- Jaguar XJ-S for Knysna Classic Car Friday
- Vehicle specially prepared by JLR apprentices
- Genuine parts, Castrol lubes only, used in XJ-S
KNYSNA, South Africa – Entries don’t have to be small and nimble to enter the annual Simola Hillclimb at this South African coastal resort – they can be big and have claws and rippling automotive muscle.
The event will run from May 5-8, 2017.
Such as this Classic Car Friday entry, prepared entirely by Jaguar Land Rover apprentices for JLR SA – an iconic Jaguar XJ-S that’s making a return to racing.
AMERICAN RACING CHAMP TO DRIVE
The car will be instantly recognisable and evoke fond memories among Jaguar fans with its TWR (Tom Walkinshaw Racing) replica livery and screaming V12 engine. It’s been prepared and will be driven by American racing champ Randy Pobst who will also compete in the King of the Hill event in a mighty 423kW supercharged V8 Jaguar F-Type SVR.
Jaguar has had racing in its oilways ever since its first sports sedans graced the roads in the 1930’s. In the 1950’s Jaguar dominated the 24 Hours of Le Mans with five overall wins through that decade – success that saw C-Type, D-Type and XKSS racers become some of the fastest and most sought-after sports cars of their day.
This racing heritage continued into the 1980’s when Jaguar once again featured on the world stage – this time at the hands of the legendary Tom Walkinshaw who won the 1984 European Touring Car championship in his TWR-prepared Jaguar XJ-S.
A trio of TWR XJ-S race cars resplendent in their now famous green-and-white livery went on to enter the 1985 Bathurst 1000 in Australia. Walkinshaw set a blistering pole more than a second clear of the next competitor and an XJ-S driven by John Goss and Armin Hahne won the race.
The XJ-S for the 2017 Jaguar-sponsored Simola Hillclimb is finished in a replica TWR livery and, like Walkinshaw’s thundering cats, this XJ-S has a 5.3-litre V12 engine, though in standard form and trimmed with Jaguar Classic Genuine Parts and oils from worldwide lubricant partner Castrol.
The vehicle has been prepared by Jaguar South Africa at the Jaguar Land Rover Training Academy, in Centurion, Pretoria. Skilled apprentices were involved in the preparation of the XJ-S, with extensive work done to replace important seals, bushes and vital fluids to make the cars ready to delight fans when it roars up the hill in the hands of its guest driver.
The car will race on Friday (May 4, 2017).
Tickets for Classic Car Friday are still available from iTickets, at R100 for a general admission pass or R220 for a pits pass – the latter great for fans who want to get up close and personal with some the rare and historic machines to race in the event.