After a season of dismay Kutuka finally got their own car and driver into action this weekend at Silverstone, contesting the final two rounds of the Classic Touring Car pre-93 championship.


This is usually the busiest and most popular of the CTCRC championships, and our best result to date were a pair of 8th places with Helen at Cadwell, Vanessa at Oulton last year, and even those finishes we regarded as punching above our weight.








Testing dawned damp but sunny, then rained, then stopped. We gave up and fitted worn 888s.


Helen drowns something small and nippy in testing. Again. 


Qualifying was an eclectic grid. But a wet one....

Since then Helen has had a power hike, and we’ve thrown about 30kg away, but we’re giving a lot away to the huge power of the Cosworths and M3s that dominate this series, the 1450kg Jag isn’t on a level playing field with the 1050kg Cossie. But we’re not here to try and win it, we’re out for the fun of it all.


The pilot hasn’t raced in a year. The car’s changed, and a test day was in order. And it rained a lot, which was both a bad thing, and a great thing. Wet weather control sharpened some rusty pilot skills in a real hurry, and some wet weather setup work allowed the big blue boat to carve a path through the downpour at a respectable clip.



And then, miraculously, race day dawned equally wet. Helen took off where she left off on test day and cut a swathe through the traffic as 32 cars tried to find space to set a laptime. As spins and slides and general mayhem beset the field, the heavy Jag and her unexpected grip set about causing an upset, taking pole position by 0.8 seconds.


The surprise was as palpable to us as it was to the rest of that field, and we were beset by beaming enthusiasts from far and wide. It seems that everybody has had an XJS at some point, but that none of them believed it could do that.


To be fair, nor did we.





Sadly, the sun came out, and we were never going to hold on to that place in the dry. We’ve not driven the car in this form in the dry, we’ve never used a 888 tyre here in the dry, we’re set for the wet and had no dry weather data. We needed rain.


Amusingly enough, our first race start with the twin-plate clutch went well, and as the Cossie bogged down the Jag took the lead into Copse and stretched a good 100 yard advantage heading for Becketts, but that was as good as it got. We swiftly succumbed to the M3 on the brakes into the complex, the Jag on stock brakes just cannot slow down like that. A couple of laps with elbows out lost places to the Cossie and the Corrado, but we fought off the fast M3 astern to hold 4th place, which we considered to be a hell of a result against this grid.





Race 2 lost that 4th to come home 5th, but we’re still well chuffed, a brace of our best results to date, 2 class wins and another half second off the laptime. And in fairness, we’re meant to be racing the pre-83s, not the 93s. How did we fare against the pre-83 grid on the timesheets? Well, that would be telling.


Kutuka came home to buy a frame for that qualifying timesheet.




...which allowed us to do this.




Lined up for race 2. We may have lost ground since quali, but she was here on merit. We were surprised too.