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Editor/Photographer : Mark Charles

 

June 4 2010

JAG MARKS 75TH ANNIVERSARY WITH LE MANS RETURN
XKR GT2 brings road car technology to the race track

Jaguar XKR racerXKR 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!)

Jaguar Heritage at Le Mans:
"With a total of seven wins between 1951 and 1990, the Jaguar is the single most successful British car maker in the history of the race.

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

Year Model Race no Drivers Result Notes (distance and average speeds rounded off to nearest whole figure)
1951 C-type 20 Peter Walker, Peter Whitehead 1st First Jaguar win; 2244 miles, 93 mph
1953 C-type 18 Tony Rolt, Duncan Hamilton 1st Second Jaguar win; 2540 miles, 106 mph
1955 D-type 6 Mike Hawthorn, Ivor Bueb 1st Third Jaguar win; 2570 miles, 107 mph
1956 D-type 4 Ron Flockhart, Ninian Sanderson 1st Ecurie Ecosse entry; fourth Jaguar win; 2507 miles, 104 mph
1957 D-type 3 Ron Flockhart, Ivor Bueb 1st Ecurie Ecosse entry; fifth Jaguar win; 2732 miles, 114 mph
1988 XJR-9LM 2 Jan Lammers, Johnny Dumfries, Andy Wallace 1st TWR Jaguar Sport entry; sixth Jaguar win; 394 laps, 3313 miles, 138 mph
1990 XJR-12 3 John Nielsen, Price Cobb, Martin Brundle 1st TWR Jaguar Sport entry; seventh Jaguar win; 359 laps, 3034 miles, 127 mph

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2007 Jaguar XK wins Autonerve magazine "Best Convertible" award

Jaguar X-typenamed top aspirational luxury car

Jaguar XKR convertible tops 2007 best road trip car list

Jaguar XJ named one of the safest cars

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The all-new Jaguar C-XF

The all-new Jaguar C-XF revealed

2006 Headlines

S type revised

Top Gear crowns Jaguar XK 'Car of the year 2006

Jaguar cars announces the new Jaguar XF

Jaguar Canada announces all-new-2007 XKR coupe and convertible pricing and option packges

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Jaguar supports home show with global debut of supercharged XKR

Jaguar announces its new advanced vehicle entertainment technology

Callum brothers win 2006 Jim Clark memorial award

Jaguar XJ voted best large executive car at the Auto Express Used Car Honours 2006

Jaguar Land Rover North America announces new vice president of customer service

Jaguar sells off Browns Lane site

AAA names the Jaguar XJ8L as top car pick for 2006

Ford says of Jaguar - safe in our hands

The new Jaguar XK winner of "What Car?" award

Jaguar announces all-new 2007 XK coupe and convertible pricing

2005 Headlines

Jaguar reveals all-new XK convertible

All-new Jaguar XK premieres world-first deployable bonnet system

All-new Jaguar XK is unveiled atFrankfurt show

Jaguar unveils all-new XK sports car

Jaguar announces new vice president

Tne new XJ 2.7 diesel and 2006MY XJ range

Jaguar brings tpgether emerging artists

Daimler returns with an all-new model, the Super Eight.

Geoff Polites is appointed CEO of Jaguar

June sales

New XJ 2.7 Diesel and 2006MY XJ range

Jaguar announces mobility program

Jaguar XJ wins best luxury car in the 2005 fleet world honours

Jaguar cars for Jaguar cats

April Newsletter

Ford's newest atShanghai

Jaguar revises prices for 2005 S-type and XJ models

Jaguar appoints new global Advertising Agency

February newsletter

Jaguar XJ6 wins award

Jaguar X-type diesel even more tax efficient

Tim Watson appointed new communications chief

Jaguar's best ever year in Europe

Jaguar advanced lightweight coupe makes world debut

Limited edition Jaguar XK 'VICTORY'

Jaguar Canada sales reports

2004 Headlines

More job losses likely say unions

Bonspeed X type at SEMA, Las Vegas

Jaguar scoopsScottish luxury and diesel categoryawards

Japanese Grand Prix - Preview

Jaguar Canada reports September sales

Chinese Grand Prix – Race

Chinese Grand Prix – Saturday Qualifying

Chinese Grand Prix – Friday Practice Sessions

Jaguar workers stalk Ford in Paris

Jaguar workers back call for industrial action ballot

Jaguar to drop British Racing Green

Jaguar leaps forwardin 2004 in
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Jaguar North America expands conservation trust

Jaguar question to be put to Commons

Jaguar production to end at Browns Lane

Jaguar cuts production due to poor US sales

Belgian Grand Prix - Race

Belgian Grand Prix - Qualifying

Belgian Grand Prix - Practice

Belgian Grand Prix - preview

Jaguar factory capacity cut announcement "weeks away"

Jaguar fears on factory closure

Jaguar North America dedicates its archives

Job cuts "unlikely" at Jaguar

Jaguar team to be come Ford?

Jaguar exhibits the iconic E-type at the design museum

Plans to cut Jaguar production

Jaguar "People Solutions" in the frame for prestigious award

European Grand Prix - Qualifying

European Grand Prix - Practice

European Grand Prix - Preview

Jaguar at design festival

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Monaco Grand Prix - race

Monaco Grand Prix - qualifying

Monaco Grand Prix - practice

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‘The movies’ meets Jaguar

Jaguars invade Normandy

Spanish Grand Prix - race

Spanish Grand Prix - qualifying

Spanish Grand Prix - practice

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Jaguar U.S.announce executive appoinments

April 2004 U.S. sales

2003 Headlines

"Browns Lane plant to close" rumour

Jaguar select edition captures award

Jaguar racing engine makes successful debut

Japan Grand Prix

X-type estate makes its debut at Frankfurt

Jaguar R-D6 concept unveiled at Frankfurt

Hungarian Grand Prix

The New Jaguar X-Type Estate

Jaguar opens new test centre at the Nürburgring

TWR history goes under the hammer

French Grand Prix - Saturday Qualifying

The new X-type 2.0D.

Canadian grand prix - preview

Jaguar to premiere new V6 diesel engine

New Jaguar sports car sets the pace

Jaguar boss announces retirement

Lap record eases heat on Jaguar

TWR is placed in receivership

Canadian debut of the 2004 XJ sedan

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XKSS sells for $1.1 million

Jaguar to temporarily suspend X-type production

New XJ prices released

Jaguar R4 unveiled

F1 car launch

2002 Headlines

XKSS for sale at auction

Driver change at F1 team

Indianapolis X type

Jaguar from latest Bond film at British Motor Show

New XJ released

Revised XK released

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Changes in management line-up

F type on hold

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Morse Mark 2 sells at auction

Jaguar announces expanded 2002 Trans-Am Series Contingency Award Program

Jaguar Heritage on display at Techno Classica Essen

400 bhp S type R launched

Jaguar Racing unveiled its 2002 challenger, the Jaguar R3

2001 Headlines

XJ13 not for sale

Bike ace signs for Jaguar

New 2 litre X type

Jaguar Racing and ChevronTexaco to end their technical relationship

Frank Sinatra's XJ40 sold at auction

New MD for Jaguar Racing

Changes at the top

Jaguar presents the R Coupe concept

Two new special editions

New organization for North America

New XJ6 test vehicle

F-TYPE roadster production to go-ahead

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