6 years ago

The Jaguar #02

  • Text
  • Grosjean
  • Racing
  • E
  • Sportbrake
  • Pace
  • Jaguar
  • Racing
  • Drone
  • Formula
  • Audio
  • Drivers
  • Hepburn
  • Steering
In this issue, we introduce a fresh new addition to the Jaguar family with the launch of the E-PACE. F1 racer Romain Grosjean reveals his passion for Jaguar while the Panasonic Jaguar Racing Team give an insight into their preparations. Plus, we get to grips with the fast-paced sport of drone racing and spend a unique day with the XF Sportbrake.

NEW TECH Two years ago,

NEW TECH Two years ago, as New Year’s Day approached, Gary Kent, a 37-year-old IT network manager from Surrey, England, made a resolution: he would spend twenty hours trying out something that he had never done before. Shortly after he made his pledge, a friend showed Kent, who had been a semi-professional eSports competitor, playing video games for extravagant prize pots, a YouTube video of a drone race. It showed a group of pilots flying buzzing drones, each lit up with identifying coloured LEDs, at eye-wincingly high speeds. The pilots controlled their drones via a pair of virtual-reality-esque goggles, which allowed them to view the action as if perched inside the craft’s cockpit. Kent immediately ordered a drone that could fit in the palm of his hand – a distant young cousin of the hulking machines used today for everything from professional video production to crop management, or the delivery drones bringing us our packages in some countries already. “I was hooked right away,” Kent told me. “I knew it was the thing for me.” Soon that twenty hours turned into a week, then turned into a dedicated hobby. Kent upgraded his drone, and began meeting in a deserted clearing in Swinley Forest in Bracknell, England, where he’d race fellow pilots between the trees. In the evenings, after the students at the college where he works had gone home, Kent would practice in the forsaken gym. Kent’s talent for spatial awareness and whipquick reaction times, honed by years of competitive video game playing, made him an accomplished pilot. Not long after, he signed up with a professional team and within a few months, he was racing his drone at speeds of more than 150 kph through a salt mine in Romania in the Drones Champions League. While drone racing has been around for more than five years, in the past twelve months the sport has blossomed from a hobbyist pursuit, played out in supermarket car parks and forest clearings, to a multi-million dollar enterprise, complete with professional teams, racing calendars, lucrative sponsorship deals, TV rights packages and emerging megastars such as Kent. A convergence of technological advances has made all of this possible. A miniscule camera, mounted on the drone’s nose, allows the pilot to control the vehicle through virtual-reality-style goggles. Advances in lithium battery technology have increased the speed of the drones to those suited for professional competition (the size and power of the battery currently dictates the racing class into which a drone fits). In an average 400m sprint race, typically divided into four or five laps over two minutes, speeds can exceed 200kph. Some tournaments even have drag-racing events, where all of the battery’s energy can be expended in a single, cloud-tearing burst. A member of Kent’s team, NEXBLADES, holds the current record: 0-100kph in 1.2 seconds, faster than, say, an F-Type SVR. PHOTOGRAPHY: ANSGAR SOLLMANN, XBLADES MEDIA HOUSE Drone racing has become big business with various competing leagues attracting racers with massive cash prizes. NEXBLADES team members Luke Bannister (right, above) and Gary Kent (right, below) are among those looking to take centre stage as the sport continues to grow 32 THE JAGUAR





Jaguar Magazine celebrates creativity in all its forms, with exclusive features that inspire sensory excitement, from beautiful design to cutting-edge technology.

In this issue, we explore the art of creativity from the Brazilian masters who devised the graceful art of Capoeira, to the Irish artists mixing new culture with old. You will also discover the creative line that links Victorian wallpaper to the iPhone. While the multi-talented actor and performer, Riz Ahmed, explains why it is the right time to reveal his true self to the world.


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