The year 2010 marks 75 years of the Jaguar name on both road and race cars. As a continuation of this great heritage, Jaguar has confirm it will return to the famed Le Mans 24 hours.
Jag's XKR to race Le Mans
With a total of seven wins between 1951 and 1990, Jaguar is the single most successful British (well, technically Indian these days) 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 GT built by Paul Gentilozzi’s RSR team.
The RSR Jaguar XKR GT made its racing debut during the Petit Le Mans event at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia, in September 2009.
Flying the British flag
Running in GT2 specification, the RSR XKR racecar is powered by a 410kW version of the AJ 133 direct-injected 5l supercharged V8.
Drive to the rear wheels is handled by a transaxle mounted Hewland CST sequential transmission geared for a top end of 290km/h, which should be good enough for the punishing straights of Le Mans…
With an aluminium monocoque chassis architecture, reinforced with a roll-cage, and minus all the road-car niceties mass has been trimmed down by 555kg to a scant track ready 1245kg.
Rolling Yokohama racing slicks and running Ohlins DR4 dampers at each wheel corner grip at high cornering speeds is a given.
Deceleration is managed by Brembo six-pot callipers at the front axle (actuating 380mm rotors) whilst four-piston grabbers interact with 350mm rotors at the rear.
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.”
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 legendary Jaguar XJR-9LM, a V12-powered Group C car. Another outright victory followed in 1990 with the Jaguar XJR-12.
Although this year’s Le Mans entry is more a marketing exercise than anything else, to celebrate the company’s 75th anniversary, the RSR XKR is still a very pretty racecar…