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1990 Jaguar XJR-11

  • Winner of the 1990 Silverstone FIA World Sportscar race with Martin Brundle and Alain Ferte
  • Double podium finisher in the 1990 FIA World Sportscar Championship at Monza and Donington
  • Fully restored by marque specialists
  • The most successful Jaguar XJR-11, designed by Tony Southgate and Ross Brawn
  • The final of only three Jaguar XJR-11 chassis built
  • Chassis no. 490

 

This Jaguar XJR-11

The Jaguar XJR-11 was developed for the 1989 FIA World Sportscar Prototype Championship, competing with Group C regulations, with events around the world at circuits including Monza, Silverstone, Spa-Francorchamps, Dijon, Nurburgring, Montreal and Mexico.

Group C regulations created one of the greatest eras of sportscar racing, with major manufacturers racing around the world to claim the fastest car. This era of regulation saw huge technical diversity, with engines racing from a twin-turbocharged V8 engine by Mercedes, naturally aspirated V12 by Jaguar or a twin-turbocharged flat-six cylinder engine by Porsche. As a result of these Group C regulations, the World Sportscar Prototype was almost as popular as Formula One, with speeds exceeding 400 kilometres per hour!

At round three of the 1989 World Sportscar Prototype Championship, Jaguar unveiled to the press the XJR-11, but it would not compete until the following race at Brands Hatch in England. This new car was designed by Tony Southgate with the help of Ross Brawn. The chassis was a compacter evolution of the highly successful Jaguar XJR-6/8/9 carbon fibre monocoque. Over the last few seasons of sportscar racing, Jaguar and Tom Walkinshaw Racing had seen that their large, production based V12 engines were becoming increasingly uncompetitive, with competition coming in the form of lighter and more compact high-performance engines.

This Jaguar XJR-11 offered here, chassis 490, is the third of only three examples built by Tom Walkinshaw Racing for Jaguar. This car made its competition debut at the 1990 Monza 480km event on 29th April, being driven by Le Mans overall winner, Martin Brundle and F3 Champion Alain Ferte. The pair qualified an impressive 4th overall, and stood on the podium the following day, finishing 3rd overall in the race.

Round three of the 1990 World Sportscar Prototype Championship was at Silverstone, England, where 490 was once again driven by Brundle and Ferte, wearing race number 3. The Jaguars were always going to be strong on home soil, and 490 lined up second on the grid, ahead of the sister XJR-11 in third. The race started with 490, the leading Jaguar battling intensely with the Mercedes of Schlesser and Baldi for the overall race lead. When the chequered flag fell, it was this Jaguar XJR-11, chassis 490, which won the race with Martin Brundle behind the wheel, leading the sister XJR-11. This was to be the only victory for a Jaguar XJR-11 in the World Sportscar Prototype Championship.

This car, chassis 490 continued to compete with the works Silk Cut Jaguar Team, racing at Spa-Francorchamps, Dijon, Nurburgring, Donington Park and Montreal before claiming Pole Position at the season-ending race at Mexico City where it was driven by Brundle and Jan Lammers.

At the end of the 1989 World Sportscar Prototype Championship, the Silk Cut Jaguar team finished fourth, bettered only by Team Sauber Mercedes and the Porsche 962’s of Joest Racing and Respol Brun Motorsport. Silk Cut Jaguar beat the works Nissan Motorsport International team, Aston Martin and Porsche Kremer Racing, an impressive showing.

 For 1991, this XJR-11 raced in the All Japan Sportscar-Prototype Championship, being driven by Le Mans overall winner John Neilsen, and Le Mans class-winners Jeff Krosnoff and Mauro Martini. This car entered five rounds of the Championship, three races at Fuji International Raceway, one race at Suzuka, and one at Sugo. In a deal between Tom Walkinshaw Racing and the Japanese Subtec Team, chassis 490 was supplied to race, with chassis 590 delivered as a spare car. The car was finished in a striking green and white livery, with red and yellow accents, wearing only Jaguar, Castrol, Dunlop, Bosch and TWR decals.

Once its competition duties were over, this XJR-11 returned to TWR for a complete restoration before being prominently displayed in the TWR Museum. Later the car was acquired by Paul Spires, Team Director and Owner of AM Racing, and later President of Aston Martin Works Limited. During his ownership, 490 was raced by ex-TWR Racing, double Spa-24 Hours winner and three-time British Touring Car Champion, Win Percy in the inaugural Historic Group C Championship. The combination of Percy and this twin-turbocharged Jaguar dominated, taking four wins, five pole positions and five fastest laps in five events!

Later the car was prepared and restored by Jaguar specialists, JD Classics, before being bought by its current owner at the Bonhams Goodwood Revival auction in September 2018. This discerning collector then embarked upon a thorough rebuild by leading Group C and prototype specialists, Moto Historics. These works, started in late 2018 included a thorough and complete engine rebuild, with the car now being offered ready to return to the track, perhaps at Silverstone where it claimed victory in 1990.

Group C is without doubt one of World Sportscar Racing’s high marks, with many of the world’s leading automotive manufacturers, including Jaguar, Porsche, Mercedes, Nissan, Toyota and Aston Martin battling it out be the fastest. This Jaguar offers an incredibly rare opportunity to obtain a race-winning Group C car, built by one of the most successful and famous race teams, in race-ready condition, fresh from a complete and exacting restoration.


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