JAGUAR XJR9 Le Mans Cars 1988

GB

RACING CARS FROM THE EIGHTIES

Jag 1

1 SILK CUT JAGUAR TEAM / TOM W ALKINSHA W RACING.

CAR: Jaguar XJR9-LM

ENGINE: Jaguar V12 7000 cc Fuel Injected, Water Cooled block and head.

CHASSIS CONSTRUCTION: Carbonfibre and Kevlar composite, with engine as a semi-stressed member.

CHASSIS NUMBER: TWR-Jl2C-588 Built January 1988.

BODY MATERIALS: Carbonfibre and Kevlar composite, including panels, doors, wing, and 1 piece underbody.

TYRES: Dunlop Denloc. WHEELS: Dymag 17". BRAKES: AP.

SHOCKS: Koni (front) Bilstein (rear). CLUTCH: AP. TURBO: None. GEARBOX: March 5-speed. LUBRICANTS: Castrol.

ENGINE MANAGEMENT: Zytech/TWR Electronic. WEIGHT: 896 kgs.
DRIVERS: Martin Brundle (GB) John Nielsen (DK)

SPONSORS: Silk Cut, Jaguar, P & 0 European Ferries, Castrol, Dunlop, TWR.

BODY COLOURS: White, with Deep Mauve (No known equivalent) and Dark Yellow contrasts, British Racing Green nose splitter & piping. Mauve sunvisor with White lettering. White ID light in Mauve mounting on front nearside of roof. "XJR9" & "VI2" Logos in Mauve letters on White background recessed on back of tail section. Matt Black wheels.

one competitive 'cat' remaining - (but in the lead of course) and the leading Porsche on the same lap after three thousand miles of racing. Chassis 588 which had the previous month won the Silverstone 1000 kms, was generally regarded by all the pundits as being the hot favourite to win, with its crew of Martin Brundle - enjoying an intermission in his Formula 1 career - and rapid Dane John Nielsen, who inexplicably still has not had his chance of a ride in the premier class.

However, any illusions that the Jaguar camp had of securing pole position on the grid and winning the first propaganda round against Porsche, were quickly dispelled mid-way through the first 'daylight' practice session when Stuck did his incredible lap on 'stickies' and fullboost.

Having adjusted the rear overhang of all the cars after their run-in with officialdom at the scrutineering, they already had problems with the dynamic balance. Combined with this was the fact that the new smoother surface on the Mulsanne chUte meant that a rethink on last year's spring settings was also needed.

Consequently TWR decided to make the best of the situation and late in the session Brundle was sent oUt on race rubber to record a highly creditable 3'21.78 - only one hundredth slower than the Andretti family Porsche, securing 4th position on the grid. Nieisen had already held up his end with 3'26.00 and the subsequent practice laps were spent refming the the car's race settings.

Jaguar really had to win Le Mans this year. The publicity in the Brundle took the first 42 minute stint in the race and held a watching weeks approaching the race had reached hysteria point in even the most brief in 5th place as the number 2 car acted as the hare for the trio of staid sections of the media and to have done anything less would have factory Porsches. Having taken over on fresh tyres, his co-driver been a disaster of biblical proportions that perhaps even Tom promptly allowed his enthusiasm get the better of him and spun into Walkinshaw would have found difficult to shrug off. the gravel trap on the oUtside of Indianapolis corner, without any.

Just to make sure that failure was not an option available - no less apparent damage to the car but losing minutes and places while a than five cars were brought to the Sarthe from the Kidlington towtruck was found to extricate him headquarters of TWR and from their satellite 1M SA operation in the Now back in 12th place, they had to chase hard for the rest of the race United States. Following in the train were a support team consisting - closely tailing the delayed Bell/Stuck/Ludwig Porsche and finally one hundred and seventeen personnel - mechanics, doctors, catering clawing back to 3rd place after 11 hours. A misfire and a spate of stops staff et a1. to top up the cooling system during Sunday morning signalled the end, In spite of all this - it was still a close run thing right to the end with only finally retiring with a blown head gasket at 0951 hrs.

jag 2

2 SILK CUT JAGUAR TEAM / TOM WALKINSHAW RACING CAR: Jaguar XJR9-LM ENGINE: Jaguar V12 7000 cc Fuel Injected, Water Cooled block and head.

CHASSIS CONSTRUCTION: Carbonfibre and Kevlar composite,
with engine as a semi-stressed member.

CHASSIS NUMBER: TWR-JI2C-488 Built January 1988.

BODY MATERIALS: Carbonfibre and Kevlar composite, including panels, doors, wing, and 1 piece underbody.

TYRES: Dunlop Denloc. WHEELS: Dymag 17". BRAKES: AP. SHOCKS: Koni (front) Bilstein (rear). CLUTCH: AP. TURBO: None. GEARBOX: March 5-speed. LUBRICANTS: Castrol.

