Paralysed Ex-World Superbike racer Aoki joins Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy in Mexico City

by Nathan Hine
Takuma Aoki - Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy

Former World Superbike racer Takuma Aoki will join the Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy racing series for the newly-established Team Yokohama Challenge at this weekend’s 2020 Mexico City ePrix on February 15.

45-year old Aoki’s arrival in the all-electric production car racing series means that he will become the first disabled person to compete in the series following a World Superbike crash.

He will compete in a specifically-designed car courtsey of Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations, who have modeified the car to include hand controls on the Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy car.

Takuma Aoki of Team Yokohama Challenge driver said: “I am very excited to be joining the Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY with Team Yokohama Challenge for my first competition in electric racing. 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, GuidoSimplex 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.”

He became paralysed from the waist down after suffering a World Superbike crash in 1998 while riding for Honda, when he finished fifth in the 500GP category.

The Japanese racer has remained involved in motorsport despite his injuries, most recently competing in the 2019 Michelin Le Mans Cup as well as using specifically-modified vehicles in both the 2009 Dakar Rally and the 2016 Asia Cross Country Rally.

Aoki’s entry now boosts the entry numbers up to ten for the third round of the season and becomes the first mid-season additional to the championship who has not been a VIP driver since the series inaguration in December 2018.

Simon Evans and Sergio Jimenez are tied on points after the first two races of the season at Ad Diriyah last November with a win a piece. The Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy now returns for round three of the championship in Mexico City on Saturday February 15 at 1400 local time as the official feeder series to the ABB FIA Formula E Championship.

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