• Jaguar Classic Challenge Adds Le Mans To 2016 Racing Calendar

New technical regulations will also be adopted beginning this season

Some of the most iconic Jaguar race cars in history are all set to return for the second season of the Jaguar Classic Challenge, the automaker’s exclusive racing competition. This season, the Classic Challenge welcomes the Le Mans Classic as the newest round in its racing calendar. Considering the company’s long and illustrious history at Le Mans, it’s only fitting that one of the world’s most important race tracks will become a part of the racing series.

The race will be called the “Le Mans Classic”, and will run from July 8 to July 20, 2016. It’s inclusion brings the total number of races in Classic Challenge to five. The season-opening race will be take place at the Donington Historic Festival from April 30 to May 2, 2016. That will be followed by the Silverstone International Trophy (May 21 to 22), the Le Mans Classic, the AvD-Oldtimer-Grand-Prix at the Nurburgring (August 12 to 14), and the Oulton Park Gold Cup (August 27 to 27).

In addition to the inclusion of the Le Mans Classic in the Jaguar Classic Challenge, the series will also be introducing new technical regulations that will be based on the FIA’s Appendix K frameworks for cars that compete in international historic racing competitions. According to the FIA, regulations in Appendix K “may be used for Competitions under a set of rules that preserve the specifications of their period and prevent the modifications of performance and behavior which could arise through the application of modern technology.”

With the inclusion of Le Mans and the adoption of new technical regulations, this year’s Jaguar Classic Challenge should be able to build off of the success of last year’s inaugural season. So, expect the see the usual classic Jaguars, including Mk1s, Mk2s, C-Types, D-Types, Xk120s and 140s, XKSS, and various vintage versions of the iconic E-Type, all lining up on the track when the season starts in April.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Why it matters

Jaguar Classic Challenge Adds Le Mans To 2016 Racing Calendar
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I’m not one to say no to a competitive race and I’m certainly not one to shrug my shoulders on a racing series that just added Le Mans to its calendar. The Jaguar Classic Challenge may be a neophyte series in every sense of the word, but it scored a huge coup when it was able to secure a race at one of the world’s most iconic race tracks. Granted, the cars that will be competing in that race won’t have the same technological wizardry as some of the cars that compete in the annual 24 Hours of Le Mans. But what they lack in modern-day performance, they more than make up for in nostalgia and just good, all-around racing fun.

If anything, returning to Le Mans will certainly bring out a lot of good memories for Jaguar. The British automaker has a long and storied history in that track, winning the world’s oldest endurance race for the first time back in 1951 with the C-Type, otherwise known as the XKC 003. Jaguar continued its dominance in the race for the better part of that decade with overall victories in 1953, 1955, 1956, and 1957. But, just as Jaguar secured its fifth Le Mans triumph in seven years, it took 31 years before the team returned to the top step of the podium in 1988. That victory was followed by another win in 1990, the last time Jaguar won in Le Mans.

Obviously, the setup is different this time and the Le Mans Classic is far less prestigious than the endurance race. But hey, it’s still nice to see Jaguar and Le Mans once again being mentioned in the same breath. Hopefully, this could lead to the company making a return to the endurance race. Stranger things have happened, right?

Jaguar D-Type

1954 - 1957 Jaguar D-Type
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Read our full review on the Jaguar D-Type here.

Kirby Garlitos
Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read full bio
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Press Release

Excitement levels are building for the second season of the Jaguar Classic Challenge as the Le Mans Classic is confirmed for inclusion in the all-new race calendar for 2016. The Le Mans Classic will be one of the major highlights of the forthcoming season that will see a diverse field of pre-1966 Jaguars going wheel-to-wheel in the competitive single-marque series.

Jaguar Classic Challenge Adds Le Mans To 2016 Racing Calendar
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Jaguar has a long and successful history at Le Mans, with the marque first winning there back in 1951 with Peter Walker and Peter Whitehead driving the C-type – affectionately known as XKC 003.

A one-two finish followed this in 1953 with the duo of Tony Rolt and Duncan Hamilton taking overall honours. Jaguar dominated Le Mans for three consecutive years in 1955, 1956 and 1957 in the D-type. A further two race victories were to follow years later in 1988 and 1990 in the XJR-9LM and XJR-12 respectively.

Along with the inclusion of the Le Mans Classic in the calendar, the Jaguar Classic Challenge, run in conjunction with the Historic Sports Car Club (HSCC), will also adopt new technical regulations based on the FIA’s Appendix K framework for cars competing in international historic racing competitions. These regulations pay particular consideration to a car’s period specification and are in keeping with the true spirit of historic motor racing.

Drivers participating in this year’s Classic Challenge will now also qualify to enter many other international historic races that run these standardised set of rules.

The dates for the 2016 Jaguar Classic Challenge are as follows:

Donington Historic Festival: 30th April – 2nd May

Silverstone International Trophy: 21st – 22nd May

Le Mans Classic: 8th – 10th July

AvD-Oldtimer-Grand-Prix, Nürburgring: 12th – 14th August

Oulton Park Gold Cup: 27th – 29th August

Jaguar Classic Challenge Adds Le Mans To 2016 Racing Calendar
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Tim Hannig, Director, Jaguar Land Rover Classic, said: “Jaguar’s wonderful history of racing at Le Mans will add to the spectacle of the Jaguar Classic Challenge. Watching a diverse array of pre-1966 Jaguars racing on the iconic circuit, some of which even raced there in period, will surely be a sight not to be missed.

“The racing and camaraderie between the drivers during the inaugural season was fantastic to witness and the new regulations will enhance the experience for both competitors and fans alike making it a fitting tribute to the brand’s rich racing pedigree.

“The Jaguar Land Rover Classic business specialises in cars, services, parts and experiences to maintain and nurture the passion for the Jaguar brand and its iconic models for decades to come.”

Drivers wishing to take part in 2016 can visit the dedicated web page for the new season at http://www.hscc.org.uk/jaguar-classic-challenge for full details and information on how to enter.

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