it in a pragmatic way. But it’s nice to have that experience and that growing confidence within the team.”
And when asked about the team’s decision to appoint James Calado as a race driver, and what made him stick out amongst other potential candidates, Barclay was in positive spirits, and believes Calado has the ability to succeed in Formula E, whilst the returning Evans can go from strength to strength after a standout performances last season.
“With have Mitch staying with the team, and have a driver that’s proven to be one of the best in Formula E. And since we signed Mitch we’ve believed in his massive potential, and to see that come true last year was brilliant.
“And with James now joining him, we know that he’s an incredibly fast driver, and the sport knows just how fast he is. His raw pace is absolutely not a question, and he’s adapting well to a Formula E car, but of course he’s got some learning to do.
“The challenge of Formula E is energy management on tight, difficult street circuits where the grip levels aren’t perfect. But his raw speed and experience is what we believe will make him a serious title contender.
“The margins are so close in Formula E, and we’ve had a number of drivers through our simulator and in our cars, and there are signs that we believe show who has the ultimate pace. And quite simply, James in his early opportunities with us did a fantastic job. We believe he’s got all the assets, skillsets and hunger need to hopefully become a frontrunner in Formula E.”
Jaguar also announced a new long-term partnership with Castrol, also acting as a sponsor for Season Six, and James Barclay was quick to show his enthusiasm for having the brand onboard.
“If you look at our relationship with Castrol over the years, either it be in sports cars at Le Mans with the Group C days, and also bringing it to the future in Formula E is really great for the two brands. I think what is clearly beneficial is that efficiency in electric vehicles is really key and Castrol have a big role to play in terms of making the cars more efficient with their lubricant technology, with things like cooling for example.
“They are a partner for us which is going to help innovate and also drive us forward, so it’s great to have a partner onboard that we not only have a great history together, but they actually help the team go faster.”