ENGINE MANAGEMENT: Zytech/TWR Electronic.

WEIGHT: 894 kgs.

DRIVERS: Jan Lammers (NL) Johnny Dumfries (GB) Andy Wallace (GB)

SPONSORS: Silk Cut, Jaguar, P & 0 European Ferries, Castrol, Dunlop, TWR.

BODY COLOURS: White, with Deep Mauve (No known equivalent) and Dark Yellow contrasts, British Racing Green nose splitter & piping. Mauve sun visor with Dayglo Orange lettering. Blue/Green ID light in Mauve mounting on front nearside of roof. "XJR9" & "VI2" Logos in Mauve letters on Dayglo Orange background recessed on back of tail section. Matt Black wheels.

It is likely that few people thought that putting Le Mans debutant Andy Wallace in the same car as two experienced ex-Formula 1 hotshoes like Dumfries and Lammers was one of Tom Walkinshaw's more inspired decisions. But as usual he ended up being right. Slight and mild mannered Wallace from Oxford admitted to having a confidence problem when it came to negotiating the Mulsanne Kink 'flat' the first few times in practice - let alone overtaking somebody at the same time and indeed in the first practice session he was a full 10 seconds slower over the lap than the time set by team-mate Lammers 3'23.74 which was good enough for 5th place on the grid.

Needless to say though, by Thursday evening the Englishman had pulled his personal time down to 3'27.23, making him the 15th fastest driver on the circuit and his drive during the race was flawless. At the start, it was readily apparent which car had been chosen to be carry out, the dual role of hare and sacrificial lamb to the Porsche armada as number 2 closely tracked Stuck's 962 whistling along at the head of the pack with the two other German works machines snapping at the Jag's heels. To the delight of the entire crowd Lammers took the lead on lap 6, though it was by no means a decisive move (could any move be so with Stucky behind you in a competitive car?) By half past three we already knew that we were going to get more than our money's worth during the next 23 hours 30 minutes.

Many words have already been written, and will continue to be written about this, certainly the most exciting 24 Hours to be run for at least a decade - indeed an excellent account is to be found in the main body of this volume. Whatever one's personal loyalties - and journalists are of course supposed to be quite impartial- you would have to be very mean of spirit not to have felt exhilarated as Jan Lammers rolled 488 across the line at 1503 hrs on Sunday, it was a emotional moment for all of us lucky enough to be there.

Jag 21

21 SILK CUT JAGUAR TEAM/TOM WALKINSHAW RACING CAR: Jaguar XJR9-LM ENGINE: Jaguar V12 7000 cc Fuel Injected, Water Cooled block and head.

CHASSIS CONSTRUCTION: Carbonfibre and Kevlar composite, with engine as a semi-stressed member.

CHASSIS NUMBER: TWR-J12C-188 Built September 1987.

BODY MATERIALS: Carbonfibre and Kevlar composite, including panels, doors, wing, and 1 piece underbody.

TYRES: Dunlop Denloc. WHEELS: Dymag 17" BRAKES: AP. SHOCKS: Koni (front) Bilstein (rear). CLUTCH: AP. TURBO: None. GEARBOX: March 5-speed. LUBRICANTS: Castrol

ENGINE MANAGEMENT: Zytech/TWR Electronic. WEIGHT:917 kgs.

DRIVERS: Danny Sullivan (USA) Price Cobb (USA) Davy Jones (USA)

SPONSORS: Silk Cut, Jaguar, Emil Frey AG, Castrol, Dunlop, TWR. BODY COLOURS: White, with Deep Mauve (No known equivalent) and Dark Yellow contrasts, British Racing Green nose splitter & piping. Mauve sunvisor with Light Blue lettering. "XJR9" & "V12" Logos in Mauve letters on Light Blue background on back of tail section (not recessed). Matt Black wheels.

The first of the 'American' Jaguars, aptly enough had an all American crew of pilots. Danny Sullivan is well known now for his brief spell driving for Ken Tyrrell's Formula 1 team in 1983 and perhaps more notably for having won last year's Indianapolis 500 race, since then consolidating his place amongst the top CART drivers. Price Cobb will be remembered as the man who flipped his works Porsche 962-002 over the barriers in practice for last year's Le Mans - escaping with only singed eyebrows. On a more positive note he is a regular team-man for Rob Dyson's Porsche IMSA GTP team in America and was here doing a '"one-off for Jaguar. Davy Jones however is a TWR IMSA regular, who had two successful seasons running in European Formula 3 in 1983/84, before graduating to a BMW GTP IMSA drive in 1986 and thence to Jaguar.

Because the team were either learning the circuit (Jones & Sullivan) or the car (Cobb), there were few fireworks to be seen on either practice day, but particularly Wednesday when they racked up a total of 45 laps between them. However, having done the homework Sullivan was sent out on Thursday for the grid time (on race tyres though) and recorded 3'25.42 for 9th place. Jones and Cobb followed in on the same day with 3'29.49 and 3'29.21 respectively.

