See the new June 2012 issue of CAR Magazine to read about Mark Walton’s drive of the Jaguar XJR-8/9 Group C Le Mans car.
We celebrate 30 years since the introduction of Group C – one of the most popular and successful eras of sports car racing ever – with a drive in the epic Jaguar XJR-8, built by Tom Walkinshaw in 1987 and then modified to XJR-9 spec to race again in 1988 and 1989. With their now-iconic Silk Cut liveries, the XJRs were the plucky Brits that took on the dominant Porsche 962s to win both Le Mans and the World Sportscar title in the Group C era. Now worth in the region of £2 million, the drive proved to be one of the most intimidating of Mark Walton’s career.
‘With 700bhp, on cold slicks, and driving up Lord March’s narrow front drive at Goodwood, it was an intense couple of minutes, yes!’ Mark admits. ‘If you watch the onboard view, you can see me take a couple of stabs at the wheel as I enter the first corner, because the front end didn’t quite turn in the way I expected it to! For one, horrible, fleeting moment I thought I was about to go down in history, as the most embarrassing first-corner accident ever caught on film!’
Fortunately Mark survived to reach the top, and his story in the June 2012 issue of CAR not only looks back at the glory days of Group C, but also looks ahead to this year’s Festival of Speed on 28 June - 1 July, where Group C will be celebrated with a special class. Not only that, thanks to Jaguar we’re also giving away three pairs of tickets with Jaguar VIP hospitality at this summer’s Festival. Click here to enter.