Jaguar-The first factory-backed GT racer since the 1960sA
Jaguar is making one of the big push in the all-electric Formula E series, but is evidently absent in sports car racing. It is F-Type seems to be an ideal candidate for some sort of GT racing series, but it had not yet made a dedicated competition version of this car. Now, though, Jaguar is rumored to be plunging its toes back into sports car racing.
Autosport reports that Jaguar’s Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) is now preparing a handful of GT4-spec F-Types for a private customer in which it intends to race them later this year. The automaker has recruited Paul Humphrys, who had designed the 1999 Le Mans-winning BMW V12 LMR, to head up the F-Type GT4 project.
Humphrys is one of the interesting hire not just for his success at Le Mans, but because he has been most recently working with Red Bull’s Adrian Newey on the Aston Martin Valkyrie hypercar. He has also played a role in developing the Bentley Continental GT3 race car in 2013.
Building an F-Type race car has been a one of the big deal, given Jaguar’s history. While the company had to provide support to a privateer effort to build a GT-spec XKR few years ago, the F-Type GT4 will be a Jaguar’s first in-house GT car since the lightweight E-Types of it in the 1960s.
A GT4 entry is a small start for Jaguar, but considering had made it a big hire from Aston Martin to get the project off the ground, you have to imagine the company wants to do more sports car racing in the coming years. Nearly all the F-Type’s competitors race in various series in Europe and the US, and surely Jaguar wants in on the action in the competition.
GT racing will be giving Jaguar a chance to reclaim the glory of its Le Mans-winning C- and D-Types of the 1950s, and to know how much the automaker loves celebrating its motorsports history.