The British auto marque has of late been participating in numerous classic racing events, but is now intensifying and organizing its efforts under the Jaguar Heritage Racing banner. Managed for the factory by specialist firm JD Classics of Essex, the program will see the C-Type and D-Type (click on the image above to enlarge the two classic cats) challenging revival events at venues as varied as Goodwood, the Nürburgring and the Mille Miglia, where the initiative will make its first appearance this May.
Although limited in scope to classic racing events, the renewed effort will see the factory getting back onto the track in an arguably more substantial way than it has with the Jaguar RSR XKR GT2, retapping the racing spirit not seen in Coventry since winning Le Mans with the XJR-12 in 1990 and selling its F1 team in 2004 – but which could, if recent rumors come to fruition, resurface again with a new LMP1 in the near future. In the meantime you can read more about the Jaguar Heritage Racing program in the press release below.
12th March: Today marks the launch of Jaguar Heritage Racing, a programme which will see Jaguar return to the competitive arena through the vibrant world of historic motorsport. For the first time since 1956, works-supported C- and D-types will race again at venues including Goodwood and the Nürburgring, while the season-long programme will also see Jaguar Heritage Racing support numerous additional events on the historic motoring calendar. These include the Mille Miglia, the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, and each round of the E-type challenge in the UK – a series which in 2011 demonstrated the depth of global interest in historic motorsport, and in Jaguar's participation specifically.
As Jaguar embarks on the most extensive new product development cycle in its history, it is the perfect time to invest in and celebrate its heritage. Says Jaguar Global Brand Director, Adrian Hallmark: "Jaguar is proud of its heritage, and it is a heritage that is both alive and ever evolving.
"Advanced engineering is part of our heritage – 2012 sees the 60th anniversary of Jaguar's development of the disc brake for automotive use, and ten years since the marque introduced aerospace-inspired aluminium monocoque technology to its modern range, technology today used on both the XJ and XK. Forward looking design is part of our heritage – the poised intent of the C-X16 concept pushes the boundaries today just as much as the SS Jaguar 100 did in 1935. And racing is very much part of our heritage also – which is why we have launched the Jaguar Heritage Racing programme that this year will see Jaguar C- and D-types in competitive action."
The first event at which Jaguar Heritage Racing will be present is the 2012 Mille Miglia retrospective in May. This year's running of the Mille Miglia has particular significance for Jaguar as it marks 60 years since Sir Stirling Moss and Norman Dewis (then Jaguar's chief development driver) took the start in the first disc-brake equipped C-type. Later that same year Sir Stirling Moss recorded the first win for a disc-braked car when he drove another C-type to victory at Reims, paving the way for the wide-scale use of the technology that we all take for granted today.
In August, the Jaguar Heritage Racing team will then be in competitive action at the AVD Nürburgring Oldtimer Grand Prix. Often referred to as the 'green hell', the Nürburgring Nordschleife is regarded as one of the toughest tracks in the world, which is why Jaguar has a dedicated test facility located there running a rigorous durability and performance programme for its modern range.
Says Jaguar Land Rover Global Head of Communications, Frank Klaas: "The Nürburgring Nordschleife presents a unique automotive challenge that Jaguar's development team continually subject our current and future models to in order to perfect their attributes of quality, durability and dynamic precision. To also see historic works Jaguars in competitive action at the Nürburgring this year will be fascinating."
From Germany, the team will then head back to British shores for the Goodwood Revival in September. The undisputed jewel in the crown of the historic motor racing calendar, the Revival provides a dazzling backdrop of nostalgia for an equally dazzling array of competitive action in which the Jaguar Heritage Racing C- and D-type will play their part.
The Jaguar Heritage Racing programme is operated and managed by JD Classics, based in Maldon, Essex. An established player in the historic motorsport world, JD Classics will prepare both the C- and D-type Jaguars which will take to the track, and have responsibility for all race-day activities. Derek Hood, managing director, JD Classics, said: "Jaguars have been at the heart of our business for many years, and the opportunity to work with Jaguar Heritage Racing and ensure that the company is as well represented in historic motorsport today as it was when those same models competed in period is one we were only too happy to accept."
The Jaguar Heritage Racing programme will supplement the activities of Jaguar Heritage – a charitable trust and custodians of an extensive collection of priceless models from Jaguar's past, including the unique XJ13 prototype. Its cars are not campaigned competitively on-track, but will continue to be exhibited – and demonstrated – at a huge number of events during 2012.