Running in 6th place after the turmoil of the first couple of hours had sorted itself out, for a long time they were nose to tail with its sister Watson/BoeseVPescarolo car before moving into 3rd place by one o'clock in the morning - only two laps down on th

Jaguar and Porsche tussle in front of them.

Just before two o'clock Sullivan started experiencing a worrying vibration from the gearbox - stopping for investigation. Eventually diagnosed as a bearing failure, 21 consequently spent most of the early hours of Sunday with its rear end'strewn around the pit bay during two separate stops as the mechanics worked heroically to get back into the race.

By the time the car was finally ushered up the pitlane to rejoin the action over 54 laps had been lost to the lead battle and the race was effectively over with the car in 25th position. More ragged nerves were caused by a tyre failure at the Dunlop Chicane necessitating a complete lap to get back to the pits on the flapping Denloc - and by Sullivan's stop to investigate a misfire. The car held together however and was able to form up in emotional convoy with Jones at the wheel for the finish with its surviving sister cars - the winning number 2 and 4th placed number 22. The final placing was 16th - 63 laps behind the winner.

Jag 22

22 SILK CUT JAGUAR TEAM / TOM WALKINSHAW RACING CAR: Jaguar XJR9-LM ENGINE: Jaguar V12 7000 cc Fuel Injected, Water Cooled block and head.

CHASSIS CONSTRUCTION: Carbonfibre and Kevlar composite, with engine as a semi-stressed member.

CHASSIS NUMBER: TWR-J12C-186 Built January 1987.

BODY MATERIALS: Carbonfibre and Kevlar composite, including panels, doors, wing, and 1 piece underbody.

TYRES: Dunlop Denloc. WHEELS: Dymag 17". BRAKES: AP. SHOCKS: Koni (front) Bilstein (rear). CLUTCH: AP. TURBO: None. GEARBOX: March 5-speed. LUBRICANTS: Castrol.

ENGINE MANAGEMENT: Zytech/TWR Electronic. WEIGHT: 914 kgs.

DRIVERS: Derek Daly (IRL) Kevin Cogan (USA) Larry Perkins (AUS)

SPONSORS: Silk Cut, Jaguar, Emil Frey AG, Castrol, Dunlop, TWR.

BODY COLOURS: White, with Deep Mauve (No known equivalent) and Dark Yellow contrasts, British Racing Green nose splitter & piping. Mauve sunvisor with Lime Green lettering. "XJR9" & "V12" Logos in Mauve letters on Lime Green background recessed on back of tail section. Matt Black wheels.

The final Jaguar, and second of the 'American' cars was the only TWR chassis at the Sarthe on a return visit. This was the car that in 1987 carried the number 6 and was driven until seven o'clock on Sunday by Brundle and Nielsen, when the cylinder head cracked. This year's crew was a strong one. Irishman Derek Daly will be familiar to most people because of his time in Formula 1 with Hesketh, Ensign, March, Theodore and Williams - all fairly abortively, he had to go to the United States to find his niche in CART Indy-car racing which he has been competing in since 1983.

Kevin Cogan is less well known in Europe, but has a considerable rep.utation in CART racing - and enjoys unusual sponsorship from the American Machinist's Trades Union, this was to be his first drive in a TWR Jaguar. Studious looking Larry Perkins is something of a hero to Australian motors ports fans, an all-rounder, his exploits in the Bathurst '1000' saloon car race at the Mount Panorama road circuit will be the most obvious point of reference for most people. As well as a skilled driver, his engineering talents are valued by the General Motors Holden Group A team of which he is a leading member.

Circumspection was the name of the game here, with all the drivers toddling around the track on the first day of practice. All had an excuse. Neither of the two CART men had 'seen' the circuit before and Perkins' last visit was in 1984 with the Fitzpatrick run 'Team Australia' Porsche 956-102 which ended up in the catch fencing at the Esses early in the morning. The changes wrought to the circuit since then have surely negated any memory the Aussie had of it. Things improved on the second day with Daly ending up as the hotshoe with 3'26.78 (11 th on the grid), Cogan and Perkins coming in with a virtually identical 3'32.68 and 3'32.75 respectively.

Even at the start, this car couldn't match the pace being generated at the front and having run with number 21 Jag for the first hour it started slipping back - levelling out at around 9th or 10th position for the first half of the race. Nevertheless it was a reliable run marred only by Cogan spinning the car a little after six o'clock without causing damage - and other incidents such as a pair of brake pad pliers being left under the car and jamming beneath the underbody as it dropped off the jacks and pulled away, or having debris removed from the ducts and the removal of a loose cover from the driver's footwell. As the race unwound the leaders dropped away with their own problems and by the finish number 22 was in a hard earned 4th place, with a shattered Daly taking the flag.

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Author: ArchitectPage