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Classic 'Cat' on the prowl: XJ-S to race at 2017 Jaguar Simola Hillclimb

2017-05-02 14:40

Image: Motorpress



Knysna – The 2017 edition of Classic Car Friday, at the Jaguar Simola Hillclimb, will see the iconic Jaguar XJ-S make a return to racing, claims the automaker.

With its instantly recognisable TWR replica livery, this specially prepared XJ-S is sure to evoke fond memories among Jaguar fans and racing fanatics at the sound of its glorious V12 engine echoing through the valley.

Racing in its blood

This classic entry at the event will be driven by American racing champ Randy Pobst, who is also participating in the King of the Hill race in a mighty Jaguar F-Type SVR, with a 423kW supercharged V8.

Jaguar has had racing in its blood, ever since its first sports sedans graced the roads in the 1930s. In the 1950s Jaguar dominated the 24 Hours of Le Mans, with five overall wins in that decade – success that saw C-Type, D-Type and XKSS racers becoming some of the fastest and most sought-after sports cars of their day.

This racing heritage continued in the 80s, when Jaguar once again featured on the world stage – this time at the hands of the legendary Tom Walkinshaw, who won the 1984 European Touring Car Championship in his Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR) prepared Jaguar XJ-S.

Resplendent in their now-iconic green-and-white livery, a trio of TWR XJ-S race cars went on to enter the 1985 Bathurst 1 000 in Australia. Walkinshaw set a blistering pole lap more than one second clear of the next competitor, while the XJ-S driven by John Goss and Armin Hahne took the win after a tough 1 000km battle.

The XJ-S participating at this year’s Jaguar Simola Hillclimb is finished in a replica livery of the famous TWR race car. Just like Walkinshaw’s thundering cats, this XJ-S features a 5.3-litre V12 – albeit in standard form this time, using Jaguar Classic Genuine Parts and oils from lubricant partner Castrol.

The vehicle has been prepared by Jaguar South Africa, at the Jaguar Land Rover Training Academy, in Centurion. Skilled apprentices were involved in the preparation of the XJ-S, with extensive work done to replace important seals, bushes and vital fluids – ensuring that the car is ready to delight fans when it roars up the hill at the hands of its guest driver, says the automaker.

The Jaguar Classic XJ-S will be in action at the Jaguar Simola Hillclimb on Friday, May 4 2017.

Tickets for Classic Car Friday can be purchased from iTickets, at a cost R100 for a general admission pass or R220 for a pit pass – ideal for fans who want to get up close and personal with some of the rare and historic machines participating in the event. 

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