|Thursday, 07-Dec-2023 20:55:10 CET|
Editor/Photographer : Mark Charles
June 4 2010
75TH ANNIVERSARY WITH LE MANS RETURN
XKR racer is a joint UK/US effort
A stunning XKR GT2 sports racing car will be lining up alongside the world's leading endurance racers for the classic 24-hour event next week, giving British race-goers another reason to 'fly the flag'.
In fact the XKR GT2 racer competing at Le Mans is being run by US-based team JaguarRSR but we're prepared to overlook that little incongruity as the car was jointly developed by Jaguar's in-house engineering and design groups and the RSR team. The racer features the road car's lightweight aluminium body structure and a tuned version of its 5.0-litre supercharged AJ133 V8 engine developing in excess of 500hp.
Drivers Marc Goossens, Ryan Dalziel and Paul Gentilozzi will be piloting the car during the punishing 24-hour race, having gained initial experience with the vehicle during the American Le Mans Series events earlier during 2010.
Belgian driver Goossens has competed at Le Mans on nine previous occasions, while his teammate Dalziel, born in Scotland, brings extensive experience in single-seaters and sportscars, but is racing at Le Mans for the first time.
"It has always been my dream to compete at Le Mans, and, as a British driver, to be at the wheel of a Jaguar makes it even more special," he says. "It will be without doubt the highlight of my racing career."
The trio of drivers is completed by the American Paul Gentilozzi, one of the principal partners of the JaguarRSR team, who is making his third appearance at Le Mans in the GT2 class.
We're looking forward to a good result for the team next weekend, but meanwhile Jaguar has sent us this potted history of its Le Mans heritage. Anyway, good luck chaps, and the best of British! (Er, and best of American!)
Heritage at Le Mans:
During the 1950s, Jaguar's founder Sir William Lyons sought to prove his cars were as fast and as strong as far more expensive rivals, with legends such as Stirling Moss and Mike Hawthorn behind the wheel of the iconic C-type and D-type racers.
In 1951, the C-type won Le Mans at its first attempt, with a further victory in 1953. Its successor the D-type took Le Mans wins in 1955, 1956 and 1957. Technical innovations such as the C-type's disc brakes made their debut on Jaguars at Le Mans, and were rapidly adopted by car makers the world over.
After a two-decade absence, Jaguar returned to France with a works team in the late 1980s and once again took race wins in 1988, with the V12-powered XJR-9LM Group C car, and in 1990, with the XJR-12, featuring drivers including Johnny Dumfries and Martin Brundle. Such was the success of the XJR racers, that Jaguar was crowned World Sports Car Champions three times in five seasons.
Paul Gentilozzi and his sons, Tony and John, founded RSR in partnership with Jaguar Cars in 2009, to build and race the Jaguar XKR in the American Le Mans Series GT2 class. Gentilozzi's relationship with Jaguar dates back to 2000 when he built and raced Jaguar XKRs in the North American Trans-Am Series."
Jaguar's Wins at Le Mans 24-Hours
Model Race no Drivers Result Notes (distance and average speeds rounded off to
nearest whole figure)
S type revised
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