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JAGUAR RETURNS TO LE MANS TWENTY FOUR HOUR DEBUT FOR THE XJ220 SUPERCAR

 MAHWAH, N.J., June 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Jaguar returns to Le Mans this year with the true successor to the car which gave it two of its greatest victories at the Sarthe circuit forty years ago. Sponsored by Unipart, the Jaguar XJ220C will follow in the wheel tracks of the XK120C - the legendary Jaguar C-type, which dominated the Le Mans 24 Hour Race in the early nineteen fifties.
 Jaguar's team of three XJ220C's - racing versions of the world's fastest production car - will be running in the GT category at Le Mans on June 19 and 20. Prepared by TWR, Jaguar's long time racing partner, the XJ220C goes to the classic French race after scoring victories in two of Europe's inaugural GT races at Silverstone, England, and Vallelunga, Italy.
 A top class international team of drivers has been recruited for the Le Mans event. Denmark's John Nielsen, who won the race for Jaguar in 1990, is teamed with David Brabham, the sportscar racing son of Australia's legendary Sir Jack Brabham, and rising UK talent David Coulthard. Win Percy, who gave the XJ220C its inaugural victory at Silverstone in May is teamed with Scotland's David Leslie and the very experienced German sports and touring car specialist Armin Hahne.
 Driving Jaguar's third car will be American Jay Cochran from the USA IMSA Sportscar series, Germany's Andreas Fuchs and Paul Belmondo, the talented young French driver son of screen actor Jean Paul Belmondo.
 With a top speed of 213 mph, the XJ220 needed little modification to turn it into a competitive racing car. Naturally the luxurious interior has been stripped and for ease of access, carbon fiber front and rear panels replace the hand formed aluminum bodywork of the road car. Suspension, brakes and transaxle have also been modified for racing and to conform with the specific regulations for the GT category at Le Mans.
 Jaguar's Chairman and Chief Executive Nick Scheele said: "Le Mans is probably the most famous motor race in the world. It is certainly the toughest and Jaguar has won this twenty-four hour test of endurance seven times.
 As the three XJ220Cs take to the Le Mans circuit, a team of ten XJ220s in the 'Fast Masters' take to the track at Indianapolis Raceway Park for the inaugural round of the series which will feature 50 of the world's legendary race drivers in a unique series which will be televised live on ESPN every Saturday night as part of Saturday Night Thunder.
 -0- 6/16/93
 /CONTACT: John Crawford of Jaguar, 201-818-8149/


CO: Jaguar Cars Inc. ST: New Jersey IN: AUT SU:

WB -- NY052 -- 2653 06/16/93 13:36 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 16, 1993
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