Apex Motorsport is developing a race version of Jaguar's new XKR for the FIA GT3 European Championship. The new-for-2006 race series has seven races on the calendar for next year, six of which will earn entrants points toward the championship. Apex is nearing completion of the roll cage that will be affixed to the XK's existing aluminum chassis, and has just released a pair of drawings that show what the finished product should look like.
The development car is expected to undergo its first tests in December, and Apex apparently has a number of potential customers interested in cars for next season's competition. For our part, we like the renderings of the sexy new cat in racing trim, and hope that it looks as good in person.
(Rear view, press release after the jump)
[Source: Apex Motorsport]
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APEX MOTORSPORT REVEAL INITIAL VISUALS OF THE JAGUAR XKR GT3
Apex Motorsport, led by Richard Lloyd, are pleased to reveal the first images of the recently announced Jaguar XKR GT3 race car.
Richard has already assembled an experienced squad to develop the XKR headed up by Team Manager Dave Ward who has recently returned from two years in Australia where he had been managing one of the top V8 teams.
Dave is joined by another ex Apex team member Howden Haynes who is responsible for all design and development work.
Work continues apace at the Buckingham race shop with the build of the first XKR chassis nearing roll cage completion and as Dave said: "The basic all aluminium chassis is already immensely rigid so we're confident that with the addition of the roll cage it will be amongst the best in class."
Stuart Dyble, Jaguar Board Director and Vice President, Communications and Public Affairs, Premier Automotive Group and Ford of Europe: "There is a great buzz surrounding the launch of the XKR and this GT3 programme is going to reinforce the sporting credentials of the XK range even further. The XKR is undoubtedly a great looking car and we're very pleased that Apex shares our view that its lightweight body structure is an ideal platform for the series. We're really looking forward to seeing the car run for the first time."
The development car is expected to complete its shakedown test in December before moving on to the official FIA tests early next year.
In only its first year the FIA GT3 European Championship has attracted enormous interest from teams and drivers alike and is set for even more success in 2007 with six Championship races planned in addition to a non championship opening event supporting the Australian Grand Prix in March.
Lloyd and business partner Harry Handkammer are currently in talks with a number of teams interested in running in GT3 next year and are delighted by the level of interest this exciting project has generated already.