JD Classics to run Jaguar's historic racing programme

| 13 Mar 2012

Jaguar Heritage Racing was launched to a packed press conference in London yesterday.

As well as parking a D-type on Pall Mall and having a C-type in the foyer of the RAC Club, special guests were flown in from across Europe.

They included Sir Stirling Moss, John Coombs, Win Percy and Ian Callum, while Norman Dewis sent a video message.

John 'Noddy' Coombs and Sir Stirling enjoyed a chat

Win Percy recounted tales of racing with and for Tom Walkinshaw

The new branch of Jaguar is being set up to formalise a programme of events at which "works-backed" cars – principally XKs, C- and D-types – will be campaigned across the globe.

There are 12 events lined up for 2012, including the Mille Miglia (where a special start-line celebration will be staged marking 90 years of the Swallow Sidecar company), the Oldtimer GP at the Nurburgring, the Goodwood Revival, plus every round of the E-type Challenge.

The "works" aspect was played up, but the cars will be prepared by the JD Classics team, which Jaguar's spokesman said would have "total control" over them over event weekends. Plus, Jaguar said that none of the actual Heritage Collection cars would be raced.

Derek Hood, managing director of JD Classics, 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.”

Jaguar design chief Ian Callum added: "We are now building the best cars that we have ever built and we have got to have the confidence to go and shout about our heritage louder than ever before."

Mike O'Driscoll, chairman of Jaguar Heritage, also welcomed the move. He said: "My dream was always to have a Heritage racing team and it's taken a German [Frank Klass] to come across and get it started."

Hood and Callum were speaking after presentations from Jaguar's Ken McConomy and Frank Klaas, explaining the programme and why Jaguar has embarked on it.