Jaguar has a great depth of history, not just in car production but in racing too. And for a very long time Jaguar believed its history gave it all the kudos it needed to succeed as a car maker. But that reliance on – or reluctance to let go of – its past glories was almost its downfall.
Tata’s acquisition of Jaguar in 2008 has seen Jaguar go back to what it does best with cutting-edge, modern cars that appeal to the heart as well as the head. But having now established itself as an ultra-modern car company with a contemporary and hugely appealing range of cars Jaguar has now decided to celebrate its race history in the most appealing way – by going heritage racing.
That mean that for the first time since 1956 we will see factory supported C-Type and D-Type Jaguars racing on track and casting glory on the current Jaguar range in the process.
Jaguar Heritage Racing will make its first public outing the 2012 Mille Miglia retrospective in May 2012, 60 years since Sir Stirling Moss drove the Mille Miglia in the first C-Type with disc brakes (together with Jaguar’s chief development driver, Norman Dewis), a car he went on to win in later in 1952 at Reims, paving the way for disc brakes in road cars.
Next up for Jaguar Heritage Racing will be taking part in the AVD Nürburgring Oldtimer Grand Prix in Germany – a location Jaguar are very familiar with from testing their current cars (much to James May’s consternation) – followed by a trip home for the Goodwood Revival in September.
Jaguar has entrusted their Heritage Racing programme to JD Classics in Maldon (on our doorstep) and the capable hands of Derek Hood whose company will prepare the classic C-Type and D-Type Jaguars for their first foray in anger in more than half a century. Derek 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 perfect way to celebrate Jaguar’s history without compromising its future. And it’s a good opportunity to showcase the Jaguar Heritage Collection at the same events, especially as the historic collection of Jaguars is lacking a home at the moment.
Jaguar Heritage Racing Photo Gallery
(15 photos – click any thumbnail for full gallery)