RECORD-BID LAUNCH: The Jaguar F-Type R Coupe that set a South African speed record at Upington launches on one of its runs. Image: Autopress / Rob Till
• F-Type R Coupé breaks 13-year record
• 300km/h on Upington runway
• Six weeksin the planning
UPINGTON, Northern Cape - A Jaguar F-Type R Coupé officially* on Saturday (Feb 28 2015) on Upington’s super-long airport runway became the fastest production vehicle in South Africa.
A small group of Jaguar employees gathered to watch the 405kW supercharged V8 coupé driven into the record books by Dawie Olivier, Jaguar Land Rover’s national after-sales manager.
'RACING IN OUR BLOOD'
The event was the culmination of more than six weeks’ planning and saw Jaguar tap its heritage from the 1940’s and ‘50s when it famously set many European speed records with the XK120.
Richard Gouverneur, MD of Jaguar Land Rover SA and sub-Saharan Africa, said: “Not only do we say that racing is in our blood – we go out there and prove it. Aside from being inspired by our history of racing and speed records we also wanted to show off the innovation, performance and safety of our vehicles.
“A car that’s capable of reaching 300km/h safely is many times safer at legal and speeds.”
Olivier, a race driver with more than two decades of rally and circuit racing experience, to an F-Type past 300km/h on the Northern Cape’s 4900m runway.
For the record to be official, two runs must be completed in both directions while time-keepers from Motorsport SA measure speed over a kilometre. On the uphill section of the F-Type’s record-setting run it achieved 288.33km/h, the downhill run saw it reach 301.03km/h.
'WE KEPT THE LIMITER ON'
The record comprises the average of the two runs so now sits at 294.68km/h – besting the previous record of 287.63km/h set in 2002 by Mike Griffiths in a Porsche 911 GT2. However, a blind South African set a world land speed record for the blind in
Upington in 2009 when he reached 322.5km/h in a
Mercedes-Benz SL 65 Black series.
Hein Wagner, who was born blind, was at the time a motivational speaker from Durbanville.
Gouverneur added after the run: “The F-Type R Coupé is limited to 300km/h but we chose not to remove the speed limiter, even though the regulations make provision for us to legally do so.
“The car we used is exactly as customers can buy it off the showroom floor.”
* Provisional record, subject to official classification by Motorsport SA, in the week of March 2 2015.