Jaguar Heritage Racing, a programme which will see Jaguar return to historic motor sport has been launched. 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.’
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.
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.