• 10
JaguarRSR XKR GT2 and its predecessors - Click above for high-res image gallery

Jaguar's motorsports involvement dates back to its earliest days some 75 years ago. The 24 Hours of Le Mans has been part of that story since 1951 when a C-Type won the big enduro its very first time out. Jaguar is returning to the French classic this year with a factory entry for the first time since the Tom Walkinshaw built XJR-14 prototypes of the early 1990s.

This year, instead of seeking overall victory with a prototype, Jaguar is aiming for top honors in GT2 with a production-derived XKR built by Lansing, MI based Rocketsports Racing. The JaguarRSR XKR GT2 ran some practice laps at the Petit Le Mans last fall before its competition debut in the ALMS finale at Laguna Seca. RSR owner Paul Gentilozzi will share seat time with Scott Pruett and Marc Goossens in the 24 hour race. The XKR will also be running the full American Le Mans Series season this year starting at the 12 hours of Sebring next month.

[Source: Jaguar]
Photos copyright Jaguar / ©2009 Drew Phillips / Weblogs, Inc.



The year 2010 marks 75 years of the Jaguar name on both road and race cars. As a continuation of this great heritage, Jaguar can confirm it will return to the famed Le Mans 24 hours. With a total of seven wins between 1951 and 1990, Jaguar is the single most successful British make in the race's history. Jaguar will return to Le Mans this year lining up on the starting grid on 12th June 2010 with an XKR GT2 run by JaguarRSR.

Paul Gentilozzi, Principal Partner, JaguarRSR commented: "We are delighted the ACO has granted us entry in the prestigious 24 hours of Le Mans. It is a race that is held dearly in the hearts of motorsport fans across the world and for Jaguar to be racing again is something special.

"We are fortunate to bring an international line up of the world's finest driving talent including Scott Pruett and Marc Goossens as our drivers for this race."

Gentilozzi, who will drive the JaguarRSR XKR GT2 in the 2010 American Le Mans Series (ALMS) added: "Spirits will be high around Jaguar's return to Le Mans but we must remember the incredibly high level of competition - a podium place in our category will not fall into our hands. That said, I can guarantee 100 per cent commitment from JaguarRSR and urge fans of Jaguar and Britain's racing heritage to support the team whole heartedly."

C.J. O'Donnell, Global Marketing Director of Jaguar Cars said: "Motorsport has always been important to the Jaguar brand. Our domination of Le Mans in the 1950s was a foundation on which the company was developed. It was twenty years ago that Jaguar last won Le Mans with a TWR Jaguar Sport entry driven by John Nielsen, Price Cobb and Martin Brundle. Returning to Le Mans will reignite excitement for the marque across the globe, all the more poignant in our 75th year.

"With the introduction of the new XK, XF and XJ, the Jaguar brand has advanced cutting-edge technology, stunning design and our 'R' performance driving experience. We now return to motorsport to demonstrate this achievement and the prowess of the Jaguar XKR."

In 1951, the C-type won Le Mans at its first attempt, with a further victory in 1953. The D-type took Le Mans wins in 1955, 1956 and 1957 while this racing success was followed in 1988 with the Jaguar XJR-9LM, a V12-powered Group C car. Another outright victory would follow in 1990 with the Jaguar XJR-12.


Details of Jaguar's wins at Le Mans 24-hours:

Model: C-type
Race No.: 20
Drivers: Peter Walker, Peter Whitehead
Result: 1st
Notes (distance and average speeds rounded off to nearest whole figure): First Jaguar win; 2244 miles, 93 mph

Model: C-type
Race No.: 18
Drivers: Tony Rolt, Duncan Hamilton
Result: 1st
Notes (distance and average speeds rounded off to nearest whole figure): Second Jaguar win; 2540 miles, 106 mph

Model: D-type
Race No.: 6
Drivers: Mike Hawthorn, Ivor Bueb
Result: 1st
Notes (distance and average speeds rounded off to nearest whole figure): Third Jaguar win; 2570 miles, 107 mph

Model: D-type
Race No.: 4
Drivers: Ron Flockhart, Ninian Sanderson
Result: 1st
Notes (distance and average speeds rounded off to nearest whole figure): Ecurie Ecosse entry; fourth Jaguar win; 2507 miles, 104 mph

Model: D-type
Race No.: 3
Drivers: Ron Flockhart, Ivor Bueb
Result: 1st
Notes (distance and average speeds rounded off to nearest whole figure): Ecurie Ecosse entry; fifth Jaguar win; 2732 miles, 114 mph

Model: XJR-9LM
Race No.: 2
Drivers: Jan Lammers, Johnny Dumfries, Andy Wallace
Result: 1st
Notes (distance and average speeds rounded off to nearest whole figure): TWR Jaguar Sport entry; sixth Jaguar win; 394 laps, 3313 miles, 138 mph

Model: XJR-12
Race No.: 3
Drivers: John Nielsen, Price Cobb, Martin Brundle
Result: 1st
Notes (distance and average speeds rounded off to nearest whole figure): TWR Jaguar Sport entry; seventh Jaguar win; 359 laps, 3034 miles, 127 mph

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Not to the mention the last I heard, it currently is not legal to race at Le Mans...the factory car uses a transmission mated to the engine and then a rear differential..the racecar version uses a rear transaxle like a Corvette...

      It will have to get special dispensation..last I heard they don't have it yet..although they might get it seeing as they are on the official entry list for the race...
      • 5 Years Ago
      It has a rough, '80s IMSA/TransAm-ness about it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The car already ran in ALMS.
        • 5 Years Ago
        how ?? it's a Jag not a bloated american "race car"
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Stanislav - "how ?? it's a Jag not a bloated american "race car" "

        You must be stupid or a troll. If you actually read the article you'd know that the car is built in Lansing, Michigan. That's in the USA moron. The car will compete in the American Lemans Series that's run in what country? Oh yeah, the USA. Get a clue.
      • 5 Years Ago
      jaguar comeback means a very big competitor for peugeot and audi this year
        • 5 Years Ago
        That R8 V12 TDI LM road car in your link... does not race at Le Mans. The Jaguar will be over 40 seconds slower per lap than the Audis and Peugeots. But your comment makes me wonder, have you ever seen the race in the last few years?
        • 5 Years Ago
        What?! How do you figure? Audi and Peugeot run prototype racers that will likely dominate the entire race as they have the past few years. Jaguar is running in GT2 which are modified stock cars vehicles. Audi and Peugeot won't even notice the Jaguars save for when they are passing them. Don't get me wrong, I love that Jaguar is stepping in the ring but they hardly on Audi's or Peugeot's radar.
      • 5 Years Ago
      As far as I'm concerned, ALMS and Le Mans could get rid of the prototypes and just run GT2 and I'd be very happy.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Holy cow, all these years later, Paul Gentilozzi is still the go-to guy for Jaguar?

      Mr. Gentolozzi is a true survivor.