Video: Year of the Cat

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produced by Videovision Broadcast. 60 minutes. (Duke Marketing Ltd, PO Box 46, Douglas, Isle of Man. £29.90).

Jaguar’s return to the pinnacle of world motor racing has engendered a welter of English-language books seeking to cash in on renewed interest in the World Sportscar Championship. Video films, as ever, add an extra dimension.

Extra is the operative word. It is in the nature of the medium that it can give but the barest outline of the plot while playing to its strengths as an illustrator. The committed enthusiast will welcome this particular production as a means of bringing XJR-8 and 962C onto his television screen as an adjunct, the annual which is already sitting on his bookshelf.

In one hour the film follows the title chase from Spain to Japan, via Le Mans, with enough track action to ram the Jaguar success-story home and to identify all TWR’s leading antagonists. On occasions, the camera is even in the right place to capture the key moments— such as eventual champion Raul Boesel’s coming together with Mauro Baldi’s BLR Porsche at Paddock during the Brands Hatch 1000km.

You might call this a “video of record”. It makes little attempt to explain the formula to the uninitiated, and the commentary, while enthusiastic, is uninspired and unconcerned with prying behind the scenes in the WSC paddock. What it desperately needs is some interviews to add depth, or even the odd snippet of conversation with drivers or team principals. But if the volume on your bookshelf already provides the background information and features, this moving-picture story could well prove a useful complement. GT