Jaguar’s decision to return to international motorsport in the mid 1980s was not taken lightly; at the time, Porsche were winning every Le Mans and monopolised the World Sportscar Championship. To many, it seemed as though no one would be able to break the Stuttgart company’s winning streak until, in 1987, Jaguar stormed back with the XJR 8, winning eight of the ten qualifying rounds of the World Sportscar Championship leading to overall victory of the series. With the return of Jaguar came, for many, the return of the excitement of endurance racing that had been lost with the dominance of Porsche.
Jaguar built on this success with the 1988 season seeing the arrival of the all new XJR 9. Designed by the Formula One engineer Tony Southgate, it was built and run by Tom Walkinshaw Racing, 1988 becoming the year Jaguar would break Porsche at Le Mans whose winning streak had seen them triumph there every year since 1980.
Chassis J12-C-688 was one of the famous Silk Cut Group C Jaguar XJR 9’s of the 1988 season, the sixth and final XJR 9 built by TWR. It was raced in all but one of its six races during that 1988 season by the impressive paring of ex-Formula One ace Jan Lammers and the talented young Scottish driver Johnny Dumfries. The best result of the season came when Martin Brundle joined Lammers to come second overall at the Spa 1000 Km’s. J12-C-688 competed in a further four races in the 1989 season, most notably at Le Mans with drivers John Nielsen, Andy Wallace and Price Cobb, who qualified it 8th, sadly retiring due to a failed head gasket.
One of the most recognisable and iconic racing cars of the 1980s, this Silk Cut Group C Jaguar XJR 9 formed part of a racing programme that took Jaguar back to the forefront of motor racing. Chassis J12-C-688, especially with its 2nd place finish at Spa, was an instrumental part of Jaguar’s World Sportscar Championship victories of 1988 and played a central role in reinstating Jaguar as a motorsport leading manufacturer.
10/07/88 – Bruno 360 Kilometres – 3rd – Jan Lammers, Johnny Dumfries
24/07/88 – Brands Hatch 1000 Kilometres – DNF – Jan Lammers, Johnny Dumfries
04/09/88 – Nurburgring 1000 Kilometres – 8th – Jan Lammers, Johnny Dumfries
19/09/88 – Spa 1000 Kilometres – 2nd – Jan Lammers, Martin Brundle
09/10/88 – Fuji 1000 Kilometres – DNF – Jan Lammers, Johnny Dumfries
20/11/88 – Sandown 360 Kilometres – 4th - Jan Lammers, Johnny Dumfries
21/08/89 –Dijon – DNF - John Nielsen, Andy Wallace
11/06/89 – Le Mans – DNF - John Nielsen, Andy Wallace, Price Cobb
25/06/89 - Jarama – 6th - John Nielsen, Andy Wallace
23/07/89 - Brands hatch – DNF - John Nielsen, Andy Wallace