This is the moment Jaguar's new Le Mans 24hr racer met its famous ancestors. The JaguarRSR XKR GT2 will compete at La Sarthe in summer 2010 to mark Jaguar's 75th anniversary of Le Mans competition.
Jaguar won seven times at Le Mans between 1951 and 1990, and 20 years later the British marque returns on 12 June. However, although competing with the blessing of Jaguar HQ, JaguarRSR is in fact an independent race team from the US and not a full factory racer.
JaguarRSR XKR GT2: the lowdown
The XKR GT2 will race at Le Mans and the ALMS, driven by friend of Jaguar Paul Gentillozzi, Scott Pruett and Marc Goossens. 'Spirits will be high around Jaguar’s return to Le Mans but we must remember the incredibly high level of competition,' warned Gentillozzi. 'A podium place in our category will not fall into our hands.'
CJ O'Donnell, Jag's global marketing director, added: 'It was 20 years ago that Jaguar last won Le Mans with a TWR Jaguar Sport entry driven by John Nielsen, Price Cobb and Martin Brundle. Returning to Le Mans will reignite excitement for the marque across the globe, all the more poignant in our 75th year.'
Jaguar has a stellar history at the famous French race. In 1951, the C-type won Le Mans at its first attempt, with a further victory in 1953. The D-type won in 1955, 1956 and 1957, repeated in 1988 with the Jaguar XJR-9LM, a V12-powered Group C car, and in 1990 with the Jaguar XJR-12.