Kutuka Motorsport North




So, what's the deal with thrashing Jaguars about on race circuits? Jags are luxury cars, soft, comfortable old hectors, meant to gently cosset you in a big, quiet armchair, and then propel you across hundreds of miles at high speed and waft you effortlessly to somewhere expensive, right?


Well, actually, no. There has always been another, more dastardly side to the Jag, the point at which the car has reached a couple of years old and fallen into the price range of a scoundrel, a man who isn't looking at it as a status symbol, but as a pure piece of engineering to be abused. Think about it, one of the few manufacturers still stuffing big engines and lots of power in the front, driving it through the rear wheels, via a real gearbox. Thrashed by ruffians, welded up, stripped out and raced by more refined ruffians. That's us.







































Jaguar has a rich racing history, and even at club level it's still very active. The Jaguar Enthusiasts' Club runs a number of championships for both the XJS and saloons, as well as the XKs, but they're a bit too posh for us.


Kutuka run in the XJS Championship, which is officially the "JEC Toyo Tires XJS Championship" because of the Toyo control tyre we are obliged to run, and there are a number of different classes, catering for all types of XJS, in various states of preparation.


The idea is accessibility, so whether you have a barely-intact V12 auto, a fifty-thousand-quid carbon-fibre 6 pot, or something they've never even thought of, the idea is that by weighting the various classes, you have the same chance of taking the coveted title.








































With that in mind, a class win is every bit as important as a race win, full points for a class win, all totted up at the year end, highest tally wins the overall championship. So it's not about race wins, it's class wins, and the more competitive categories are usually the lower formulae.


Tyres are the Toyo R1R for all classes.


The "top" class is the fully-modified V12. The class G car is a 5.3 or 6 litre V12, attached to a manual 5-speed box, putting out anywhere from the standard 300 to 450bhp, depending on your budget. Exhausts, heads, drivetrains, lightweight panels, perspex, rose joints, it's all legal here, and the excitement and glamour that draws the drivers in is the big, shouty engine.


Tyres are 17 or 18" 235 or 245s, on up to a 9" rim. Weight is 1440kg, beyond that pretty much anything goes. In practice, V12 handling is a tough one to crack, that big lump up front becomes a liability, and few have ever truly got it right.








































Class E are the modified 6 cylinder cars, either 3.6 or 4 litre machines, but in the lightest weight category by car, 1350kg, and the top cars are putting out up to 400bhp. The rules for the class mirror the class G machines, and E cars have recently begun to dominate the series. Handling advantages from the better weight distribution are key.


Class D and Class F are merged these days, D are the roadgoing class 6-pot cars, F the V12 automatics. 1580kg weight limit, restrictive rules as to suspension, all-steel panels, glass windows, much more road-worthy machines, many are taxed and driven to the circuit. Class F has largely disappeared, but class D remains the most popular and competitive class, the entry level car that in recent years has proven to be surprisingly capable against even the best of the modified class machines. Power is lower, 230-260bhp, weight is high, handling is less precise, but somehow it just works!


Class N is just stupid, we're going to pretend it doesn't exist.






































The idea is clean, close circuit racing, twenty-plus cars of various types on track together, all vying for a class win, and to humiliate a machine in a higher class.


Never underestimate the speed of a big Jag being pushed hard, they will surprise you, there is a dedicated army of us devoted to making them travel quickly, and it's a LOT of car to let go when it goes wrong.. At the same time, Caterham drivers, please God STOP trying to go round the outside of them in corners, once committed they don't change direction, and we WILL squash you like an orphaned spider.


See www.jec-racing.org.uk for further detail, race reports etc.






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