Jaguar announced its return to the Le Mans 24 hours race, being one of the most successful British make in the race’s history with a total of seven wins between 1951 and 1990. The American Le Mans Series racing team RSR , headed up by long time Jaguar privateer racer Paul Gentilozzi will bring their 2010 XKR GT2 to la Sarthe for a race twice around the clock this June. The next generation Jaguar XK-R race car was designed as a joint effort between the American racing team RSR and Jaguar’s Advance Design Studio, which is headed by the automaker’s chief designer Ian Callum.
"Spirits will be high around Jaguar’s return to Le Mans but we must remember the incredibly high level of competition - a podium place in our category will not fall into our hands. That said, I can guarantee 100 per cent commitment from JaguarRSR and urge fans of Jaguar and Britain’s racing heritage to support the team whole heartedly," said Paul Gentilozzi who will drive the JaguarRSR XKR GT2 in the 2010 American Le Mans Series.
Press release after the jump.
The year 2010 marks 75 years of the Jaguar name on both road and race cars. As a continuation of this great heritage, Jaguar can confirm it will return to the famed Le Mans 24 hours. With a total of seven wins between 1951 and 1990, Jaguar is the single most successful British make in the race’s history. Jaguar will return to Le Mans this year lining up on the starting grid on 12th June 2010 with an XKR GT2 run by JaguarRSR.
Paul Gentilozzi, Principal Partner, JaguarRSR commented: “We are delighted the ACO has granted us entry in the prestigious 24 hours of Le Mans. It is a race that is held dearly in the hearts of motorsport fans across the world and for Jaguar to be racing again is something special.
“We are fortunate to bring an international line up of the world’s finest driving talent including Scott Pruett and Marc Goossens as our drivers for this race.”
Gentilozzi, who will drive the JaguarRSR XKR GT2 in the 2010 American Le Mans Series (ALMS) added: “Spirits will be high around Jaguar’s return to Le Mans but we must remember the incredibly high level of competition - a podium place in our category will not fall into our hands. That said, I can guarantee 100 per cent commitment from JaguarRSR and urge fans of Jaguar and Britain’s racing heritage to support the team whole heartedly.”
C.J. O’Donnell, Global Marketing Director of Jaguar Cars said: “Motorsport has always been important to the Jaguar brand. Our domination of Le Mans in the 1950s was a foundation on which the company was developed. It was twenty years ago that Jaguar last won Le Mans with a TWR Jaguar Sport entry driven by John Nielsen, Price Cobb and Martin Brundle. Returning to Le Mans will reignite excitement for the marque across the globe, all the more poignant in our 75th year.
"With the introduction of the new XK, XF and XJ, the Jaguar brand has advanced cutting-edge technology, stunning design and our ‘R’ performance driving experience. We now return to motorsport to demonstrate this achievement and the prowess of the Jaguar XKR.”
In 1951, the C-type won Le Mans at its first attempt, with a further victory in 1953. The D-type took Le Mans wins in 1955, 1956 and 1957 while this racing success was followed in 1988 with the Jaguar XJR-9LM, a V12-powered Group C car. Another outright victory would follow in 1990 with the Jaguar XJR-12.