Jaguar reveals first in-house GT car in 50 years

Gary Watkins
This article first appeared on autosport.com

Jaguar has taken the wraps off its first GT car developed in-house for more than 50 years.

The new GT4 car, based on the V8-engined F-type, was unveiled at Autosport International on Thursday as part of a British GT Championship programme under the banner of the Invictus Games for disabled servicemen.

The F-type has been commissioned by SuperDry clothing boss James Holder and developed at the British manufacturer’s Special Vehicle Operations unit in Coventry.

It will be the first GT racing car developed in-house by Jaguar since the E-type lightweights of the early 1960s were built in the same Browns Lane facility that had been responsible for the Le Mans 24 Hours-winning C-types and D-types of the ’50s.

Veteran sportscar designer Graham Humphrys, who was responsible for the 1999 Le Mans-winning BMW V12 LMR, has led the design team over the past 14 months.

The first shakedown tests have already been undertaken ahead of the start of proper development running prior to the hand-over to the Invictus Games Racing team run by David Appleby Engineering at the start of March.

The car is based on the 200mph F-type SVR special, retaining its supercharged V8 but not its four-wheel-drive system.

Holder, who has raced in the GT4 class for the past two years, told Autosport that he had been motivated to do something for charity.

“I didn’t want to just hand over a cheque, I wanted to co something that was cool and a bit different but also a challenge,” he said.

“The Invictus Games resonates with me and Jaguar Land Rover has long involved with the games, which took us down that route.

“What SVO has done in such a short time is fantastic; full credit to team.”

Both Invictus Games Racing JLR F-type SVO GT4 will be raced by a pair of service veterans, each undertaking half the season.

They will share with two professional drivers in Matthew George, who has driven with Holder for the past two years, and American Jason Wolfe, a race winner in German TCR last year.

George will share with Steve McCulley and Paul Vice, and Wolfe with Basil Rawlinson and Ben Norfolk.

All four ex-serviceman are veterans of British military campaigns in Afghanistan.

They have been selected for the programme through Mission Motorsport, which uses racing and rallying to aid the rehabilitation of injured members of the forces.

Holder will continue to race an Aston in GT4 events in Europe.

SVO is building three F-type racers, two for the Invictus team and one for testing purposes.

It said that it would not rule out building further cars should it be approached by customers.

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